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MSE Blog: Why won’t banks give me a savings account?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
13 replies 2.6K views
Former_MSE_HelenFormer_MSE_Helen
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
Hi all, this is a thread to discuss the MSE blog:Why won’t banks give me a savings account?


"You’d have thought it was easy to apply for a savings account. Especially as you’re giving banks money. Think again...."
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  • gsd121gsd121 Forumite
    2 posts
    I am having the same problem with Santander. Despite being a customer for many yeats, when I tried to renew my authorised overdraft I was refused. The "Financial Adviser" could not provide me with a reason for this.
    Always taking a "No" as a challenge and not an answer made me dig further.
    It seems that, having moved house a year ago, Experian did not have my new address. This would seem to be the reason for my refusal because my Credit Rating is probably higher that that on Santander at present.
    How a Bank, that knew my new address and I am, incidentally, registered on the Voter's Roll managed to try to refuse me is a mystery. I would also point our that I currently have a Savings Account and a Credit Card from them!
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    I say "it appears" that’s the problem, because no-one really knows. Banks and agencies are so secretive they don’t tell you straight when it comes to credit reports, so I’m making an assumption based on the limited information I have.

    It's not so much that they are secretive but they just wont pass information (and cant due to data protection).

    I have used the electronic method with experian since it came out. In most cases it works fine. It can play up where there is a house name rather than number sometimes (in rural areas you can get multiple houses using the same name) but you expect most to pass the required check (the standards of the pass are set by the firm, not experian. So one bank may pass on one level whilst another may have a lower or higher level).

    The biggest issue is when you get a weird code, like an 18 (or something around that number). That is failure by a long way. Indeed, anything less than a 40 should be an automatic referral to the money laundering reporting officer for investigation (on our financial crime process). However, typically a failure that low means data is wrong. I have had these a handful of times over the years and we are not told what the data failing is. We have no right of access to that data. We just know it has failed. A figure like that tends to be data inconsistency of a more extreme nature.

    In the cases where something like "18" is the score, I told the person to contact experian as it was clearly a data issue. In each case, the credit file info supplied to the client was clean. No apparent issues. Also, when the ID check was run again after that, it went on to pass. My guess, as Experian never wanted to explain it and in a couple of cases I or the client was given misinformation, is that when they were told there was an issue, they cleaned the data up and offending items were removed but wouldnt admit to it. I have no proof of that but a failure before telling them and a success after telling them does suggest something changed.

    The checking system works well most of the time but like any database, it requires the data it is checking against to be correct. The credit file does not show all the data that is checked. it would be good if we could access our own data to validate it. Date of birth wrong (month/year swapped or someone reading a 3 as an 8 for example) will hit your score. If you have items on your file that show two different dates of birth, you get a warning about date of birth inconsistency and it can bring the score down. If you are not in the BT phone book or on the electoral roll then you are harming your chances of success even more. If you dont have many previous checks for credit, it reduces the chances of a successful pass.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • evenasusevenasus Forumite
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    gsd121 wrote: »
    I am having the same problem with Santander. Despite being a customer for many yeats, when I tried to renew my authorised overdraft I was refused.

    This thread is about obtaining a 'savings account' not borrowing.
    The time for saving for a house deposit, is before you marry/live together/have children.
    Save for what you want to buy
    .

    You're - You are
    Your - It's yours.
  • edited 12 June 2012 at 1:28PM
    premierfellapremierfella Forumite
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    edited 12 June 2012 at 1:28PM
    To be fair to the people you speak to at the other end of the call at the banks, there is every possibility that THEIR screen may not show the exact reason why the identity check has failed either!

    The Post Office references are obviously a red herring, given that it isn't really the post office behind that (its Bank of Ireland UK), but it spices up the blog story :) My dealings with Bank of Ireland on the credit card side suggest that they have some work to do to improve their UK back office processes.

    The electoral roll details would be the obvious starting point, as you would think that that (plus fraud checks) would be the only information the banks would need to use to verify identity for savings accounts (and obviously there would likely be a time lag between registering at the new address and this new registration being recorded at the credit reference agency). So the agencies claiming that the electoral role address is recorded correctly does open up questions.

    As highlighted, credit reference agencies (and many company address databases) don't deal well with flats. I think my issues with companies misaddressing mail to a flat in a difference block and failed checks on my address due to mismatching the address are now into triple figures!
  • dunstonh wrote: »
    If you are not in the BT phone book or on the electoral roll then you are harming your chances of success even more.

    interesting - i've not heard the BT phone book mentioned as being important before.
    If you dont have many previous checks for credit, it reduces the chances of a successful pass.

    i'm confused. i thought many previous checks for credit reduced the chances of passing another credit check. but are you talking about passing credit or identity checks here?
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  • edited 12 June 2012 at 3:58PM
    dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    edited 12 June 2012 at 3:58PM
    interesting - i've not heard the BT phone book mentioned as being important before.

