It is becoming ever more difficult and burdensome to open new bank accounts or other financial services, even for people who already have multiple bank accounts, UK jobs, NI numbers, tax codes and passports. 

I now have to send off multiple important documents – passport, driving licence each time I want to open an account, despite the fact that these are uniquely important documents and difficult to replace.  This increases the risk of them going missing en-route and being used for identity fraud.  No wonder ID fraud is a growing probem.

I am also increasingly frustrated by the requirement to get documents signed by a person of standing.  These are apparently limited to such people as bank/building society official, solicitor, accountant, commissioner of oaths, justice of the peace, legal secretary, member of parliament, police officer or an officer of the armed services include bank managers.  Why are these the only jobs that mean people are honest and upstanding.  Surely someone who has held the same job for 10 years, has a degree and a passport and driving licence should be perfecty acceptable.  This is insulting to honest, hard working people.

There is also a growing trend for these people to charge for this signing service.  So now we have to pay for the priviledge of proving who we obviously are, just to open a bank account.  These standards need to be widened to allow any professional person to sign (like passports – why do we need a narrower standard than passports??).  Or better still, this madness needs to be unwound. 

Why is this idea important?

It's important because it is just another example of how honest citizens end up paying added costs when they shouldn't have to.

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