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anonguest

'numbered' Bank Accounts In The Uk?

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I guess this possibly belongs in the off-topic board, but it is ostensibly somewhat 'economic'/financial in nature and so hope it stays here long enough initially to possibly get some response.....

Anyone know IF any of the 'high street' banks, or even slightly lesser known more 'exclusive' banks, here in the UK offer Swiss style 'anonymous' numbered bank accounts? - as opposed to the ususal ones that are clearly identified by personal name or, in the case of business accounts, a business name......OR do the bank regs prohibit this?

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A somewhat similar question occurred to me this morning (in light of the HSBC policy change regarding cash withdrawals), namely:

Are there any high street banks in the UK offering custodial accounts with on-line banking and a debit card? If so, how much would I be willing to pay for it?

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A somewhat similar question occurred to me this morning (in light of the HSBC policy change regarding cash withdrawals), namely:

Are there any high street banks in the UK offering custodial accounts with on-line banking and a debit card? If so, how much would I be willing to pay for it?

Hoare's I think would qualify here? Their table of prices is a bit offputting though.

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It would be all but impossible for the bank to operate on a UK banking licence without more detailed KYC stuff

Have you enquired with the Arab / Chinese banks?

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The problem is that the state has decided that they own you. They must be able to track all of your money. Otherwise how could they spend it for you?

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I guess this possibly belongs in the off-topic board, but it is ostensibly somewhat 'economic'/financial in nature and so hope it stays here long enough initially to possibly get some response.....

Anyone know IF any of the 'high street' banks, or even slightly lesser known more 'exclusive' banks, here in the UK offer Swiss style 'anonymous' numbered bank accounts? - as opposed to the ususal ones that are clearly identified by personal name or, in the case of business accounts, a business name......OR do the bank regs prohibit this?

Do you mean a completely anonymous bank account, identifiable only by its number, without any checks on the depositor? If so, dream on. Anti-money laundering rules prevent this. Not even Switzerland provides the king of service any more.

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A UK "bank" that actually keeps your money for your exclusive use - dream on.

Think Lloyds offer something similar for muslims sharia law prohibits profit from interest.

Sure they won't be able to turn you down for one if you are not of that persuasion.

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Do you mean a completely anonymous bank account, identifiable only by its number, without any checks on the depositor? If so, dream on. Anti-money laundering rules prevent this. Not even Switzerland provides the king of service any more.

'Anonymous' only in the sense that it is not readily identified by a personal name or business name, hence description as 'numbered account' (although perhaps it could be some code name instead). I realise though that 'behind the scenes' the bank would still need your verifiable personal details, when you open the account.

Edited by anonguest

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'Anonymous' only in the sense that it is not readily identified by a personal name or business name, hence description as 'numbered account' (although perhaps it could be some code name instead). I realise though that 'behind the scenes' the bank would still need your verifiable personal details, when you open the account.

I think it needs a name, but you can open a shell company and open the account in that name. 'Anonguest Ltd' might do it!

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The reason that this may not be a good idea, is that you may have a large amount of money in a numbered account, and what if the bank denies it.

The bank still has all your personal details and proof of identity even in a "numbered" account. The difference is that the bank then puts fake (or blank) personal details in the main account file. The real personal details are held separately and are only available to your personal account manager and senior bank staff.

Grunt staff only see the false name and details.

If you lost your password for the account, or if the holder died and it needed to go to probate, the bank could still identify the account - but it would need personal intervention by a senior member of staff.

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I could see a need for this if you have a lot of money and don't want the frontline staff who aren't getting paid very well to know your details.

Having worked for a bank in the past, those with this sort of need get a block applied to their account, so that access is restricted and if anyone unauthorized tries to access it a senior manager is notified. You also get access to your own account manager and a private banking suite so you don't have to go into the main branch.

I know of at least one instance where a member of staff tried to look up a blocked account out of curiosity and they were instantly dismissed.

As a side benefit, being an ex-staff member the same applies.

Edited by Ulfar

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I could see a need for this if you have a lot of money and don't want the frontline staff who aren't getting paid very well to know your details.

Having worked for a bank in the past, those with this sort of need get a block applied to their account, so that access is restricted and if anyone unauthorized tries to access it a senior manager is notified. You also get access to your own account manager and a private banking suite so you don't have to go into the main branch.

I know of at least one instance where a member of staff tried to look up a blocked account out of curiosity and they were instantly dismissed.

As a side benefit, being an ex-staff member the same applies.

I didn't explain the reasons for posing the question re: 'numbered' accounts...but this is among them.

The question remains though - is such a 'facility' available? An initial random 'in person' enquiry at a high street bank merely, unsurprisingly, yielded puzzled looks from counter staff......

