Have the lunatics taken over the Alliance & Leicester?


S

SidB

My wife has a current account with Alliance & Leicester Girobank which
she opened for reasons of convenience some years ago. Small amount were
paid into the account from time to time, and it was used as a convenient
way to draw out small amounts of cash from the local post office. No
transactions have been made in or out of the account since 2002 and the
balance stands at little over £1200.

She has decided that the account is no longer wanted and as it pays no
interest on credit balances she wrote to the A & L to ask them to close
it and transfer the balance to our joint current account with another
bank, giving the sort code and account number.

A & L have responded with a letter saying that they are "unable to deal
with your request at present due to Government regulations that apply to
all banks which are designed to prevent money laundering. Before your
request can be finalised I must have acceptable proof of your identity."

Have the loonies finally won?
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

mrcheerful

SidB said:
My wife has a current account with Alliance & Leicester Girobank which she
opened for reasons of convenience some years ago. Small amount were paid
into the account from time to time, and it was used as a convenient way to
draw out small amounts of cash from the local post office. No
transactions have been made in or out of the account since 2002 and the
balance stands at little over £1200.

She has decided that the account is no longer wanted and as it pays no
interest on credit balances she wrote to the A & L to ask them to close it
and transfer the balance to our joint current account with another bank,
giving the sort code and account number.

A & L have responded with a letter saying that they are "unable to deal
with your request at present due to Government regulations that apply to
all banks which are designed to prevent money laundering. Before your
request can be finalised I must have acceptable proof of your identity."

Have the loonies finally won?
Yes.
I have kept an account at abbey for twenty plus years, the account is
always in use for all my banking. I recently applied for a savings account
online, I was surprised that they sent me forms to sign and they asked for
cheque deposit, rather than transfer, but I signed and sent. A few days
later my cheque (drawn on abbey) is sent back, along with the forms, asking
for proof of my address (the same address for last 25 years), since they
send me stuff to that address they already know it is mine, the cheque from
them has come and gone to that same address, so what further proof can they
need. In addition the entire letter was full of misspellings and terrible
grammar, so I wrote a few suitable comments and returned it to head office.
I then went on line to EGG (where I have a credit card) and instantly opened
a savings account and made the transfer from my abbey account also
instantly. So if egg can do it why cant abbey?

mrcheerful
 
D

Daytona

SidB said:
Have the loonies finally won?
Yes, AL are the most incompetent bank I've come across. The strange
thing is that I own shares in them (not from floatation) which have
done well and yield a good dividend. So I suspect that they do a good
job of keeping costs down, which leads to the incompetence, but
enables them to churn out good profits.

Daytona
 
C

Chris Blunt

My wife has a current account with Alliance & Leicester Girobank which
she opened for reasons of convenience some years ago. Small amount were
paid into the account from time to time, and it was used as a convenient
way to draw out small amounts of cash from the local post office. No
transactions have been made in or out of the account since 2002 and the
balance stands at little over £1200.

She has decided that the account is no longer wanted and as it pays no
interest on credit balances she wrote to the A & L to ask them to close
it and transfer the balance to our joint current account with another
bank, giving the sort code and account number.

A & L have responded with a letter saying that they are "unable to deal
with your request at present due to Government regulations that apply to
all banks which are designed to prevent money laundering. Before your
request can be finalised I must have acceptable proof of your identity."
I suspect this may have something to do with the recently tightened
money-laundering rules. At one time, only new customers of banks were
required to supply proof of identification/address. Existing customers
who had opened accounts before the rules came into force were allowed
to continue to operate their accounts.

That was changed a couple of years ago, and banks were required to go
back and verify the identity of all their old customers as well.
Obviously that was a fairly hefty exercise, and I think they were
allowed to carry out this over a period of time. It was probably the
fact that you wanted to close the account that sparked their
attention.

I've had an account with HSBC for around 20 years now and last year,
out of the blue, they send me a letter asking for proof of address and
a copy of my passport.

Chris
 
G

Geoff

I had pretty much the same treatment. The real odd thing is that you can get
a new credit card with no proof of identity what so ever - its only those
wanting to save up money that get the inquisition. Bizarre.

Geoff
 
L

Layezee

My wife has a current account with Alliance & Leicester Girobank which
I had pretty much the same treatment. The real odd thing is that you can
get a new credit card with no proof of identity what so ever - its only
those wanting to save up money that get the inquisition. Bizarre.
Why can't she just write out a cheque?
 
Ad

Advertisements

B

Big Squidger

Chris said:
I suspect this may have something to do with the recently tightened
money-laundering rules. At one time, only new customers of banks were
required to supply proof of identification/address. Existing customers
who had opened accounts before the rules came into force were allowed
to continue to operate their accounts.

That was changed a couple of years ago, and banks were required to go
back and verify the identity of all their old customers as well.
Obviously that was a fairly hefty exercise, and I think they were
allowed to carry out this over a period of time. It was probably the
fact that you wanted to close the account that sparked their
attention.

I've had an account with HSBC for around 20 years now and last year,
out of the blue, they send me a letter asking for proof of address and
a copy of my passport.

Chris
What did you do? Why not ignore it? When you opened the account 20
years ago, did you have to provide any ID at all?

It is worth noting that when I opened my smile account in 1999, they did
not require ID; same with egg. I guess they did everything through
credit reference agencies and the electoral roll. Does anyone know if
this is the case today, or are they forced to ask for ID?
 
