Monday 24 June 2019 10:36 am

Lloyds freezes 8,000 offshore bank accounts

Lloyds Banking Group has frozen about 8,000 bank accounts registered offshore after asking the customers for three years to prove their identities.

The banking giant, which has its international business in Jersey, was forced to take action in order to meet regulatory requirements.

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The move to freeze thousands of expatriate accounts was made following changes to Jersey’s Money Laundering Order.

Customers who have failed to respond to Lloyds’ attempts to contact them could find their accounts frozen, the group said.

“In January 2016, we began to contact certain expatriate banking customers to ensure we were provided with up to date information for our records, where customer information was missing,” Lloyds said in a statement this morning.

“This was required to meet international regulatory standards. Over the last three years we have made multiple attempts to contact these customers, asking that they provide us with the necessary information.

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“Unfortunately, where a customer has not provided us with this necessary information we have had to freeze their account until we get the information.

“This is also to protect the customer, as it prevents anybody else trying to use the account if the customer has stopped using it or has moved address.”

HSBC, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have also recently cracked down on identity checks, the Financial Times reported.