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

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  • Gunderful
    Gunderful Posts: 443 Forumite
    When I tried to open a new metro bank account the ID they wanted was stupid.
    An addressed utility bill, but it had to be a certain type from a restrictive list. No mobile, no water, not virgin media even for landline.
    3 months of statements from my other bank, not online ones.
    Passport
    Debit Card from above bank statements.
    And a pound coin to open the account with.

    Luckily I'm a premier customer with my other bank, so just went to their nearest branch, and asked for the statements with addresses on.
    Was told by the minion on the front desk not possible.
    Moaned at them and got passed over to the premier account manager and got the statements printed out and stamped with the branch stamp.

    Went back to metro bank and was now told that the statements were not good enough, despite being on bank headed paper, stamped and certified.
    Went into p***ed off mode and they said they'd see what the ID department could do. (they always have departments for everything).

    Amazingly they accepted the docs, did a debit card address check with experian an opened my account.

    I also have set up a special question and answer on all my bank accounts which only the bank knows the answer to. Kinda a reverse of when they try to verify me.

    To not accept utility bills for mobile and TV is standard practice across many banks.

    What sort of account were you opening? I opened a metro current account with just driving license and council tax statement as proof of address. Very quick and easy.
    Gunderful a.k.a JudgeJules8165
  • Name and shame this stupid bank!

    How is a paper statement proof of ID?!?

    When you setup your bank account you are asked for passports/driving licenses to prove you are who you say you are and your credit rating serves as a trust for the bank that when you say you live someone you actually do.

    Then you exchange various passphrases and are asked for characters from these phrases to identify you.

    I reckon this stupid bank must be Barclays, HSBC, NatWest or RBS, only the big rip-off banks do stupid stuff like that.
  • JuicyJesus
    JuicyJesus Posts: 3,830 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    Geedoubleu wrote: »
    I reckon this stupid bank must be Barclays, HSBC, NatWest or RBS, only the big rip-off banks do stupid stuff like that.

    Did you not see the posts above complaining about Santander, Halifax and the Co-op? And why do Lloyds get a free pass?
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • Geedoubleu wrote: »
    Name and shame this stupid bank!

    How is a paper statement proof of ID?!?

    When you setup your bank account you are asked for passports/driving licenses to prove you are who you say you are and your credit rating serves as a trust for the bank that when you say you live someone you actually do.

    Then you exchange various passphrases and are asked for characters from these phrases to identify you.

    I reckon this stupid bank must be Barclays, HSBC, NatWest or RBS, only the big rip-off banks do stupid stuff like that.

    erm paper statement is proof of address, not ID.
    Gunderful a.k.a JudgeJules8165
  • I bank with RBS and am paper-free. If I need any paper statements they will send me 6 months worth without charge, it is on the website when you log in, therefore I don't need to keep any because they have pre-empted this problem. One less set of junk for me to keep :)
  • ollski
    ollski Posts: 943 Forumite
    I keep all my login details on a notepad file on my pc they are so complicated I honestly can't remember any of them...kind of defeats the object doesn't it.
  • lilian1977
    lilian1977 Posts: 5,024 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'm not sure anyone else on these boards would get away with such a statement. Come on, Martin, how did it happen?

    I got locked out last month through no fault of my own - something was wrong with my laptop so it was randomly acting as if the Shift key was held down. As I didn't have to retype my log in name (saved on my password protected laptop) I just had to type in my password - and as you don't get to see what you're typing, I assumed I was mistyping the first two times!
    My debt free diary | Post Office loan: £5,000 | Virgin Credit Card: £4079.19
  • I think the issues with being paperless has always been that what you are able to access online, is not accepted for ID purposes by 3rd parties and in this case the Bank themselves due to the format etc and you just feel that it would be easier to remain as a paper statement customer.

