Reclaiming dormant funds without requested documentation

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
I have a relative who is in a nursing home for the last two years and who has a dormant account with one of the national banks.
To reclaim their funds the bank asks for three certified items of valid ID, proof of address, utility bills, etc.
My relative is completely immobile and can not visit any bank branch or Garda station. They don't have valid ID or utilities in their name. In short, they come nowhere near what the bank requires to release the dormant funds.

Does anyone here have any experiences with a situation like this?

I talked to one bank who have policies for dealing with this situation by using trusted third parties; another bank I dealt with insists on dealing with responsible nursing home staff for cases like this. I've also been able to help the relative claim dormant funds with State Savings by dealing with helpful staff. But the bank in question prefers to maintain impossible-to-meet criteria and, according to the Central Bank, they are allowed to interpret the law as suits them.
 

Clamball

Registered User
Messages
301
Your relative would be receiving statements from the nursing home regularly which would be valid proof of current address and a utility address. The nursing home should be able to provide a letter stating what their previous address was before they moved to the home. Do they not have public service card? State pension? Medical card? Hospital appointments? All of these would generate paperwork. Fair deal? Is their letters from the other banks showing proof of address, or the state savings?

What paperwork have you provided to the bank?
 

Steven Barrett

Registered User
Messages
4,156
I have a relative who is in a nursing home for the last two years and who has a dormant account with one of the national banks.
To reclaim their funds the bank asks for three certified items of valid ID, proof of address, utility bills, etc.
My relative is completely immobile and can not visit any bank branch or Garda station. They don't have valid ID or utilities in their name. In short, they come nowhere near what the bank requires to release the dormant funds.

Does anyone here have any experiences with a situation like this?

I talked to one bank who have policies for dealing with this situation by using trusted third parties; another bank I dealt with insists on dealing with responsible nursing home staff for cases like this. I've also been able to help the relative claim dormant funds with State Savings by dealing with helpful staff. But the bank in question prefers to maintain impossible-to-meet criteria and, according to the Central Bank, they are allowed to interpret the law as suits them.

Yes, the anti money laundering legislation does allow each financial institution to interpret the laws based on their own risk assessment.

They will however, need to get as much information as possible in order to pay out. Look at it from their side, the are potentially paying out thousands of euro from an account that no one has claimed. They don't want to pay out and then someone else comes along claiming to be the account holder.

The best thing to do is talk to each bank, get a list of what they want and play ball with them. They should be able to help you but you have to make it easier for them to pay out the money too.


Steven
www.bluewaterfp.ie
 

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
Thanks for the replies, guys.

I guess I'm hoping to find out what is the minimum required to reasonably identify oneself as an account holder and it seems that there's no easy answer for me. As it stands the bank can capriciously refuse to recover the dormant funds (kept with NTMA, I know).

The two major banks can do this. One of them has already done so for my relative. State Savings has also done this. The Ombudsman can not take a case about this from me directly and the Central Bank tells me that their main concern is money laundering. I can't name the bank because I do have a case open with the Ombudsman.
 

Monbretia

Registered User
Messages
2,090
Do the Garda stations still do the old ML10 forms or whatever they were called to certify a person's identity? If they do then it would be worth calling in to them to see what the situation is, I know your relative can't call there themselves but there are community guards assigned in areas, well we have them here anyway as I had reason to deal with one years ago, maybe one of them could help out if personal sight of the person is required.
 

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
Your relative would be receiving statements from the nursing home regularly which would be valid proof of current address and a utility address. The nursing home should be able to provide a letter stating what their previous address was before they moved to the home. Do they not have public service card? State pension? Medical card? Hospital appointments? All of these would generate paperwork. Fair deal? Is their letters from the other banks showing proof of address, or the state savings?

What paperwork have you provided to the bank?
Yes, I have all that and supplied a list of such when I went to the bank branch. They could only say to bring in everything and then they might ask for more (plus valid ID). Unlike other banks they couldn't say what exactly was required. I also don't trust their handling of private data because they disclosed details of another customer to me despite my not actually being a customer myself. After that I took it to the Ombudsman.
 

