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People who do not have access to a bank account pay an extra £485 a year for everyday bills and services, research from a challenger bank suggests. More than 1.2 million Britons do not have a bank account, so miss out on discounts reserved for those who pay bills by direct debit, said Pockit. This ramps up the cost of energy bills, broadband and phone contracts, it said. "For many of us, having a bank account is a basic fact of life," said Pockit boss Virraj Jatania. "Yet the unbanked face a banking poverty premium which can put a real strain on their finances.". Traditional banks can reject customers applying for accounts if they do not have enough forms of ID, or if their credit rating is poor. Full story

21 April