'The bank ID farce: online accounts don't accept online statements' blog discussion

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  • rev_henry
    rev_henry Posts: 4,959 Forumite
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    I've never understood why YOU have to prove to the bank who YOU are to lend THEM money in the form of a savings account. I've always been tempted to go in and ask them if they consent to a credit check so they can pay my money back ok...
  • JimmyTheWig
    JimmyTheWig Posts: 12,199 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    I needed to withdraw more then my daily amount as I was going away. The bank said the only way I could withdraw a large amount was with a cheque book.
    It's bizarre, isn't it. With Halifax on Monday I just took my debit card in and they gave me £300 in cash over the counter with just a signiture. I'm not sure they even checked that it matched!

    So much for chip and pin making things more secure. There's no need if you can just get the cash from the bank...
  • Jesthar
    Jesthar Posts: 1,450 Forumite
    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the more major reasons I refuse to switch to paperless billing. The pitiful monetary savings aren't even close to being worth the potential for hassle... And I can have enough problems anyway, as although I have a driving license I don't have a passport, which can often mean 'they' want an extra proof or two over normal - I dread to think what 'they' would want from some unfortunate who didn't have either. If someone has a copy of the minutes of the meeting where it was decided to assume all UK residents *must* have one or the other, I'd be interested to see them!

    Having said that, last time my memory packed a mental and I got locked out of an online account, a phone call was all it took to sort it out. :D
    Never underestimate the power of the techno-geek... ;)
  • plusman
    plusman Posts: 33 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    A few years ago I had all of this hassle when trying to open a new savings account and they wanted something that proved where I live. Since all my utility and most of my bank information are paperless, I had to use a copy of my council tax or water rates bill (which could of course be up to a year out of date - really good for indicating where I currently live!).

    I refuse to send my passport or driving license in the post (in case it gets lost), and many banks (especially those that are exclusively online or with regional or few branches) have little or no high-street presence where you can bring documents in to have them verified locally.

    I also had problems when my son turned 16 and had to change an account held in my name in trust for him into his own name. Since he doesn't have any utility or other forms of i.d. (e.g. name on voters roll) in his own name (except for his passport) it was difficult to prove where he lived. (In the end we had to use a number of different forms of i.d. including a letter from the headmaster of his school to prove he was who he was claiming to be).

    I accept the need for security and to provide ways of mitigating use of accounts for money laundering, etc - but it is getting rather rediculous in terms of the number of hoops you have to go through to provide i.d. of who you are and where you live.

    I contacted a number of banks, the FSA and the British Bankers Association (BBA) to ask what they were doing as more and more people were managing their accounts online and in a paperless manner. As expected the banks said that they were just following legal and regulatory requirements, the FSA said to ask the banks or the BBA, and the BBA said it was up to the banks to decide what forms of identification they were happy to accept.

    The response from the BBA:
    [FONT=&quot]"The legal requirement for the evidence that is necessary to verify someone's identity is that it be from a reliable and independent source. In drawing up the guidance on anti money laundering, it was concluded that a bill or statement printed off the internet did not qualify as this, and so has not been listed as an example of evidence that is acceptable. That does not mean that an individual bank may not accept this - it is up to it to take a risk-based view.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Many internet banks verify much of a customer's identity electronically, which does not involve sending documents through the post. Where they see the money laundering risk as low, many also use the possibility of accepting, as a form of evidence, a cheque for the first payment into the account drawn [FONT=&quot]by the customer[/FONT] on another UK bank. This obviates the need for production of, for example, a utility bill. It is, however, a matter for each bank to decide upon for itself - this is not a procedure that they are rquired to adopt (or indeed are able to in all circumstances), as it depends on how they see the risk".[/FONT]

    [The comment made above about Internet Banks verifying indentity electronically is, in my view, also erroneous - I have yet to contact a bank that does not require some "hardcopy" of original or notarised information].

    So basically none of them are accepting any responsibility for changing the system or moving forward.

    Perhaps this is something that MSE or Martin need to start campaigning on - as it will only become more complicated and affect more people as we move more towards an online society.
  • mrploppy
    mrploppy Posts: 39 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 20 October 2010 at 2:12PM
    I've fallen foul of this myself recently. I bank with RBS and have "gone paperless", but I needed 3 months' worth of statements for an application at a different bank. Now, RBS, on their website, proudly announce that even when you've gone paperless, it's easy to request paper statements for when you need them, and you can do that 3 times a year for free. Trouble is, what you get is no better than a statement you could have printed yourself. I found this out when they were rejected by the other bank. If you want "real" statements, they charge £5 a time. I think their website is misleading and I wrote to the financial ombudsman to say so. I've learned my lesson - I won't go paperless again. BTW, NatWest are exactly the same (not surprisingly).
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    mrploppy, you might try switching to quarterly statements to reduce the post while still getting acceptable paper versions. No online option for this but it exists and works. If any interest or charges are due you'll still get statement that month with notification of charges.
  • mrploppy
    mrploppy Posts: 39 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    jamesd wrote: »
    mrploppy, you might try switching to quarterly statements to reduce the post while still getting acceptable paper versions. No online option for this but it exists and works. If any interest or charges are due you'll still get statement that month with notification of charges.

    Not much of an option though, is it, if you're 2 months into a quarter and you need the last 3 months statements for your application. I'd rather be completely paperless, but be able to get statements if and when I need them - for no cost, as advertised (misleadingly) on RBS's and NatWest's websites
  • jamesd
    jamesd Posts: 26,103 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    mrploppy, the posted one establishes a link to person and address for identification purposes, while online statements for more recent details are likely to be acceptable in such circumstances. After, all, you have provided your most recent three months statement, even if it is from almost three months ago.

    I've had no great difficulties in this situation, including with a recent mortgage application where the lender was content to accept online statement updates and payslips. I can't guarantee that it'll always be trouble-free but it has largely been so for me.
  • mrploppy
    mrploppy Posts: 39 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    jamesd wrote: »
    I've had no great difficulties in this situation ...

    Well good, but I can only comment on my experience.
  • chrisjw37
    chrisjw37 Posts: 75 Forumite
    edited 20 October 2010 at 5:02PM
    The NHS require GP staff, Pharmacists and some hospital;l staff to have NHS Smart ID cards (for Choose and Book)

    The registration requires a real utilty bill, not a printed one; but the utility companies charge £10 for a single print and the NHS refused to pay it back - so the staff simply said no and thus delayed the roll out of GP to Hospital appointment referrals by 5 years!

    (Insider knowledge)


    Better still when a married woman in a GP surgery brought hers in, it had her husbands name on it!
    No bill, no ID (and no refund) - she just walked out of NHS Bucks training sessions.


    Strangely - I've just submitted mine printed on an ink-jet printer for a police CRB check (identity & crim record) - No problemo.

    Don't worry, I'm clean and its standard for us pros.
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