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
Do the Garda stations still do the old ML10 forms or whatever they were called to certify a person's identity? If they do then it would be worth calling in to them to see what the situation is, I know your relative can't call there themselves but there are community guards assigned in areas, well we have them here anyway as I had reason to deal with one years ago, maybe one of them could help out if personal sight of the person is required.
Their website says so but they also seem to require the individual to be present. I know that Gardai don't like certifying all sorts of business-related documentation but apparently they are obliged to do so. If it's complicated then they can refuse. In this case the relative will have to rely on the nursing home staff but the bank in question doesn't accept that.
Maybe the nursing home has a relationship with the Gardai so that could be a solution.
 

Monbretia

Registered User
Messages
2,090
I'd definitely at least try going in to a garda station and asking face to face assuming you can still do that in these days of covid! Always too easy to say 'no' on the phone.
 

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
I'd definitely at least try going in to a garda station and asking face to face assuming you can still do that in these days of covid! Always too easy to say 'no' on the phone.
Thanks for the tips. It's been too much trouble trying to pursue this 50km from the nursing home during a pandemic.

I'll just let the elderly, disabled, immobile relative correspond directly with the bank and see what happens. It won't look good for the bank.
 

Steven Barrett

Registered User
Messages
4,156
Thanks for the replies, guys.

I guess I'm hoping to find out what is the minimum required to reasonably identify oneself as an account holder and it seems that there's no easy answer for me. As it stands the bank can capriciously refuse to recover the dormant funds (kept with NTMA, I know).
I wrote an article about this in 2015. You have to confirm name, date of birth and address. What companies will accept is up to them. One company I deal with won't accept the old driving licence anymore but will accept you being on the electoral register as proof of address.

A Garda community officer may go into the home to meet the person involved.
 

zuinig

New Member
Messages
6
I wrote an article about this in 2015. You have to confirm name, date of birth and address. What companies will accept is up to them. One company I deal with won't accept the old driving licence anymore but will accept you being on the electoral register as proof of address.

A Garda community officer may go into the home to meet the person involved.
Thanks for your article. It's a useful summary of the situation.

I'll write letters for the relative to deal with this directly. The bank will ultimately have to explain to the Ombudsman why only they suspect a 79 year old disabled woman who has lived in the same locality nearly all her life can't have her own money sent to her own current account.
 

Jim2007

Registered User
Messages
2,263
Thanks for your article. It's a useful summary of the situation.

I'll write letters for the relative to deal with this directly. The bank will ultimately have to explain to the Ombudsman why only they suspect a 79 year old disabled woman who has lived in the same locality nearly all her life can't have her own money sent to her own current account.

I can tell you they will have no problem explain themselves to the ombudsman, they are fully complying with the MLA rules and regulations. The ombudsman is not going to direct any bank to break the law, it is as simple as that. Nobody, not even the Garda are going to certify the identity of a person they cannot see - there are serious consequences for doing so, if it goes pear shape.

You need to work WITH the bank, if you want to move this forward. Complaints to Ombudsman because a bank is correctly applying MLA is not going to win you any friends or favours. In fact the opposite.
 

Peanuts20

Registered User
Messages
387
Thanks for your article. It's a useful summary of the situation.

I'll write letters for the relative to deal with this directly. The bank will ultimately have to explain to the Ombudsman why only they suspect a 79 year old disabled woman who has lived in the same locality nearly all her life can't have her own money sent to her own current account.

Is it worth considering Power of Attorney for the relative at this stage.? Note the ombudsman also won't touch this without you following the banks customer complaints process first.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Registered User
Messages
3,315
@zuinig

You are wasting your time (for now) with the Ombudsman. They make it very clear who has standing to complain:

You can submit a complaint to the FSPO if you are a consumer, which means:

  1. a private individual - eg a personal policy holder/account holder
and you are:

  • a customer of the financial service provider,
  • a person to whom the provider has offered the service, or
  • a person who has sought a financial service from the provider

You can also make a complaint if you are:

  • a surviving dependant of a consumer
  • a legal personal representative of a deceased consumer
  • a widow, widower or surviving spouse or civil partner of a deceased consumer
  • any person who is contractually entitled to benefit from a long-term financial service
  • an employee or a former employee entitled to benefit from an income continuance plan
  • a consumer who was, in relation to a credit agreement, a customer of the financial service provider in a case where a credit servicing firm undertakes credit servicing in respect of the credit agreement concerned

They make it very clear that (for a living person) the only person who can make a claim is the account holder themselves.