    What I have managed to find out with my bank, after some digging- in fact I have accounts with both NatWest and RBS and it is the same for both - is that as a paperless customer I can order what they call a Transactional History List. Takes 2-3 days apparently, is free and allows me to remain paperless. Due to the fairly quick timescales, allows me to order an adhoc List whenever I need it for ID.
    Hope that you guys find this useful
  • jrawle wrote: »
    For savings accounts, they will certainly do it electronically. I tend to open one or two new accounts each year for the best rates, and haven't had to send documents for years.
    I like others have had the opposite experience. I'm never accepted electronically. Some on MSE savings board have suggested it's because I'm ex-directory so the system fails that part of the checking routine against my given phone number, amongst whatever other checks they do Yes I am on the electoral roll, yes I have lived here a long time, yes I've checked my credit reports and there is nothing odd on them. So yes I do always have to send off copies of statements from banks/credit cards etc which are anyway from the same banks/credit cards appearing on the credit reports. If you do go for online statements then I strongly recommend you download them as they are made available and store them on your computer - and then back them up. Why? 'Cos if your card/account is scammed and has to be closed you will loose access to the old statements. I.Revenue anyway require you to keep records for 7 years at least, whereas the banks only seem to allow access to around 1 years statements online.
  • PhylPho
    PhylPho Posts: 1,443 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Been away for a few days, so missed Martin's original post. I agree with every word of it -- but disagree with every post here that bangs on about how some 'personal inconvenience' is a small price to pay. Oh, rubbish. It's not a 'small price' at all, but a waste of time and effort and, conceivably, of a substantial sum of money (because no, we don't all have in-house lawyers.)

    As to how demented these financial institution jobsworths have become, our experience may well be typical.

    We applied to Alliance & Leicester (when it was still trading as such, though under Santander's leaky umbrella) earlier this year to open a Cash ISA. We live in the converted mews block of a converted country house. Our home therefore has a number to identify our individual property, then the name of the country house, then the road where the country house is located.

    Could anything be simpler or more straightforward?

    No -- unless you're a typical UK financial institution. Having taken our online details, A&L promptly mangled them and mailed out correspondence to us at the name of the house first, and then the number of our property as being its location on the road.

    So instead of 8, The Hollies, Ocean Drive, the correspondence went to The Hollies at 8, Ocean Drive.

    Somehow, that correspondence finished up with us -- half a mile from the address to which it had been sent. When we opened it, the letter was all about how our application could not be processed and we now needed to provide certified copies of this, that and the other.

    In other words, face up to "the small price to pay" of sharing our private affairs with someone able to "certify" each and every "original document" and then post it all of. . . only for the said financial institution to as like as not lose everything anyway.

    We rang A&L to complain. A&L said it had to ask for all this certified info because it could not reconcile our names with the address. Well, not bloody surprising: we're Mr and Mrs Phylpho living at 8 The Hollies, as distinct from Mr and Mrs Pottlebottom living at The Hollies, 8.

    Ah, said A&L. Now we see what's happened. We've got your address completely wrong. Never mind. Can you now go ahead and do everything we ask anyway?

    We said no, we won't. You've admitted you cocked up the whole thing so you should be devoting your time to putting it right. Response: sorry, we can't do that -- once a query has been flagged over an anomaly in name / address details, then that's it. You must provide the information requested.

    Outcome:

    1) We didn't bother opening an ISA with A&L-Santander because they're all obviously bonkers BUT;

    2) We did receive a letter from Santander itself shortly after which was correctly addressed but far from sorting out the ISA situation, instead contained our replacement debit card for use at cash machines everywhere BUT;

    3) We don't have any Santander accounts of any kind: not bank or building society or any other kind, so don't have a debit card that needs replacing, and so we sent it back, AND:

    4) Santander has never replied to our letter.

    So, to all those posters here who think UK financial institutions are peopled by highly trained employees following company policies intended to protect every customer, and that customers have but "a small price" to pay in regard to that wonderful protection, here's a reality check:

    1) Large financial institutions can and do !!!! up important customer data themselves and then are utterly incapable of correcting their own errors because of the straitjacket of their own nonsensical procedures, and:

    2) Large financial institutions can and do -- at the same time they're banging on about how customers must prove this and certify that -- mail out debit cards relating to the bank or savings accounts of people who have no connection at all with the folks to whom they've sent that card.

    You carry on complaining, Martin. You're fully justified. ;)
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