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The Ayatollah Buggeri

Banks Checking References

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Whenever you open a new bank or BS account, you have to tell them who your employer is and how long you've worked for them. AFAIK they've never done anything with this information in my case, until last month.

My deposit savings now stand at £68k, which is carved up into 8 tranches (some multiples of the cash ISA limit, others block sums of £5k and £10k), deposited with eight separate banks and building societies. I know the FSCS limit is now £50k, but given how long the savers caught up in Iceland took to get their money back, I still want to minimise any risk. So every April I go through a month of boring paperwork closing down accounts and transferring money to others which offer a better rate, most of them one-year fixed-rate bonds, some ISA bonds and some ordinary ones. Given the paperwork involved in transferring between ISAs, this is often quite a chore.

In this year's round of account management, two banks (First Direct and ICICI) have requested a reference from my employer. In each case I was contacted by our personnel department asking if I was alright with them supplying one. IMO this is the first time this has ever happened. Has the fact that I have so many accounts that I manage relatively actively flagged me up on some sort of database? Or are they generally just being a lot more paranoid now, for some reason?

Just curious...

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Probably money laundering or anti-terrorism investigations. Don't want to make you paranoid, but you will have been singled out individually for some reason here - I don't believe it's common practice to request references, particularly for long-standing accounts.

These two weren't long-standing accounts: they were new accounts I'm trying to open.

However, I think you're probably right. I do do a lot of moving money around at the start of each financial year, keeping lots of accounts with relatively small amounts in them, both to get the best rates on my savings (hence keeping most of them in one year fixed-rate bonds) and to minimise the hit I'd have to take if any one bank or BS went pop and there was a significant delay in getting FSCS compensation. My guess is that not many people bother to do this, and so fact that I open and close 5-7 accounts with different institutions each year must have put a red flag against my NI number somewhere.

My first guess would be money laundering, particularly if you've been moving your money around of late.

Me too, though I'm a little surprised given the relatively small amounts of money involved.

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Probably money laundering or anti-terrorism investigations. Don't want to make you paranoid, but you will have been singled out individually for some reason here - I don't believe it's common practice to request references, particularly for long-standing accounts.

My first guess would be money laundering, particularly if you've been moving your money around of late.

I assume the OP doesn't operate the accounts using his HPC log in name ?

:blink:

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Whenever you open a new bank or BS account, you have to tell them who your employer is and how long you've worked for them. AFAIK they've never done anything with this information in my case, until last month.

My deposit savings now stand at £68k, which is carved up into 8 tranches (some multiples of the cash ISA limit, others block sums of £5k and £10k), deposited with eight separate banks and building societies. I know the FSCS limit is now £50k, but given how long the savers caught up in Iceland took to get their money back, I still want to minimise any risk. So every April I go through a month of boring paperwork closing down accounts and transferring money to others which offer a better rate, most of them one-year fixed-rate bonds, some ISA bonds and some ordinary ones. Given the paperwork involved in transferring between ISAs, this is often quite a chore.

In this year's round of account management, two banks (First Direct and ICICI) have requested a reference from my employer. In each case I was contacted by our personnel department asking if I was alright with them supplying one. IMO this is the first time this has ever happened. Has the fact that I have so many accounts that I manage relatively actively flagged me up on some sort of database? Or are they generally just being a lot more paranoid now, for some reason?

Just curious...

I've never had that. They appear to be much more keen to take my money than they used to be. Most of the time, they don't even bother to ask me for ID.

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I had a phone version about 6 months ago, asking about employment, any other debts and so on.

My account is fed from a savings account with another bank to cover costs only, so may look odd from their point of view.

On a seperate point, what is with the switching between Mastercard and Visa for debit cards. It's been about 4 times

now and every time the number changes making non direct debits break. They send a new card out and expect me to change

everything to match it.

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I assume the OP doesn't operate the accounts using his HPC log in name ?

:blink:

Correct, believe it or not.

I almost wonder if they linked my alter ego on this site to my accounts through my IP address, but that assumes IT competence on the part of Big Brother, so I rather doubt it...

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