Electronic ID Verification Frequently Asked Questions

In order to prevent money laundering, we are subject to increasingly stringent checks when performing financial transactions. Money laundering is the term given to any financial transaction that is intended to disguise the identity, source, or destination of money, and it is commonly associated with other illegal activity such as terrorism or the drugs trade. Leeds Building Society operates in line with both Money Laundering Regulations and Financial Conduct Authority Rules, whilst seeking to limit the extent to which these requirements can impact you when you deal with us.

Previously, we relied solely upon documentary evidence to prove ID, which customers do not always have to hand. Also, documents can be fraudulently obtained or faked. In order to reduce the risk of money laundering and potential fraud we rely upon a combination of checks that include computer system searches, a personal cheque deposit and, where appropriate, documentary evidence.

We wish to make your savings application as convenient an experience as possible and we hope that you will understand our responsibilities in today’s environment.

1. Is the electronic ID/address check the same as a credit search and will it affect my credit rating?

No. The check is not a credit search and other organisations will not see that an authentication search has been performed. This type of search will not affect your credit rating.

2. I/we have been at our current address for at least two years and we are registered on the electoral roll, so why do you say we have not been authenticated?

There could be various reasons for this. However, rest assured that the Society will consider documentary evidence, together with a personal cheque, as described in the email you received and/or the letter sent to you by us.

We use the Experian credit reference agency for our identity checks. Experian may check the details supplied against any database (public or otherwise) to which they have access. We regret that the Society is unable to provide any information relating to their files, however, you have the right to apply directly to Experian (at the address below) for details of information, which they hold about you – this is subject to payment of a fee. You should ensure that your letter includes:

  • Your full name: title, forename, 2nd initial, surname (and maiden name if appropriate)
  • Details of all addresses you have lived at over the last 6 years – including town, county, postcode and address you moved in to
  • A cheque or postal order, payable to ‘Experian’ for the fee, currently £2.00
  • The date and your signature to authorise the Credit File request.

Consumer Help Services
PO Box 8000
NG1 5GX Telephone: 0870 241 6212 website: www.experian.com

3. One joint account holder has been verified and the other has not, however, we have both lived at the same address for the same period. Why?

The reason is similar to Q2 above as it may be that data supplied to Experian has yet to be up-dated.

4. Why will you not accept documentary evidence without an electronic search?

Electronic data is becoming increasingly helpful in the fight to reduce money laundering and fraudulent activity. As a responsible building society, we wish to use the best means available, however, should the computer checks not provide the information needed, we may consider documentary evidence. A number of other banks and building societies will also be using similar computer checks.

5. Why do I need to send a personal cheque to open the account?

A personal cheque is an additional way for us to be confident that a customer is who they say they are. It shows that they have been through another organisation’s verification procedure, as well as our own.

6. I only have a cheque from another building society/bank, so what do I do?

That is not a problem, provided another form of acceptable ID can be produced. Please refer to the documented list of acceptable ID. If you wish to submit a personal cheque for a nominal amount, along with your main deposit, this would be acceptable as another form of evidence of ID.

7. I am an existing customer, yet you say that I have not been authenticated so I have to supply documentary evidence. Why and what does this mean?

Please refer to the answer to Q2, which explains the use of the Experian credit reference agency data.

Reasons as to why documentary evidence may be requested include:

  • Our systems attempted to match the information you input online against our database, however, there may not have been sufficient financial information to be able verify the details, or;
  • the records matched, however, we previously used paper documents and current computer methods look at other up-to-date, electronically held, information.