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Bank account with more than one signature or several people involved?

Bank account with more than one signature or...

In the past and currently I am involved with many businesses, clubs and voluntary organisations, which involve my either becoming or being removed as a signatory, and in most cases having internet banking.

I find it nearly impossible to be removed from the internet banking. In one extreme case I have a now had to put a complaint to the Financial Ombusman because of a banks refusal to remove me as a signatory from my ex-employer (left 2008), and removal of my internet banking access (which I use for other business accounts with the same bank).

Before I left the employment, I completed forms which the bank say they don't have, and the bank wants me to start again, completing new forms which I then have to take to my ex-employer and get them to complete them too. I (not my ex-employer) then have to send them with a copy of my passport or driving licence to the bank and then they may remove me etc.

I still receive statements for bank accounts which have not had any money in for several years. The money was withdrawn (using my predecessors telephone banking facility) and paid into a new account with another bank, using the current officers of the organisation.  The bank will not close these accounts (or make them dormant), unless I write a letter signed by the (2 to sign) signatories on file. I don't know who they are, and of course the bank will not tell me either. 

In 2009, I helped a local charity for 9 months by becoming the treasurer.  One account (only 2 people named as signatory) - I completed new paperwork to change the address to my address and it took 3 months to get the person (who had resigned "suddenly") to sign to agree to be removed.   Due to the consititution, when the new treasurer was elected early 2010.  Before handing over I contacted the bank as I had not received any statements. I was told they had rejected the paperwork and not processed it, as the address on the paperwork (my as treasurer), was not the same as the address at the Charities commission, (the charities treasurers address).  This is now the new treasurers problem to sort out!

I took over a clubs accounts as treasurer, to find that everytime the club had a new treasurer (every 3 years), they would also have to open new bank accounts as they found it impossible to update or change the existing bank mandates etc.  This was because the other officers had changed on more than one occassion since the account was open, and they did not know who the officers were that were recognised by the bank.  When someone leaves an organisation, if the are recognised by the bank as one of the officers, not only do you need to provide full details of the person to be removed (including signature), but you also need full details of the others as the banks existing mandate. That's often where the problem lies - the existing mandate, which is often out of date.  Once it is out of date it seems to be impossible to get it up to date.

Have you also had problems? What solutions have you had, apart from starting again by opening a new bank account? I would be interested to know if its a widespread problem, or is it just me?


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12th Jan 2011 13:57

Not just you

No, it's absolutely not just you and it is widespread.

We have had no end of problems with a change of Bursar at the school, less so with the new headmaster, in getting signatories changed.  Not just banks though - pension trustees, you name it.

Always keep a copy of the form and encourage the previous employer to get onto their business relationship manager at the bank and kick up a stink.

At the end of the day it is their problem (the previous employer) not yours.  Let them deal with it!  We have finally managed (on attempt 3) to get things sorted out with our accounts.  The biggest headache for us is that a simple 'please change this signatory' doesn't work; it is a 'we need an entire mandate signed by absolutely everybody' - in the case of one governor he is abroad a lot of the time, meaning that mandates either have to stay as they are or you have no access to anything until it is signed in full.

It seems that in these days of heightened security closing an account with bugger[***] all in it is a bigger risk that someone opening a new account.

Not much help, but, I suppose, more sympathy!

Good luck!

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13th Jan 2011 13:59

Depends on the bank

Barclays doesn't seem to be too bad - and they have a central place you can ring to sort things out. Natwest was so bad we just closed it and opened another Barclays account. And they wanted the personal credit card details of every trustee that some quite frankly weren't prepared to give. Halifax are terrible at getting the right sort of account (they continually open "Treasurers' accounts" which deduct interest at source even though it's for a registered charity and you asked them for that) and the signatories need changing most years for this charity so it's a nightmare when it's so hard to get them to get the thing right.

Re removal issues though - have you tried contacting the Information Commissioner about data protection re this? Might be easier than the bank route as well.

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By frauke
13th Jan 2011 16:37

Data Protection

I have not contacted the Information commissioner because on a previous occassion they did tell me that businesses are not covered by the Data protection act - only individuals.  Unless I am missing something from your suggestion - perhaps the protection of my data?


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