If you want to open an account with Lloyds, you’ll need to provide some documents to prove your identity. Sometimes this can be done with a single document, if you happen to hold a UK passport, UK photo driving license or a Northern Ireland Voter’s Card, for example. However, if you don’t have one of these to hand, you’ll be asked for 2 separate documents, to prove your identity and address¹. More on that in a minute.
If you don’t have the paperwork Lloyds need, and are looking for an alternative, it’s good to know that there are other options out there. You could open a borderless multi-currency account from TransferWise, for example, by providing a standard copy of your photo ID document, and then a selfie with your photo ID or passport. And because TransferWise is FCA regulated - just like Lloyds - you’ll know your account is safe too.
To help you decide if opening an account with Lloyds is right for you, here’s all you need to know about their proof of address rules.
It’s common when you’re opening a bank account, to be asked for a proof of ID and a proof of address. A proof of address simply means that you can give the bank a copy of an official document which links you to your residential address - this is can often be done with a driving license, or using official correspondence such as a tax bill or bank statement which shows your name and address.
Banks around the world operate under different authorities which regulate their business, and make sure that accounts aren’t used for anything illegal. In the UK, the* Financial Conduct Authority* (FCA) set rules and guidelines for financial institutions, including the requirement for banks to carry out due diligence checks on all customers to stop money laundering or funding of illegal activity.
One of the way banks choose to comply with these due diligence rules is to ask all customers for documents to prove they are who they say they are - and providing a proof of address is a common way this is done.
You can not open a bank account with Lloyds without providing your identity document, but Lloyds does say that sometimes one document is enough, or that they might be able to verify certain information electronically².
However, there’s a good chance you’ll need to show 2 documents, one of which can prove your identity, and one your residential address. There are 2 lists of eligible documents - more on that below - and you must provide one from each of the 2 separate lists.
In effect this means that opening a Lloyds bank account is easier if you’re a UK citizen, as you’re more likely to have an eligible passport, or driving license and there’s a bigger chance that certain information can be verified electronically - but becomes more tricky if you’re a UK resident without a local passport. If you’ve just arrived in the UK this can prove problematic, as some of the documents suggested as proof of address are not usually available immediately. You may not yet have utility bills or a full tenancy agreement in your name - but you still need a sterling bank account for your day to day banking.
If you find yourself in this situation - either because you’re newly arrived to the UK, or simply because you can’t lay your hands easily on the documents Lloyds ask for - you might consider getting a multi-currency borderless account with TransferWise instead.
There’s no fee to open a borderless account online, and because you can choose for yourself how you want TransferWise to verify your identity, this can be more convenient than finding the documents needed by a high street bank. To open a borderless account you’ll need a copy of a photo ID document, like a passport, and you can provide a selfie with your photo ID document if you don’t have a standard proof of address - such as a driving license or credit card bill - available.
In most cases it’ll only take a day or two to verify your ID, and once your account is set up, you can keep your balance in any of over 40 different currencies. It’s simple to switch between currencies using the real, mid-market exchange rate whenever you need to - and there’s no markup to worry about, just a small, upfront fee.
To make life easy, you’ll be able to order a linked debit card for day to day use, and make international transfers in a wide range of currencies at prices which could be as much as 8x cheaper than using a traditional bank.
If you happen to have a UK photo driving license or passport, or a Northern Ireland Voters card, then this could be all you’ll need to provide to prove your identity. However, if you don’t have one of these documents you’ll be asked for one document to prove your identity, and one to show your address¹.
Here are the documents which will be accepted as proof of address:
- A valid EU/EEA driving license
- A valid UK non-photo driving license, or a UK provisional driving license
- A tax notification letter from either HMRC or the local authorities
- A benefits entitlement letter
- A recent utility bill - from within the last 6 months
- A bank, building society, or UK credit card or credit union statement
- A mortgage statement from the UK, EU or EEA
- A tenancy agreement from a housing association, letting agent, local council or a solicitor
All documents must be valid and show your full name and current address, but can include electronic options such as a printout of your bank statement from online banking¹.
If you’re not able to find the documents set out by Lloyds - or if you simply want a flexible alternative to a Lloyds account, then check out the multi-currency borderless account from TransferWise.
See if you can save time and money, with TransferWise.
Sources used for this article:
*All sources checked on November 29, 2018
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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