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


Gary McDonald Business enterprise Editor

SOME Ulster Bank small business shoppers in Northern Ireland face becoming locked out of their accounts from the end of this week unless of course they entire what 1 business owner explained as an “unwieldy and unnecessary” on line course of action updating their specifics.

The bank wrote to shoppers in April asking them for up-to-day info about their small business accounts.

It claims it requirements to make guaranteed it retains exact details about their business, which include facts on men and women who have substantial command around it.

The financial institution insists it is complying with regulatory obligations, and the system types a important component of it capacity to detect and struggle fraudulent transactions, revenue laundering and tax evasion.

And it warned that if it does not acquire this data online by Could 13 “we will have to have to restrict entry to your accounts which means (but is not minimal to) you will never be ready to deposit, withdraw or transfer funds and we would not be equipped to course of action any standing orders”.

But a single businessman who contacted the Irish Information insisting the process is “pointless and unnecessary” as Ulster Bank, with whom he has experienced a yrs-extensive affiliation, held all his information and facts now.

And he claimed: “The on the net system is cumbersome and desperately time-consuming, and the moment you get you far, you will have to post personal specifics to a third bash, which I am not prepared to do.”

The director, whose prolonged-recognized North Down business employs much more than a dozen staff, explained that, acquiring deserted the on the internet method halfway via, he was then phoned by Ulster Bank.

“The girl reported it was her work to phone close to customers and consider to help them.

“She instructed me I was the only one who’d really even got that significantly, which to me implies that no person is even trying to go by means of that laborious and unwieldy procedure on the portal.”

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

“Nonetheless here I am, being requested to give photographic ID and send in utility bills to validate my address. It’s pointless in my check out.

“And it won’t value me a second considered to just take my company elsewhere, which is a see I’m sure other individuals in a comparable position will share.”

A spokesperson for Ulster Financial institution informed the Irish Information: “In buy to comply with our regulatory prerequisites, we are creating to most of our company buyers to ensure that we maintain up to date facts for them and their organization.

“We’re accomplishing this to aid prevent fraud and economic crime. In the occasion wherever a purchaser doesn’t react to a number of attempts to validate this information, we may possibly restrict obtain to sure account services.

“We stimulate customers to answer to any correspondence as shortly as possible so we can continue on to satisfy their banking demands.”

The increased security checks come as section of the Robust Customer Authentication (SCA) system led by trade association United kingdom Finance.

Jana Waterproof coat, running director of payments and innovation at Uk Finance said: “Fraud is a growing dilemma, with criminals stealing more than £750 million in the first 50 percent of 2021 alone. That is why it is additional essential than at any time that additional protections like Strong Customer Authentication are put in put.

“For merchants, implementing SCA will provide consumers peace of brain that payment processes are far more protected.

“The market and stakeholders have worked tirelessly to get completely ready for this adjust and we encourage any retailers who have not nonetheless applied SCA to act as before long as achievable to assure the new protections are accessible to all.”

The original 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 extensions to this deadline.