I recently tired to open an ISA, over the internet because I live in  rural location, with a provider I already had accounts with. Not only was I asked to provide two forms if ID but, "because of changes to money laundering rules", the ISA provider said they had to be countersigned by a "suitable" person such as a GP OR I could take my application in to a branch.

Visiting a branch entails a fifty mile round trip for me, which is a full day undertaking if attempted on public transport. Nor do I wish to waste the time of my GP (or pay the fee he charges) every time I want to change my savings account. I think the requirement to countersign documents should be aboloished and the whole issue of proof of identity reviewed for people wanting to deposit small amounts of money in a personal svings account.

Why is this idea important?

I think the requirement for countersignature of proof of evidence documents for small savings schemes like ISAs discriminates against those of us who live in rural areas and cannot easily get to banks/building society branches. Its a shame the same effort isn't put in to going after big fraudsters & tax avoiders as is put in to tying up the common man with red tape.

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