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Why do we ask you for proof of your identity and address?

If you are applying to open an account with us we will ask you to provide proof of your identity and address. This applies to all new customers, and in some circumstances, to existing customers.

We ask for this information to comply with money laundering regulations and to help stop criminals using our products and services to launder money and to prevent fraud.

All providers of financial products and services must have systems in place to prevent criminals from using them to "clean" their proceeds of crime. Our procedures include obtaining proof of your identity, address and date of birth. We also request information on how you intend to operate your account and where funds being paid into your account will come from. This information achieves the requirements of the Money Laundering Regulations and also helps to protect you and us against fraud.

Proving your identity can be inconvenient, but please remember that all building societies, banks and other financial institutions will ask for similar information.

How does money laundering affect you?

Criminals who make money from crime need to find ways to hide the money so that it can't be traced back to them. One way of doing this is to put the money into a building society or other financial institution account, in a way that hides where it came from and then to access it safely, later. Criminals may use a false name and address to make it more difficult to trace them and this is why we ask you to provide evidence of your identity and address. Please be assured that these checks do not mean that you are under suspicion. The only way we can catch criminals using the financial system is to check every customer.

What happens if we can't verify your identity?

We do not want to stop people using our products or services for lawful purposes. Unfortunately, if it is not possible to verify your identity, then by law, we will not be able to provide you with our products or services.

Giving us proof of your identity

You will be required to provide us with two documents, one from the personal identification list and one from the address verification list.

  • Personal identification - one item
  • Current signed passport (EU)
  • Current UK photo card driving licence (full/provisional) or full UK paper driving licence (old style)
  • Current EU member state ID card
  • Current British Armed Forces ID card
  • Address verification - one item
  • Current UK (full/ provisional) photo card driving licence or full UK paper driving licence (old style)
  • Council tax bill (current year)
  • UK utility bill/prepayment agreement issued in the last 3 months showing current address (not mobile phone bill)
  • UK bank/building society current or savings account statement issued in the last 3 months and showing current address
  • UK Credit Union statement issued in the last 3 months
  • UK credit card statement issued in the last 3 months and showing current address

If you have lived at your current address for less than three months you must also provide one additional item from the address list above that shows your previous address.

If you do not possess any of the identification detailed above please talk to us and we will tell you what other documents can be accepted.

Printed online statements/bills are not accepted.

How will you manage my data?

To find out how we will use your data please read our privacy summary.

Fraud Prevention

Criminals can sometimes use the name, address and other details about an innocent person to open a bank account or carry out a financial transaction. They may get this information by sorting through your household rubbish for bills, credit card statements and other papers. By looking after your personal documents in the following ways, you can help prevent this happening to you:

  • Keep your personal documents in a safe place, preferably in a lockable drawer or cabinet at home
  • Destroy any unwanted documents, preferably using a shredder
  • Check statements as soon as they arrive. If any unfamiliar transactions are listed, please contact us immediately
  • When paying cheques into your account, do not make them payable to Saffron Building Society. Please make the cheque payable to the name of the person holding the account (e.g. Mrs J. Smith)