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Proving your identity

Why do we ask for proof of identity?

By law, we have to check the identity of anyone who wants to open an account with us. Criminals often use false identities, or the identities of innocent people, to take out financial products such as bank accounts. Proving your identity can help fight financial crime such as money laundering and identity theft.

What is 'money laundering'?

Criminals need to 'launder' their money, in other words make their 'dirty' criminal money look 'clean' so that they can use it without raising suspicion. Criminals use bank and building society accounts as the first step in the laundering process. They can then transfer the money to other accounts, here or abroad so that it eventually appears to be like any other legally earned money. Getting it into the financial system using a false name means that it becomes harder to trace money back to them or the crime from which is was made.

But why me?

If we ask you for proof of identity, it doesn't mean we suspect you of being a criminal; it's just an important defence against money laundering and prevents people from falsely using your identity to open an account. Criminals will try to appear to be as normal as possible, for example, trying to open a number of accounts using small amounts of money. So it's important that checks are made on everyone.

But I'm already a Triodos customer, why do I still have to prove my identity?

Even if you're an existing Triodos customer we're still obliged to check your identity. We may ask you for further proof of you identity for any of the following reasons:

  • maybe you were a customer before identity checks became law
  • the standards for checks may have been different when you first opened your account with us
  • you might be applying for a different type of account  
  • we may want to check that the information we have about you is as up to date as possible.

What proof of identity will I need to provide?

To help us verify your identity and address we may make an electronic search, using the information you supply on your application form. If we need further proof of identity we'll ask you to send us two separate forms of identification - one document to prove who you are and another to confirm where you live. You will need to send originals or certified copies of any documents requested

How do I certify a copy of my document?

If you're going to send us a certified copy of any documents, they must be in black and white. The person certifying the document needs to be a professional person covered by money laundering regulations, for example, someone working in financial services, law or accountancy. They must confirm that they've seen the original and sign and date the copy. They should also provide their name, professional position, work address and work telephone number as we may contact them for verification. 

What if I don't have any of the documents you suggest?

Don't worry if you don't have any of these documents, just contact us so we can discuss your particular circumstances and suggest other types of proof that we might be able to accept.

For more information about proving your identity you might want to visit the Moneymadeclear website . Moneymadeclear was established by the UK's Consumer Financial Education Body who are responsible for helping consumers understand financial services in the UK and manage their finances better.

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