    It may not be BT specific but i have found that having a BT phone helps as you know you are on the database then. With third party phone suppliers you may be but you may not.
    Some of the confirmation indicators are:

    Voters roll (ID and address) - current and previous addresses
    time on voters roll
    Credit File (ID and address) - current and previous addresses
    Application database (ID and address) - current and previous addresses
    Home telephone (surname and tel)
    CIFAS
    Documentation:- (for items manually input by the adviser/bank clerk etc - e.g. passport details, utility bill - the old manual items - these can count to a pass)

    The output gives a score called ID index (we pass 60 and above. report 40 and below for money laundering/fraud investigation). It also shows how many items cover ID & address or ID only or address only. Typically you need at least 2 ID and 2 address to get a good enough score. Although one of each could still pass.

    There are various reason codes given, such as RR08: verified date of birth or RR01: verfied minimum 2+2. You also get others such as RR07: 1 or more previous enquiries

    That is largely the extent of the data given. It doesnt give the actual data either. It just says ID & address or ID only etc. and a few reason codes. Not enough to give any real indication to the person as to why they have failed. You get an idea if it says only 1 ID available or inconsistent data warning. But that is all.
    i'm confused. i thought many previous checks for credit reduced the chances of passing another credit check. but are you talking about passing credit or identity checks here?

    The money laundering check system uses the data built up on applications. It has no impact on your ability to get credit but the info has to be on the database to be compared against.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    Just adding a bit more. here is a copy and paste of the data searched:

    –Voters roll: holds the details of everyone who is registered to vote at almost every address in the UK, the Isle of Man and Jersey. This information is fully updated every year and amended on a regular basis to produce a record of everybody over the age of 18, or who will soon be 18.

    –Postal address file: gives the address of every property in the UK, including postcodes, as supplied by the Post Office and regularly updated.

    –Public information file:this is compiled by Experian using information from Registry Trust Ltd, official gazettes and the insolvency service. It includes details of all County Court Judgements, Scottish decrees, bankruptcies, administration orders, voluntary arrangements and certificates of satisfaction.

    –Home telephone database: data from the Post Office National Change of Address (NCOA) file is used for fraud identification purposes to identify where a fraudster has set up a postal re-direction away from the supplied current address.

    –Accommodation address file: contains data (138,000 addresses) taken from Experian Business Information Ltd and Thomson databases. Used to identify fraudsters (making credit applications or buying goods using stoled credit card kdetails) using addresses that are not their current residential address but from where they can collect any mail sent to them.

    –Sanctions data: data relating to high-risk individuals, in the context of money laundering activities, includes data from the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the list of non-cooperative countries and territories (NCCT), Bank of England and the list of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

    –Additional deceased data: data associated with the process of probate and from Undertakers is used to contribute to the verification process.

    –CAIS(Credit Account Information Sharing): is the largest source of consumer credit histories in the UK. It holds information on over 270 million credit accounts. e-identitycheck uses only the non-financial data associated with CAIS records for customer verification purposes. Searches of this data will not effect customers ability to obtain credit.

    –CAPS(Credit Application Previous Search): CAPS is the UK’s largest file of information relating to credit applications made by individuals.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Joe_BloggsJoe_Bloggs Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Many of the issues I have experienced relate to postcode. If there was just one reference for this then there would be fewer ways to mess up.

    BT seems to think my flat uses a letter when the post office uses a number in their Postcode Address File or PAF for short.

    My bank, in a fit of computer lunacy, picked the first building in my PAF that matched the flat number and started to send account information to this address. My real address is thirty items further on in the PAF. I complained and they sent the acknowledgement of the complaint to the address I complained about.

    I still have this address on my Noddle file and have not checked Experian or Equifax.

    J_B.
  • crittertogcrittertog Forumite
    190 posts
    dunstonh wrote: »
    It's not so much that they are secretive but they just wont pass information (and cant due to data protection).
    That sounds like a red herring ... the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Access to Personal Files Act 1987, and their successor the Data Protection Act 1998 (implementing the European Data Protection Directive) allows for personal data to be disclosed to the subject. I understand that they're saying "we don't know if it's really you or not", but provided you could sufficiently identify it was you (probably using the items on the ID list - if this is good enough for money laundering & counter-terrorism, it should be good enough for the DPA), there's absolutely no reason why the DPA would prevent the release of this information.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    That sounds like a red herring ... the Data Protection Act 1984 and the Access to Personal Files Act 1987, and their successor the Data Protection Act 1998 (implementing the European Data Protection Directive) allows for personal data to be disclosed to the subject. I understand that they're saying "we don't know if it's really you or not", but provided you could sufficiently identify it was you (probably using the items on the ID list - if this is good enough for money laundering & counter-terrorism, it should be good enough for the DPA), there's absolutely no reason why the DPA would prevent the release of this information.

    The consent for people when making applications is for data to be supplied to the credit reference agency. Not for any company paying Experian to see the data.

    So, releasing personal data about applications made with other companies would breach data protection.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
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