EURO MPs have voted through a report calling for the European Union to establish a right for EU consumers to have a basic bank account.
It is estimated that over 30million individuals over the age of 18 across the EU do not have access to a bank account.
North East Labour MEP Stephen Hughes said: “Increasing numbers of people in the UK who are going through bankruptcy are being denied access to a basic bank account, despite there being no legal reason why.
“If you prevent people from being able to hold a bank account you are in effect excluding them from the ability to benefit from financial products and services, deals and discounts and perhaps most importantly certain jobs which require access to a bank account.
“It creates an unnecessary social divide between those who hold bank accounts and those who don’t.”
He added: “In the UK, the move towards universal benefits payments means that bank accounts are going to become an increasing important way for people on benefits, or with low incomes, to manage their money.
“Credit Unions are ahead of the game and are already helping people to manage their monthly payments and ensure that they have enough money at the end of the month, banks too should be playing their part.”