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Bank accounts have 'positive impact'

03 December 2009 09:07:24

Using a bank account reduces reoffending risks.  image
Using a bank account reduces reoffending risks.
Improved bank account provision could have considerable benefits for society, according to analysis released by The Co-operative Bank today (December 3rd).

A study commissioned by the bank and conducted by academics at Liverpool John Moores University (JMU) suggested that allowing ex-prisoners to open a bank account can reduce re-offending rates by approximately one-third.

Data for the research was supplied by a scheme which supplied accounts to 107 ex-offenders prior to their release from Forest Bank prison in Salford.

Among those who had served sentences of 12 months or less, 39% later reoffended.

By contrast, the national average reoffending rate for this group stands at 60%.

Paul Jones of the research unit for financial inclusion at Liverpool JMU said: "Bank accounts are not the panacea for reducing re-offending rates but as this research shows it can have a positive impact.

"It is clear that bank accounts are an important element in enabling ex-prisoners to become valuable members of society."

Financial inclusion figures from the government recently suggested that around 900,000 eligible Britons are without any form of bank account.

In 2004, this total stood at over 2 million.ADNFCR-2196-ID-19492502-ADNFCR ADNFCR-2196-ID-19464191-ADNFCR

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