Edited by anonguest

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This sort of things fails by needing ID etc. but there's no credit check which is one less bit of the system and I have to say they do look like quite a tempting alternative to the mainstream bank BS. It sort of looks like they use a traditional bank to pool money en masse and then provide the sort of customer service the mainstream banks ought to. I didn't actually know that there was any option to avoid charges for bounced payments.

http://www.cardonebanking.com/

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As said earlier, set up a company registered in BVI or Luxembourg or caymans and use proxy directorships. Then set up a SSAS pension and invest your money wherever you want with tax relief at your highest rate.

Warning: I am not a financial adviser (currently). Or a lawyer. Or even sure about the countries listed so do your own research.

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As said earlier, set up a company registered in BVI or Luxembourg or caymans and use proxy directorships. Then set up a SSAS pension and invest your money wherever you want with tax relief at your highest rate.

Warning: I am not a financial adviser (currently). Or a lawyer. Or even sure about the countries listed so do your own research.

that all seems a rather lot of effort, and cost, for what is ultimately just a simple quest for some degree of 'anonymity' associated with an ordinary bank account (i.e no personal name publicly associated with it).

thanks for the suggestion though.

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A UK "bank" that actually keeps your money for your exclusive use - dream on.

It would just be a virtual safety deposit box with online facilities and a debit card. It wouldn't need to offer overdraft facilities.

If there's a market for it, there may be a price that both parties could agree on? 'Dream on'? :huh:

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It would just be a virtual safety deposit box with online facilities and a debit card. It wouldn't need to offer overdraft facilities.

If there's a market for it, there may be a price that both parties could agree on? 'Dream on'? :huh:

In principle I actually agree with this point/suggestion about such an account effectively acting as a 'virtual' safe deposit box. A safe deposit facility without the physical overhead costs - plus the advantage from the customers point of view of not being tied to a single location to access or deposit their money. The key selling point being that the terms of the account are such that the bank guarantees that at all times 100% of what is deposited (even above the FSCS £85K limit) is available for withdrawal on demand and in any amount (i.e no daily limits).

I think the problem would come in the 'marketing' of such a service as most of the public, being as ignorant as they are, already assume that the money in their bank accounts is always there and safe. The last thing the banks want to do is educate the masses as to the truth vis a vis fractional reserve banking, etc.

Edited by anonguest

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In principle I actually agree with this point/suggestion about such an account effectively acting as a 'virtual' safe deposit box. A safe deposit facility without the physical overhead costs - plus the advantage from the customers point of view of not being tied to a single location to access or deposit their money. The key selling point being that the terms of the account are such that the bank guarantees that at all times 100% of what is deposited (even above the FSCS £85K limit) is available for withdrawal on demand and in any amount (i.e no daily limits).

As a safety deposit box, the contents really would belong to the account holder. The account holder would not have the status of a bank creditor. If a bank goes bust, the contents of safety deposit boxes is simply returned to the owners (to the best of my understanding), and so would I want it to be for a virtual safety deposit box. FSCS compensation wouldn't come into it.

As the owner of the virtual deposit box's contents, you could set your own limit on daily withdrawals etc. in order to protect yourself should your debit card fall into the wrong hands. For that matter, the costs of making such an account available could increase depending upon the level of deposit (so that the bank could include appropriate insurance to cover for theft).

If such a facility was common place, well known (and reasonably priced), the FSCS could be scrapped--bank users could choose whether they want to take the risk of bank defaults by taking out a regular account (like we have now) with little or no fee (or even modest interest) but perhaps losing their money completely if the bank fails, or to pay for their own custodial account with zero risk.

If the choice was put this bluntly, I wonder what the ratio split would be between regular and custodial bank account users? Depends on the price of the custodial account I imagine.

It might be an interesting first step away from the debt- (and fractional-reserve-) based economy we have now, towards a steadier, slower and zero-inflation one.

NOW I'll permit a 'dream on'... :D

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If the choice was put this bluntly, I wonder what the ratio split would be between regular and custodial bank account users? Depends on the price of the custodial account I imagine.

Regular: custodian

99999 : 1

or something similar. Banks have to pretend to give things away to get people to pay already - you want people to pay for something they don't (and don't want to) understand?

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Regular: custodian

99999 : 1

or something similar. Banks have to pretend to give things away to get people to pay already - you want people to pay for something they don't (and don't want to) understand?

Maybe pre-2008 when bank runs were historical events from no later than the early-1900s, 99,999:1 might've been about right, but if people understood that the money in the bank isn't theirs (and if the bank goes bump, then so does their money), then given recent banking history, I wonder if there would be more willing to pay.

Of course, there may be even more who might risk keeping their dosh in a safe at home and avoid the cost of a custodial account. If inflation averaged 0%, it might be a real alternative too.

The situation would be different, and I think it'd be interesting for us to be living under those circumstances. The banks wouldn't be in the position of power they're in now.

People would be in control of their own money, and banks would have to compete to hold it for us. I think it'd be nice if 'financial services' only meant virtual safety deposit boxes. :)

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