Government Legislation


#1

I wonder how starling will deal with this new legislation.

Thousands of UK citizens could have bank accounts mistakenly frozen due to immigration policy - The Independent


#2

I don’t think it will affect them. As part of our sign up process we had to photo some id and take a video so I think it’s already been done?

I never had to do that for my legacy bank and I think the legislation is bringing the legacy banks inline with what Starling (and the other fintechs) already do.


#3

Yes but part of legislation is to check the right to banking facility as part of the eligibility to stay in the U.K…

If you had a 2 year visa to stay in the U.K., the bank needs to ensure that your account is closed once your 2 year time limit is up


#4

I suppose they’ve also got to check passports that have expired as well just incase they’ve changed nationality?

Do you know if expiry dates appear on whatever a non-national would have used for IDs?

I’d like to think Starling has made this easier by the method they’re capturing this documentation.


#5

I have a British passport and I think runs out in so many years time.

I know on a foreign passport there Is a time limit stamped on it or letter from the Home office.

Expect a revisit/email From starling to get your ID docs again to them.


#6

“People whose visas have run out, failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation should then have their accounts closed down or frozen under the new legislation. “


#7

it is not just a matter of checking ID page of passport they also will now need to check any pages with Visas or immigration vignettes and stamps in


#8

Sounds awkward, especially for a bank with no branches to people to visit with paperwork. Glad it’s not my problem :smiley:


#9

To be fair though, you need a smartphone to use starling. Smartphones have cameras. Electronic document submission is accepted in UK banking, so those affected can use the camera on the phone they use to connect with starling to submit the document.

In terms of document collection it’s all fairly straightforward and then starling just need to follow the rules like any other bank.


#10

Or maybe they can just use the id they already have to lookup on a governmental database?


#11

That’s not correct. There’s no law against holding a UK bank account if you’re not resident in the UK. This policy is about forcing banks to help the government enforce it’s ‘hostile environment’ for illegal immigrants by freezing their accounts. Whether you think that is reasonable is up to you; I’ll only observe that the Home Office doesn’t have a particularly good record of knowing who is legally here:


#12

Of course then it becomes an issue for starling of compliance with warrants. It’s one thing for them to keep records and do what they can but if the home office or police compels them to do something like freeze an account they will have to comply as it will be accompanied by a court order I would have thought and they would be breaking the law by breaching it.


#13

This is coming into law.

What ever people personal situation law is law and no one is above the law.


#14

The change introducted by the Immigration Act 2016 is to require quarterly checks against the Home Office-supplied information in the CIFAS database. Previously checks were only required on account opening.

Regulation: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2016/1073/regulation/2/made
Relevant legislation (Schedule 7): http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2016/19/schedule/7/enacted


#15

So really this is just checking customers against a database every 3 months?


#16

Not just checking it checks user so rights to access public services etc like a normal resident or those entitlement to remain in the U.K.

Nothing is straight forward as checking a database


#17

Yes.
This was the guidance issued to banks related to the now-amended Immigration Act 2014: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-status-checks-guidance-for-banks
If Name, DOB and address all match, they must refuse to open the account. If it’s a partial match, it is “not obliged to … but … can refuse the application based on its existing risk tolerance and policies”.

In this case, it is that simple. Hence the concern from various quarters referenced in Post 1 Government Legislation. If the CIFAS database has errors, or the database check generates spurious matches, people will erroneously be caught up in this.