For most of us, the first port of call when dealing with money will be our bank.

If you’ve never had to do it before, opening a bank account can be confusing. There are numerous types of accounts, with some carrying fees to cover certain benefits and others being free.

Fees vary between banks and bank accounts and before opening an account you should make yourself aware of these so you don’t get charged unnecessarily. Comparison websites are a good starting point for anyone trying to find a current account tailored to their needs.

Fee free basic bank accounts are designed for people with poor credit scores and can be opened by those in financial difficulties that may  have been turned down for a current account. More information on basic bank accounts can be found on the Money Advice Service website. 

Once you’ve chosen the right account for you, the banking process should work seamlessly. However, it is worth being aware of what to do if things go wrong.

If you find yourself with a complaint, the first thing to do is discuss this with your bank or building society branch, if you have one, and then consider using the internal complaints procedure. Initially, you should discuss the problem with the person responsible for your account. If your account isn’t held at a specific branch, you should have been provided with details of how and where you can complain when you opened your account.

If you don’t get a satisfactory response, ask to discuss the matter with a manager. If you’re still dissatisfied, you could consider writing a letter outlining the problem. You should keep copies of any correspondence sent to your bank or building society.

The following websites can help you with any banking issues:

  provides a free and independent service to help resolve disputes with banks and building societies and advice on how to complain to a bank or building society is available on the website. They can order banks and building societies to pay compensation.

 provide information on running a bank account.

Or contact an approved money adviser.