Banking: Carers

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17 January 2017.

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Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Conservative, Pudsey 12:00, 17 January 2017

What progress has been made on improving access to online and in-branch banking for carers.

Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Banks are required to treat customers fairly and ensure that vulnerable customers have appropriate access to banking. My hon. Friend and I met recently to discuss this, and I am pleased to hear that both the Financial Conduct Authority and the British Bankers Association have offered to meet my hon. Friend to discuss it further.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Conservative, Pudsey

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for meeting my constituent Annie Dransfield, who, as a carer for her adult son, manages his finances in the hope that he will be able to live as independent a life as possible, but she has real issues trying to access his online banking. Given the increasing number of carers in the country, does my hon. Friend agree that the banking industry should do all it can for these very important customers?

Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The FCA and BBA are both looking at ways to make it easier for trusted friends or family to help people manage their money safely, and I wish my hon. Friend luck with his meetings.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

As my brother’s appointee after he suffered severe head trauma in an accident 11 years ago, I can see many avenues by which carers’ time is taken up dealing with red tape. Will the Minister outline his view on how things such as online banking can be kept safe but made simpler for carers with regard to multiple usernames?

Photo of Simon Kirby Simon Kirby The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that we have discussed this. It is the very issue that my hon. Friend Stuart Andrew will be discussing with the BBA and the FCA, and the Government are keeping a close eye on it.