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Identity Crisis!

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Identity Crisis!

Postby falconsulting » Sun 23 May 2010 18:45 GMT

Proof of identity? If you're British and living abroad, how do you prove your identity to a UK bank/building society?

One highly reliable proof must surely be a photocopy of your passport certified by a British Embassy/Consulate. What you get for your money (it costs 30 euros in euro zone countries) is up to five copies of the photo & personal details page authenticated with two official stamps (one embossed, one red attached) and an appropriately formal statement: "I do hereby certify that this is a true and correct ..... In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my name and official seal ....", etc., signed by a consular official - in my case, the "British Vice-Consul".

In my recent contacts with various offshore UK banks/building societies all have expressed willingness to accept such a document as proof of my identity. :D All except one: the Alliance & Leicester International. :cry: Now the A&L rejected the consulate-certified passport photocopy I sent them because the wording on it differed to some extent from that required by the A&L. An exchange of emails followed, but the A&L held firm - though politely so. In the end I tired of the whole business (unreasonably inflexible in my opinion :x ), withdrew my account application and easily opened an account with another offshore UK bank - no problem in accepting my passport photocopy. And I was intending to deposit some savings with the Alliance & Leicester - not asking them for a loan! :shock:
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Postby ruggie » Sun 30 May 2010 18:40 GMT

Anyone who won't accept a copy carrying the signed stamp of my local French Mairie can lump it as far as I'm concerned.

I have a friend who paid a few dollars to become an ordained member of a US sect so that he could witness things as a Minister of Religion. The whole authentication thing is a farce.
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Postby Kay » Sun 30 May 2010 21:02 GMT

I've usually found that a certified copy of your passport works OK. The A&L can be a real pain, though. I had an offshore account with them for several years, then I changed my surname after marriage and they tried to make me jump through so many hoops I just gave up in the end and opened another offshore account with a different bank.

Yeah, there were still some hoops to jump through, but the A&L make it just about impossible.

(Why did I change my name? Sometimes it's just easier that way. :twisted: And he had a nicer surname than I did,)
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