Nowadays having a bank account seems a must, but it also just makes life easier. Most people decide to open a current account (= account for regular everyday use), useful when doing the shopping or paying bills. if you have to make a regular payment, like rent, you can ask the bank to pay this amount for you automatically; this arrangement is called a standing order. At regular intervals you can be sent a statement giving details of each deposit (= money you put in) and withdrawal (= money you take out). With a bank account, it is easy to withdraw (= take out) money at an ATM (= cash machine) or check what your balance is whenever you need it (= how much money is left). Provided, you do not choose to do all your banking online …

More contexts for the new words:

  • It is important for me to be up-to-date with the current news. (= what is happening at present)
  • Unimaginable sums of money are deposited in banks every day. (= paid into a bank account)




Tell George the confused panda what he should do in these situations.

Example: ‘I’m hungry.’ à Get something to eat.


  1. I have never been to a bank. What should I do first?
  2. I want to have my zoo rent paid regularly from my account.
  3. I want to know how much money I have in my account.
  4. I have some cash. How do I get it into my account?
  5. Hey, now I want to get my cash back! I have to buy some bamboo shoots!
  6. OK, but how do I do that? I don’t want to go to the bank again.
  7. I just got a letter from the bank. They write about some ‘balance.’ What is it?
  8. Thank you, my dear friend!



Complete each gap with one word, then answer the questions.


  1. In which bank do you have your current ………………………? Are you satisfied with it? Why/ why not?
  2. In an average month, how many d…………………….. and w………………….. do you make?
  3. If you want to get cash at night, where is your closest ………………………….. ?




You already know how to create passive sentences in different tenses (the verb BE in a given tense + 3RD form of verb). Sometimes, however, you want to create a passive sentence containing a modal verb, like the example from the lesson given below:

’At regular intervals you can be sent a statement giving details of each transaction you have made.’

Whenever you use a modal verb in a passive sentence, you have to put the verb (e.g. CAN, SHOULD, MIGHT, OUGHT TO, WOULD), then BE (always in its bare infinitive form) and finally a verb in its 3rd form.

Look at some example sentences:

The parcel should be sent by the end of the week.
Don’t touch it, you might be hurt.
The project ought to be completed by August 20th.





A/ Will we go shopping today?

B/ No, we can’t. It’s a BANK HOLIDAY.


A bank holiday is a public holiday when shops, businesses, and banks are closed. This is a British word; the American equivalent is a national holiday.







  1. If you CASH IN ON something, you get money or another advantage from a situation, often in an unfair way.

A lot of people are trying to cash in on the situation.

They accused her of trying to cash in on her son’s fame.


  1. When you SAVE ON something, you avoid using something (e.g. electricity, food) so that you do not have to pay for it.

He goes to bed very early to save on his electricity bills.

She saves on food by eating very little.





Match the sentence halves.


  1. Keep your showers short a. on the financial crisis.
  2. Some banks have cashed in b. to save on water.
  3. Nobody’s working today – c. it’s a bank holiday.







Be wary of banking promotion campaigns. Banks try to lure new customers – and their money – with exciting promotional offers, but to those of us who tend not to read the small print, the results might be disastrous. One of the increasingly common tricks is exploiting the interchange fee – the money paid between banks for the acceptance of card-based transactions. This fee is exceptionally high in Poland – in fact, it is one of the highest in Europe. This is why many smaller shops still don’t accept payment by card. Anyway, the idea is that the bank shares the profits from the interchange fee with you, so – if you use the debit card often – you can get even a few hundred zlotys a year. Sounds tempting? It is, but not when you take into account all the other fees that you have to pay – for running the account, for making money transfers, using ATMs, and basically for everything else. So, the net result might be that you do get 300 zł, but you have to pay 600 zł or more in all the fees. So don’t get caught!





wary – very careful

lure – attract dishonestly

exploiting – using dishonestly

debit card – a card which uses money from your account (unlike a credit card, which uses the bank’s money)

tempting – attractive

transfers – sending money from one bank account to another


download lesson (pdf)





(sample answers)

  1. Open a current account.
  2. Get a standing order.
  3. Get a statement.
  4. Make a deposit.
  5. Make a withdrawal.
  6. Use an ATM.
  7. This is how much money you have in your account.
  8. You’re welcome, George the panda :).


Ex. 2

  1. account
  2. deposits, withdrawals
  3. ATM



  1. b
  2. a
  3. c