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Opening of bank accounts

Opening of bank accounts

Topic created on, Friday, February 3, 2017 , from London
Hi, Just wondering what are people's experiences of opening bank accounts for people with a lack of address? We give out letters allowing people to use our address but we have found in the recent months more and more bank are not accepting our letters as proof of address and some are refusing the HMRC letters with the NI number on it. Does anyone have any suggestions or know of other options?

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(Housing and Welfare Advisor ), from London hi Toynbee Hall have produced Guide call SAFE ID for : Banking Benefits Health Housing www.toynbeehall.org.uk email idhandbook@toynbeehal.org.uk Tel 0207 392 2954
(Senior support worker), from St Austell I have had issues due to lack of our clients not having photo ID and then not having enough letters with their address on. I have managed to get round this with one client by asking the social worker to write a letter putting the clients address on. I have also been notifying DWP of the experiences as was informed that to open a simple bank account they only needed limit ID. Inform DWP as this was part of the policy by the government. Hope this helps.
(Lettings & Homeless Coordinator), from Hemel Hempstead I get our clients to open a basic post office account as they will accept benefit award letters as proof of ID http://www.postoffice.co.uk/standard-account
(Project Worker), from London I often open a Change Account - https://www.thechangeaccount.com/ . They ask for ID/ proof of address but tend to be more lenient with it. Hope that helps!
(Lifeskills Youth Worker ), from Blackpool Hi, this is something we struggle with constantly, particularly now we have universal credits, as they will only pay benefits into an account that does not belong to the benefit claimant for one month. We have recently used the VRF ID fund for a provisional driving licence as it has photo and address. We also write a letter for our service users stating how long they have been receiving support with their name, address and N.I number on headed paper- that sometimes helps.
(Tenancy sustainment ), from Plymouth Devon We've recently had this discussion in our Plymouth meeting. Sharing our experiences, we get the feeling that the banks may have their own local agreements as to which one or two will be more lenient regarding proofs of ID & address for benefit claimants! Barclays used to be great, then TSB! I have been tasked to find out from the banks what they will or will not accept for homeless people and/or people claiming benefit. I'll post my findings, if anyone will be interested?
(Youth Volunteer Development Officer), from Blackpool Hi, new to the Forum. Particular issue I have come across. Here's what I did in Lancaster to solve it whilst working with clients on Probation. 1st - went and made contact with the banks in a positive way. Can you help me find a solution to this problem because really I am just trying to help people? Find a bank in your area that's receptive to you and work with them. Also established a contact for people to ask for when opening accounts. 2nd - Found out what the minimum ID needed was that the bank would accept. Turns out for some, this can be two letters from different support workers, on headed paper verifying address and ID. One has to be used for each - so one cannot confirm both ID and address and the organisation different if possible. 3rd - worked to implement this strategy with my clients. Interesting to note that FCA guidelines state that financial institutions should be aware of the potential of excluding vulnerable individuals due to excessive and strict legislation and where they are unable to satisfy an ID because of lack of photo ID, for example, they may accept referral/recommendation letter as per point two.
(Network Development Manager), from London Thanks - that's really useful! We've been compiling examples of where people have been able to find solutions with local banks and are now looking into if there is anything that could be done at a national level. We'll keep you all posted on progress.

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