UK banks start immigration checks on bank account holders

Banks and building societies have started carrying out checks on the immigration status of all personal current account holders under government measures to encourage those in the UK illegally to leave, according to the UK Government .

If found illegal immigrants operating bank accounts, banks may be obliged to free/close the accounts. he checks will be done against the details of known illegal migrants which the Home Office is sharing with Cifas, an anti-fraud organisation, said Home Office.

We are only sharing details of illegal migrants who are liable for removal or deportation from the UK or who have absconded from immigration control. We consider these individuals should be denied access to banking services, said Home Office.

Minister for Immigration Caroline Nokes said:

These new measures are part of our commitment to make it more difficult for people with no right to live or work in the UK to remain here.

This will not affect those who are in the UK legally but we must be firm with those who break the rules as illegal immigration impacts the whole of society. Those living and working in the UK illegally can drive down the wages of lawful workers, allow rogue employers to undercut legitimate businesses and put pressure on taxpayer-funded public services.

By tackling abuse in this way, we can build an immigration system which works in the best interests of the country and prevents vulnerable people from finding themselves at risk of exploitation.

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