J

John Redman

Big Squidger said:
It is worth noting that when I opened my smile account in 1999, they did
not require ID; same with egg. I guess they did everything through credit
reference agencies and the electoral roll. Does anyone know if this is
the case today, or are they forced to ask for ID?
The latter. New money laundering regs came in in 2003. If you're borrowing
you're just a credit risk so it's their problem if you turn out to be a
wrong 'un. If you're depositing large sums you're a money laundering risk
and banks now have to check that you are who you say you are. If they fail
to do so, staff and managers can be jailed. They seem to have decided
individually what they need to do to establish this, and to have come up
with different answers. Some high street banks seem to be more zealous than
others when it comes to this.

In effect, just as businesses were made into unpaid tax collectors by the
introduction of VAT, they've been made into unpaid anti-terrorist agencies
by the money laundering act.
 
C

Chris Blunt

What did you do? Why not ignore it? When you opened the account 20
years ago, did you have to provide any ID at all?
I sent them a copy of my passport, as they asked. Why would I not want
to help them comply with the rules? They hadn't asked for any ID when
the account was opened.

Chris
 
M

mrcheerful

Big Squidger said:
What did you do? Why not ignore it? When you opened the account 20 years
ago, did you have to provide any ID at all?

It is worth noting that when I opened my smile account in 1999, they did
not require ID; same with egg. I guess they did everything through credit
reference agencies and the electoral roll. Does anyone know if this is
the case today, or are they forced to ask for ID?
egg didn't want anything for a large deposit into a new savings account
 
T

Tim

I've had an account with a particular bank for nearly 20 years now, and they
haven't required any ID checks - at least not in the last decade.
I sent them a copy of my passport, as they asked...
I'd seriously consider closing the account if my bank asked me for that now!
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

peter.king

Tim said:
I'd seriously consider closing the account if my bank asked me for
that now!

Don't worry, if you refuse to provide the proof of ID I'm sure the bank
will close the account for you without any need for further action from
you.

Its hardly the banks fault they have a duty to 'know their customer'
and request identification of new and existing customers.

If you have a problem with it you should have complained to your MP
*BEFORE* it was made law rather than wasting your time complaining to
your bank.

Peter
 
Z

Zeddi

John said:
The latter. New money laundering regs came in in 2003. If you're borrowing
you're just a credit risk so it's their problem if you turn out to be a
wrong 'un. If you're depositing large sums you're a money laundering risk
and banks now have to check that you are who you say you are. If they fail
to do so, staff and managers can be jailed. They seem to have decided
individually what they need to do to establish this, and to have come up
with different answers. Some high street banks seem to be more zealous than
others when it comes to this.
Like who for example? I think it was Birmingham Midshires who I once
noticed demanded something like 4 pieces of ID!
 
T

Tim

If you have a problem with it you should have
complained to your MP *BEFORE* it was made law
rather than wasting your time complaining to your bank.
Who said I am (/would be) *complaining* to the bank?

I simply couldn't be arsed to mess about providing ID for an account which I
can easily do without...
 
J

John Redman

Zeddi said:
Like who for example? I think it was Birmingham Midshires who I once
noticed demanded something like 4 pieces of ID!
AIUI, they are supposed to obtain proof of identity and proof of address.
What they'll settle for by way of proof seems to be a matter of individual
discretion. I wasn't asked for any such proof when I opened 3 building
society savings accounts recently but when I borrowed money (mortgage) I had
to come up with about 4 separate docs...
 
M

mrcheerful

interesting sign in the car showroom I visited today. They won't accept any
more than 7,500 pounds in cash for payments due to money laundering regs.

mrcheerful
 
Ad

Advertisements

P

Peter Saxton

My wife has a current account with Alliance & Leicester Girobank which
she opened for reasons of convenience some years ago. Small amount were
paid into the account from time to time, and it was used as a convenient
way to draw out small amounts of cash from the local post office. No
transactions have been made in or out of the account since 2002 and the
balance stands at little over £1200.

She has decided that the account is no longer wanted and as it pays no
interest on credit balances she wrote to the A & L to ask them to close
it and transfer the balance to our joint current account with another
bank, giving the sort code and account number.

A & L have responded with a letter saying that they are "unable to deal
with your request at present due to Government regulations that apply to
all banks which are designed to prevent money laundering. Before your
request can be finalised I must have acceptable proof of your identity."

Have the loonies finally won?
Loonies have been in control in banks for a long time.
 
P

Peter Saxton

I suspect this may have something to do with the recently tightened
money-laundering rules. At one time, only new customers of banks were
required to supply proof of identification/address. Existing customers
who had opened accounts before the rules came into force were allowed
to continue to operate their accounts.

That was changed a couple of years ago, and banks were required to go
back and verify the identity of all their old customers as well.
Obviously that was a fairly hefty exercise, and I think they were
allowed to carry out this over a period of time. It was probably the
fact that you wanted to close the account that sparked their
attention.

I've had an account with HSBC for around 20 years now and last year,
out of the blue, they send me a letter asking for proof of address and
a copy of my passport.

Chris
Why mess around for small sums. They could easily say you dont need to
provide proof for accounts with small cash flows but once there is a
certain level of large activity the account is frozen until proof of
ID is provided.
 
P

peter.king

Peter said:
Why mess around for small sums. They could easily say you dont need to
provide proof for accounts with small cash flows but once there is a
certain level of large activity the account is frozen until proof of
ID is provided.
Because the idea of being able to open lots of accounts with no ID and
feed cash into them below a trigger limit and get a cheque back is a
money launders wet dream?

Peter
 
Ad

Advertisements

J

John-Smith

Chris Blunt said:
I've had an account with HSBC for around 20 years now and last year,
out of the blue, they send me a letter asking for proof of address and
a copy of my passport.
I've had that 6 months ago with Bank of Scotland, after being with
them for a number of years. I ignored it, and haven't heard since.

These people are complete and utter tossers. They do need to comply
with some ML regs but most of them go over the top. I walk away from
any outfit that does this, as a matter of principle.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Similar Threads


Top