Electronic ID Verification Frequently Asked Questions

Under regulations for the prevention and detection of financial crime, we have a responsibility to verify the identity of each applicant before opening a new account, and this can sometimes apply for existing customers.

To do this we use an electronic verification system, if this is successful then that’s all we need to do and you will be able to open your account online and make your initial deposit by way of Faster Payment from a UK current account held in your name or you can send us a personal cheque to Investment Services Department, Leeds Building Society, 105 Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AS. If you choose to send a cheque, please include your account number.

If we are unable to verify your identity electronically, then we will require you to provide:

  1. a completed and signed application form
  2. additional identification documents. See the full list of acceptable documentation
  3. a cheque for your initial deposit from a UK current account, held in your name.

If you choose to make your first payment by Faster Payment we will carry out checks via a Credit Reference Agency to ensure that this has been sent from a UK current account held in your name. If it has not, then this payment will be returned by Faster Payment to the same account that the payment was made from.

1. Is the electronic ID/address check the same as a credit search and will it affect my credit rating?

No. The check is not a credit search and other organisations will not see that an authentication search has been performed. This type of search will not affect your credit rating.

2. I/we have been at our current address for at least two years and we are registered on the electoral roll, so why do you say we have not been authenticated?

There could be various reasons for this. However, rest assured that the Society will consider documentary evidence, together with a personal cheque, as described in the email you received and/or the letter sent to you by us.

We use the Experian credit reference agency for our identity checks. Experian may check the details supplied against any database (public or otherwise) to which they have access. We regret that the Society is unable to provide any information relating to their files, however, you have the right to apply directly to Experian (at the address below) for details of information, which they hold about you – this is subject to payment of a fee. You should ensure that your letter includes:

  • Your full name: title, forename, 2nd initial, date of birth, surname (and maiden name if appropriate)
  • Details of all addresses you have lived at over the last 6 years – including town, county, postcode and address you moved in to
  • A cheque or postal order, payable to ‘Experian’ for the fee, currently £2.00
  • The date and your signature to authorise the Credit File request.

Consumer Help Services
PO Box 8000
NG1 5GX Telephone: 0870 241 6212 website: www.experian.com

3. One joint account holder has been verified and the other has not, however, we have both lived at the same address for the same period. Why?

The reason is similar to Q2 above as it may be that data supplied to Experian has yet to be up-dated.

4. Why will you not accept documentary evidence without an electronic search?

Electronic data is becoming increasingly helpful in the fight to reduce money laundering and fraudulent activity. As a responsible building society, we wish to use the best means available, however, should the computer checks not provide the information needed, we may consider documentary evidence. A number of other banks and building societies will also be using similar computer checks.

5. Why do I need to send a personal cheque to open the account?

If you have not passed Electronic ID or we can’t accept your electronic payment we need a personal cheque is the best way for us to be confident of your identity.

6. Why have you asked for the first payment from an account in my name?

It is an additional way for us to be confident that you are who you say you are. It shows that you have been through another organisation’s verification procedure, as well as our own.

7. Why can't you accept my electronic payment?

We haven’t been able to verify that the account you sent the payment from was a UK current account held in your name.

8. I only have a cheque from another building society/bank, so what do I do?

That is not a problem, provided another form of acceptable ID can be produced. Please refer to the documented list of acceptable ID. If you wish to submit a personal cheque for a nominal amount, along with your main deposit, this would be acceptable as another form of evidence of ID. Ensure you send this along with a covering letter including your account number.

9. I am an existing customer, yet you say that I have not been authenticated so I have to supply documentary evidence. Why and what does this mean?

Please refer to the answer to Q2, which explains the use of the Experian credit reference agency data.

Reasons as to why documentary evidence may be requested include:

  • Our systems attempted to match the information you input online against our database, however, there may not have been sufficient financial information to be able verify the details, or;
  • the records matched, however, we previously used paper documents and current computer methods look at other up-to-date, electronically held, information.