Can a Bank Refuse to Open a Bank Account?

Bank account 

If you need to open a bank account there is some information that you need to be aware of as the bank will want you to go through identification procedures before such a bank account can be opened for you. These are in compliance with the statute and money laundering regulations. In some circumstances the bank or a building society may not be willing to open a bank account for you. These circumstances will be listed below.

Refusal

The bank is allowed to refuse to open a bank account for you in some circumstances. It is not necessary for the bank to inform you of the reasons for the refusal. Such decision is considered legal as long as it does not constitute discrimination on one of the following grounds; these are race,sex,disability, sexuality, religion. If the decision to refuse to open a bank account for you was based on one of those grounds you could have a claim for discrimination in courts or you could also complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. There are certain requirements which you have to comply with before you can apply for and be eligible for the bank account to be opened for you. It may be difficult for you to open a bank account in certain circumstances. These will be listed below.

Requirements to fulfil

In order for certain type of accounts to be open for you, you have to be 18 or over. You have to provide the bank with the proof of your identity before then bank can open a bank account for you. You may be refused to be open a bank account if you were declared bankrupt in the past or you have previously committed fraud.

Connection with Money Laundering

In order to stop the proceeds of the crime to pass through the bank accounts it is necessary that sufficient money laundering checks are in place so that to make sure that money laundering activities are detected and reported as soon as possible. The basic checks are identity checks consisting of standard identification procedures. If a person is not resident but physically present in the UK and he or she wishes to open a bank account will be asked to go through standard identification procedures. If a person is non-resident and not physically present in the UK and he or she wishes to open a bank account, he or she should clearly demonstrate the need for a bank account or it should be proved that he or she falls within the criteria of wealth management customers. The bank will therefore carry out enhanced due diligence in order to make sure that sufficient checks are in place. If members of HM Diplomatic Service want to open a bank account they will be required to go through standard identification procedures too. It is sometimes difficult for them to open a bank account as they do not have electronic data history.