Bank customers ‘facing account lock-out’ if business details aren’t updated

Gary McDonald Company Editor

SOME Ulster Financial institution business buyers in Northern Ireland encounter staying locked out of their accounts from the end of this week except if they comprehensive what a person enterprise proprietor explained as an “unwieldy and needless” on the net course of action updating their particulars.

The bank wrote to consumers in April inquiring them for up-to-day information about their enterprise accounts.

It suggests it demands to make confident it holds precise information and facts about their enterprise, including aspects on individuals who have sizeable control above it.

The bank insists it is complying with regulatory obligations, and the process kinds a key component of it skill to detect and struggle fraudulent transactions, revenue laundering and tax evasion.

And it warned that if it will not obtain this information and facts online by May possibly 13 “we will have to have to restrict entry to your accounts which means (but is not restricted to) you won’t be in a position to deposit, withdraw or transfer cash and we would not be able to system any standing orders”.

But 1 businessman who contacted the Irish Information insisting the approach is “pointless and pointless” as Ulster Lender, with whom he has experienced a yrs-extensive association, held all his info currently.

And he claimed: “The on the net course of action is cumbersome and desperately time-consuming, and once you get you much, you need to post personalized specifics to a 3rd celebration, which I am not ready to do.”

The director, whose prolonged-established North Down organization employs far more than a dozen personnel, explained that, obtaining abandoned the on line method halfway by, he was then phoned by Ulster Bank.

“The lady mentioned it was her work to telephone all over shoppers and attempt to support them.

“She advised me I was the only a person who’d in fact even got that far, which to me indicates that no one is even attempting to go by means of that laborious and unwieldy process on the portal.”

He extra: “Ulster Financial institution by now has all the specifics of my company, me individually, and my fellow director.

“Nevertheless below I am, getting questioned to present photographic ID and mail in utility costs to verify my tackle. It is really unnecessary in my look at.

“And it would not cost me a second thought to consider my business enterprise in other places, which is a view I’m positive other folks in a very similar position will share.”

A spokesperson for Ulster Financial institution informed the Irish Information: “In get to comply with our regulatory prerequisites, we are producing to most of our business shoppers to be certain that we maintain up to date facts for them and their business.

“We are executing this to assist protect against fraud and financial crime. In the occasion exactly where a shopper isn’t going to respond to various tries to confirm this information, we could restrict entry to particular account providers.

“We really encourage customers to answer to any correspondence as soon as attainable so we can go on to meet up with their banking requirements.”

The increased security checks arrive as part of the Strong Consumer Authentication (SCA) approach led by trade association British isles Finance.

Jana Waterproof coat, running director of payments and innovation at Uk Finance mentioned: “Fraud is a expanding problem, with criminals stealing additional than £750 million in the 1st 50 % of 2021 alone. That is why it is more critical than ever that further protections like Potent Customer Authentication are place in spot.

“For stores, employing SCA will deliver customers peace of brain that payment procedures are much more safe.

“The market and stakeholders have worked tirelessly to get completely ready for this modify and we inspire any suppliers who have not but applied SCA to act as shortly as probable to make sure the new protections are available to all.”

The unique deadline for SCA was March 2021 but the FCA agreed to a hold off March 2022 owing to Covid-19, and it has stated that there will be no further more extensions to this deadline.