Digital challenger bank Monese recently announced it has launched free premium accounts for refugees that have relocated in the UK. Monese reported that it is committed to giving out its Premium plan to refugees (usually £14.95 a month) for free, for life. The Premium plan waives all transaction fees, granting its customers entirely free current account facilities.
“At the moment we can give refugees access to a Monese current account provided they have been granted asylum and received their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). Banks are legally obliged to accept BRP’s, however many bank branch staff are not trained to recognise them, which causes issues for many refugees and new migrants across the country. Our hope is that schemes like the one we’re running will encourage other financial institutions to open their doors to refugees living and working in the country.”
Monese also noted that as a Europe-wide organization, it wants to extend this program to the rest of Europe to ensure it is having as much reach as possible. The digital bank added:
“The challenges in the rest of Europe are very different to the UK, as access to banking varies in difficulty and scope. Refugees in Germany, for example, are easily able to access a current account but not a debit card. We hope that as we extend our own product capabilities, we will be able to offer help with more complex issues.”