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Verify your identity

When you open a business, professional or charity account with us we will ask for proof of identity. Our preferred way to identify applicants is through SmartSearch, an online tool that uses information from Credit Reference Agencies to verify your identity. However we understand that in some cases this may not always be possible. On these rare occasions we may also need to see proof of your name and address to confirm who you are. This is so we can protect against identity fraud and comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Some popular documents to verify your identity are:

  • A photo of your photo identification (for example a bus pass, driving licence or passport)
  • A photo of yourself so we can check against ID (a selfie is fine!)
  • A photo of the front of your bank card or a bank statement showing your nominated bank details

Full list of documents we accept to identify who you are:

  • Photo card driving licence – photograph valid for ten years from date of issue
  • Full UK/EU passport
  • Disabled persons card with photo and reference – no more than three years old
  • Shotgun Licence/Firearms certificate
  • Latest Tax Notice of Coding – no more than one year old
  • Original birth certificate – applicants under 18 only
  • National Insurance card – applicants under 16 only
  • A grant letter from an LEA – students only
  • Pension letter
  • Pension card
  • Bus pass – issued by the council

Full list of documents we accept to identify where you live:

  • Latest bank statement
  • Mortgage statement
  • Latest Council tax bill
  • Driving Licence – if not used as verification of identity
  • Latest Tax Notice of Coding – no more than one year old – if not used as verification of identity
  • Solicitors letter confirming house move – no more than two months old
  • Utility bill – no more than three months old
  • A grant letter from an LEA – students only – if not used as verification of identity
  • P60
  • Letter from a care home
  • Medical card

In addition, please note:

For incorporated businesses, a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation will be required.

For partnerships where there are more partners than named signatories on the account, a letter will be required, signed on behalf of the firm, advising the names of the signatories, and the number required to operate the account. This letter must be signed by a Partner who is NOT one of the named signatories.

Accepted Charities must include a letter from their governing body stating their intention to open an account, the names of the signatories and the number required to operate the account.

Trusts: for tax purposes all trustees and beneficiaries must be residents only in the UK and be UK citizens. All Trust applications will also need to share a copy of the trust deed.

Pensions: Personal details of all named members or signatories are required, which includes name, address, NI Number and date of birth. All pension account applications will also need to share a copy of the pension deed, scheme details and HMRC pension scheme tax reference confirmation.

If you need to produce identification to open your account, we will require either the original document or a certified copy of the document. Documents can be certified by a UK Solicitor or Chartered or Certified Accountant, Doctor, Police Officer or Teacher. The copy must be certified ‘originals seen’, dated and signed, giving the contact details of the person certifying the copies. If the document contains a photograph, it must be certified as providing a good likeness of you. The Society undertakes checks to verify the person certifying the document for you.

We do not encourage you to send original documents in the post. Please note it is not our company policy to return original documents via special delivery services.

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