Barclays Leads The Way By Providing Bank Accounts to Prisoners

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Barclays, in partnership with UNLOCK, today furthers its commitment to the long-term financially excluded by extending its market-leading basic bank account to people nearing the end of a prison sentence, to help reintegrate them back into society.

Barclays, in partnership with UNLOCK, today furthers its commitment to the long-term financially excluded by extending its market-leading basic bank account to people nearing the end of a prison sentence, to help reintegrate them back into society.

Barclays has been working with UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders, as part of its “Unlocking Banking” campaign, since 2007. The scheme helps people coming to the end of their prison sentence to open basic bank accounts and improve their money management skills, ultimately overcoming social and financial exclusion. Basic financial training and help with application forms is also provided by charity staff who work within the prisons.

The programme has been piloted by Barclays in three prisons in the UK and from today will be extended to cover 14 prisons in the UK covering all of the East of England prison region.

Mark Parsons, managing director of current account, savings and mortgages, said: "Access to finance is a key strand of Barclays Money Skills, our UK community investment programme. The long-term financially excluded, such as prisoners, are amongst the hardest to reach in society. Quite often they have poor financial literacy skills and don't have the confidence to walk into a bank. So by partnering with charitable organisations that spend time in working with these groups will make it easier for prisoners to rebuild their lives. We are pleased to be working with UNLOCK in this way.”

“Having a bank account is not a luxury, it’s a necessity for modern life” says Chris Bath, Director of Projects at UNLOCK.

“Having a bank account provides a crucial foundation upon which people leaving prison can rebuild their lives. It helps them to secure a job and somewhere to live, the two most important factors in successfully reintegrating into society. Barclays' leadership on this issue is appreciated by everyone with an interest in the successful resettlement of people in prison, including the Prison Service, charities and most importantly, the people themselves”.

Notes to editors:
1.The prisons included in the expanded project are; Bullwood Hall, Bure, Edmunds Hill, Highpoint, The Mount, Bedford, Chelmsford, Peterborough, Warren Hill, Wayland, Littlehey, Blundeston, Norwich, Hollesley Bay

2.The identities of applicants are verified using data held by HM Prison Service, provided by the Police and Courts. Prison Governors are authorised to provide final verification and sign a HMPS Personal Identification Document which includes an email address within the Government Secure Intranet which the bank can use to verify authenticity.

For more information contact

Emma Austin
Retail Banking PR Manager
tel: +44 (0)20 7116 6145
mob: +44 (0)7775 541675
emma.austin(at)barclays(dot)com

Alan White
Consumer Affairs PR manager
tel: +44 (0)20 7116 6232
mob: +44 (0)7775 542673
alan.white(at)barclays(dot)com

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, business banking corporate and investment banking (investments product finder) and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs nearly 147,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money and provides life insurance and other services for 48 million customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website http://www.barclays.co.uk.

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Emma Austin
Barclays
+44 (0)20 7116 6145
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