You may be aware that we have been highlighting the issue of ID for many years. One of the biggest barriers to banking for many older people is the problem of ID and the fact that many banks and building societies will only accept a driving licence with a photo or a passport. This is of course useless for many older people, especially those in the ninety and beyond age group.
Many Londoners do not drive because of the cost, the congestion charge, a lack of parking, and just the unpleasantness of driving in London. Plus the reasonably good public transport makes holding a driving license unnecessary for many.
Regarding passports, my question to banks and financial services has always been: Why should you have to buy a passport to live in your own country and to access your own money? I thought passports were for when you wanted to leave the country! How many people in their nineties are going to waste their pension money on buying a new passport so they can access services?
But did you know that the BBA – the voice of banking, financial services, and the Building Societies Association – produced a leaflet in 2009 entitled Proving Your Identity, which highlighted different forms of acceptable ID? Why have we not heard about it? Obviously many bank staff are totally unaware of it.
Banks and building societies want to see two separate forms of identification – one document to prove who you are and another to confirm where you live. The best documents are those which are: issued by an official authority, cannot be easily forged, and include a photograph. Each bank/building society may differ on what they will accept, but all will accept more than just a driving licence or passport. The list in the leaflet includes:
- DWP benefit entitlement letter
- Utility bill
- NHS medical card (but must be under 20 years old)
- Private tenancy agreement
- Council rent card
- Council tenancy agreement
- Credit card statement
- Credit card
- Housing benefit entitlement letter
- Council tax bill
- Inland revenue letter
- Disabled drivers pass
- EU member ID card
- Letter from person of responsibility e.g. doctor, magistrate
- Letter from existing account holder
- Letter from employer
- Firearms certificate
- Residence permit
- National insurance card number with P45/60
- Birth certificate
- Home Office letter
- Freedom pass
- Motor or home insurance certificate
- Vehicle registration document
- Television licence renewal notice
The best thing to do is to check what the bank or building society will accept, but don’t be put off if they say only driving licence or passport – tell them to look on the BBA website www.bba.org.uk or www.bsa.org.uk. You will always have to provide the original documents – photocopies are not accepted.
You also need to be aware that if you want to bank by post, phone, or online, you will need to provide extra proof as you are not doing face-to-face banking, so more rigorous checks are needed to reduce the risk of fraud.
If you are having difficulty in providing the proof requested, talk to staff and tell them why you can’t provide the documents they want – all have procedures in respect of what ID they can and cannot accept. It is always helpful if you can give details of what documentation you can provide.
Good luck – I hope this information is helpful. Do let us know if you hit any difficulties.