Immigration status and bank accounts
According to the Immigration Act 2014 banks and building societies are required to check the immigration status of the persons who want to open current accounts. The banks and building societies must refuse the applications for a new current account (or an application to add the person as a signatory or identified beneficiary to a new or existing current account) if the applicant has no legal rights to stay in the UK. This applies if the applicant:
- Entered the UK illegally, i.e. never had leave to enter
- had leave but stayed after it expired or was revoked
- are an EEA national subject to deportation action who has exhausted all rights of appeal
Also, banks and building societies are required to check the immigration status of the existing holders of current accounts. If the holder has no legal rights to stay in the UK for the reasons listed above, the bank or building society must close the accounts (or restrict access where the person is a signatory or identified beneficiary, or the account is jointly held with another person who has legal right to stay here).
If a bank or building society refuses your application for a current account or closes your current account, it will normally tell you why. If there is a mistake, you should contact the Home Office with evidence of your lawful immigration status. If you have a right to be in the UK, the Home Office will change your details so you can re-apply to open a current account or re-open your existing account.
Posted on Oct 31, 2017.