Opening a current account

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Bettypat | 20:36 Wed 13th Apr 2011 | Business & Finance
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My sister wanted to change her current account to my bank Natwest. I asked Natwest what she needed to do, and they said that she had to either produce a passport or a driving licence. She has neither of these, and they said nothing else would do and therefore she would not be able to change over to them. Is this a rule for all banks or is it just Natwest. She was born in this country and has lived here all her life.


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When I changed banks the new bank gave a list of things I had to produce. This seems to be fairly standard requirement.
I was told that there are other things that can be produced if you don't have the photo identity documents, I'd recommend she checks up online with Nat West bank questions, it might help there. I opened an account with them a couple of years ago and didn't find them very helpful at all....cancelled the account because of this and never went back to them. Hope she has better luck if she goes with them.
All banks have fairly similar requirements, in order to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations 2007.

However NatWest haven't given you the full story. If your sister has any correspondence from the tax man (HMRC) that will also suffice. If she's currently in receipt of state benefits, the benefits notification can be used:

Barclays stick with the 'passport or driving licence' rule but they also offer a phone number for anyone without such documentation to seek assistance:

HBOS (Halifax and the Bank of Scotland) will accept a Council Tax bill or council tenancy agreement:

The requirements for Lloyds TSB are here:

See here for RBS:

Here's the list for Santander:

I doubt if it's a rule for Natwest even - you probably encountered a badly trained customer advisor.

Banks generally require you to prove WHO you are and WHERE you live. They can be flexible in what they accept, and most have a fairly long list of possibilities. For example for who you are a recent letter from the taxman or benefits agency usually suffices.

Try and speak to someone higher up in the branch and see if you can get any sense out of them.
I couldn't sell my house nine years ago because I didn't have a passport or up to date driving licence (it was still one of the green ones, and still had my previous address on it). There was nothing for it but to update, so I got a new passport and a new photo driving licence.
Proving identity is fair enuogh. Insisting of dicumetnation one can legitimately not have seems weird, and probably incorrect.

BTW you own Nat West ? Wow, I'll be around with a bunch of flowers and a box of chocs later.
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Thank you all very much for your advice. My sister already has two accounts with Natwest, i.e an ISa and a savings account. She also has a joint current account with myself, which we have had for 45 years. It is just a current account in her own name she wanted. However, the adviser would not hear me out and was just adamant that there was nothing that could be done. I went into the branch to pay in a cheque and I was approached by a member of staff who suggested I had my accounts reviewed and I was put on to this very unhelpful assistant.
If she already has accounts with Natwest then she will have already have completed the money laundering checks. They wouldn't even have to do a credit score check since she already has a joint account. I can't understand why she can't have in her own name.
If she has accounts that date back to before money laundering checks were so strict - or even non-existent - then they my well treat her as a new customer for a new account
Even if the accounts were opened before money laundering checks came into force they don't need to do them all again just because she wants another account (although sometimes they are done if just savings accounts are held). The fact that she already has a current account sole or otherwise is enough as far as ml checks go.
It sounds as if the person you spoke to didn't know what they were talking about. My bank lets me open additional accounts without demonstrating furtehr ID, they already have all my details.

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