Somebody dropped the ball by failing to maintain a utility bill in the relative's name. Literally every adult should always have a bill in their name somewhere and it shouldn't have been allowed to lapse. It is a daft way of proving address but it's the only system there is.
 

Steven Barrett

Registered User
Messages
4,156
I can tell you they will have no problem explain themselves to the ombudsman, they are fully complying with the MLA rules and regulations. The ombudsman is not going to direct any bank to break the law, it is as simple as that. Nobody, not even the Garda are going to certify the identity of a person they cannot see - there are serious consequences for doing so, if it goes pear shape.

You need to work WITH the bank, if you want to move this forward. Complaints to Ombudsman because a bank is correctly applying MLA is not going to win you any friends or favours. In fact the opposite.
Fully agree.

For the vast majority of people, AML documents are a pain. That's because they have nothing to hide. but there are lots of people trying to launder money all the time and a financial organisation is thinking of these people all the time. It is well known that drug dealers use family members to set up accounts for them.

You can have look through the EU Consolidated Financial Sanctions list to see the list of known people that accounts aren't to be opened for.
 

Monbretia

Registered User
Messages
2,090
Utility bills are not that easy to get, I would have said a bank statement would be easier for most people although you'd probably have to order it. I am the bill payer in this house and I'm trying to think what actual utility bills I receive, nothing comes in the post anyway, does a bill printed from online suffice? I know banks used not take those and they were always a bit fixed in what a utility was, for example gas bill was fine if it was monthly one but invoice for bulk gas wouldn't do!

Maybe the person doesn't have a property, can't keep utility bills alive in that case! If they have a property would a bank take the LPT letter that went out this year, I'm inclined to think they wouldn't class it as a utility bill but you never know!
 

Freelance

Registered User
Messages
77
I talked to one bank who have policies for dealing with this situation by using trusted third parties; another bank I dealt with insists on dealing with responsible nursing home staff for cases like this. I've also been able to help the relative claim dormant funds with State Savings by dealing with helpful staff. But the bank in question prefers to maintain impossible-to-meet criteria and, according to the Central Bank, they are allowed to interpret the law as suits them.
Bear in mind that you are not in this case (not initially at any rate) dealing with AML (Anti Money Laundering) requirements, you are dealing with Dormant Accounts legislation and while there are similarities there are also important differences.

Are you dealing with a local bank branch or the bank's head office ? If it's the former then you might be better off dealing with Head Office. (I've had experience of dealing with a bank branch in relation to a dormant account and they hadn't a clue what they were at). I suggest you read the BPFI Dormant Accounts Guide and print out the Claim Form (pages 9 to 11 and 14 to 15). Complete the form with the account holder and send it off to the address shown on Page 8. Tick as many boxes re ID information as you can. Note that documents such as Birth and Marriage Cert are listed. Also list any official correspondence you can get your hands on (Social Welfare, Revenue, other banks and financial institutions, and even general correspondence). And needless to mention any documents relating to the actual account (old statements, passbooks, other correspondence) will be very useful. It is up to you to build the best possible case by giving them as much as possible. It's not guaranteed to work but it might well do. Good luck with it.
 

Steven Barrett

Registered User
Messages
4,156
Utility bills are not that easy to get, I would have said a bank statement would be easier for most people although you'd probably have to order it. I am the bill payer in this house and I'm trying to think what actual utility bills I receive, nothing comes in the post anyway, does a bill printed from online suffice? I know banks used not take those and they were always a bit fixed in what a utility was, for example gas bill was fine if it was monthly one but invoice for bulk gas wouldn't do!

Maybe the person doesn't have a property, can't keep utility bills alive in that case! If they have a property would a bank take the LPT letter that went out this year, I'm inclined to think they wouldn't class it as a utility bill but you never know!
The downloadable pdfs are accepted. Everyone who has paperless billing has access to these. What is not usually not accepted is a screen print.
Any statement or bill has to have your name, address and account number on it, lots of screen prints don't have this. And companies want a bill or statement.

I lay out clearly what is required to satisfy the AML requirements for a product and have lost count of the amount of times this is ignored and people send back what they think should do. It only delays the whole process. Companies have their AML requirements and it is only in exceptional circumstances that they will bend the rules and only by so much.
 
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