Oh no Im a money launderer!

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by greenbaggyskin, Mar 6, 2006.

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  1. Abysmal interest rates on deposit accounts have caused me to start looking at Cash Mini ISAs.

    There are some good deals around at the moment, particularly if you can drop 3 grand in from day 1. Even some of the high street banks are being quite generous.The fact that they might be introductory offers is irrelevant, as I am not obliged to hold it for more than a year, and can switch to a better deal when I see one. Only one per year; I know.

    However, apart from my own bank, which isn't so good, and Abbey National (via NAAFI) which offers rubbish rates, no-one will take my money because I might be an evil money launderer.

    This is because I cannot prove that I live at a UK address. BFPO doesn't count, and I don't have any utilities billed to me there, and my MQ address is not in the UK even though I can meet the utility bill requirement. Copies of ID cards, and letters from senior officers are not acceptable, apparently.

    Where next?

    Any good ideas welcome.

    (By the way I only need to open 13667 ISAs to hide my 41 million quid)

  2. Sixty

    Sixty LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. ARRSE Cyclists and Triathletes

    Not sure who you spoke to but an ID card or passport plus driving licence (if you have one) should satisfy the 'proving who you are' part. Note that a birth certificate is not acceptable.

    The next stage is 'proving where you live'

    Never before heard of a BFPO address being a problem and I work in Finance. My company cannot sell to non-uk nationals except those with a BFPO address. Don't have the relevant requirements on me at home but if you want to wait out until tomorrow I'll PM you the full list of criteria.
  3. GBS - This is a tough one. Are you paying tax to UK? You could check with the banking and building society bodies or the FSA but if you are not based here and ask very nicely then I will do it for you. It will help us discover whether this is a legal thing (which I suspect it is) or up to each bank.

    For anyone else interested in ISAs.. use it or lose it before 5 April...... here's all the latest info...
    There are some best buys at the bottom of the piece but not sure whether the arrse software likes table-type formats. Anyway, log on to www.moneyfacts.co.uk for best buy ISAs.

    If you need a quick refresher, here are the basics: ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) were introduced by the government in 1999 to replace Peps and Tessas. They represent one of the few tax-breaks available to savers who pay income tax.

    You can take out EITHER one maxi ISA, in which you can invest up to £7,000 all in stocks and shares or split between the three components with a maximum of £3,000 in cash and £1,000 in life insurance, OR up to three mini ISAs with up to £3,000 in one mini cash ISA, up to £3,000 in one mini shares ISA and up to £1,000 in a mini insurance ISA.

    You cannot take out both a maxi ISA and a mini ISA in the same tax year, nor can you have two mini ISAs of the same type (such as two mini cash ISAs).

    Use it or lose it

    Despite obvious attractions, only a quarter of us take up our ISA opportunity each year, according to new research from Bradford & Bingley. The high street giant says that savers are therefore walking away from precious pounds that could be lining their pockets rather than those of the Chancellor and in today’s low interest rate environment, every penny counts.

    'The difference between investing in an average savings account or in a competitive ISA can be up to £78 per year,' says Steve Potter, head of savings at Bradford & Bingley. 'If you’re investing over the medium to long term, it really adds up. For those savers who haven’t sorted out an Individual Savings Account for this tax year there is still time to open one and benefit from your 05/06 tax free savings allowance. It really couldn’t be easier for savers. They can open an account with a lump sum or a direct debit, in a branch or online,' he explains.

    With the end of the tax year fast approaching, savers should be looking to make the most of their full ISA tax-free allowance. Any allowance not used by 5 April will be lost.

    Lisa Taylor from independent listings website moneyfacts comments: 'Not all of us will have the ability to save the maximum tax free amounts available, but any level of tax efficient savings are worth taking, especially when Mini Cash ISAs often offer higher interest rates than many other standard bank and building society savings accounts,' she says.

    Thanks to a near-three-year stock market rally and an improvement in investor sentiment, the funds industry is set to enjoy a buoyant ISA season, says Fidelity International, the UK’s largest mutual fund manager. Fidelity’s ISA sales in January this year were more than double those of January 2005.

    Leaving things until the last minute is easily done, but it can also lead to disappointment warns Annabel Brodie-Smith of the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITC). 'Remember that some investment trust ISA deadlines are as early as 29th March,' she says. 'This is because different investment trusts and their managers have different systems in place to accommodate the ‘cooling-off’ period. It’s always worth checking the terms in advance to make sure you’re not left out in the cold on 5th April.

    For those who would like to start the new tax year on the front foot, Brodie-Smith highlights a number of investment trust ISAs with attractive terms, and those who drip feed their ISA allowance on a monthly basis can avoid the difficulty of market timing. 'By investing in a variety of companies on your behalf, investment trusts can spread investment risk,' she explains. 'With good long-term performance, entry levels from £50 per month, and no penalties for stopping and starting contributions, they can suit a variety of budgets and risk profiles.'

    A last minute rush last year saw 286,491 ISAs opened in March alone – 14.25% of the year’s total. Just this week, Bradford & Bingley launched a new, one-year, limited edition, mini cash ISA available offering a competitive fixed rate of 4.85%. It is designed to capture a slice of the eleventh-hour market. The bank's online account ESavings ISA, pays savers 5.0% p.a and requires an initial investment of £1000.

    'The misunderstanding is fading, but some consumers may still feel ISAs are really for investors with long term savings plans and large sums to invest,' says Moneyfacts's Lisa Taylor. 'But this is not the case as Mini Cash ISAs provide risk-free savings, some offering instant access to funds while requiring minimum deposits as low as £1 and some even offer a cash card for convenient cash withdrawals. They can provide a good home for savings when putting money away for your next holiday, a new car, wedding or just for a rainy day.'

    Finally, it is worth remembering that some ISAs are freely portable, so you can switch providers and combine existing accounts, often benefiting from higher rates on the collective amount. The added benefit is that the new provider will do all the legwork, normally with only a simple form to complete. Take the time to understand the conditions attached with some ISA products. Some do not accept inward transfers, others charge to transfer your account or include short term bonuses within the rate. If you don’t read the small print, the additional benefit of a higher interest rate could quickly be lost.

    Moneyfacts latest best ISA buys

    Company Account Notice or Term Deposit Gross AER Interest Paid
    Saffron Walden BS
    wef: Mar 6 2006 Mini Cash Tracker ISA 30 Day Notice Postal 30 Day P £3,000 5.30%* 4.90% Yly
    Portman BS 25 Day Notice ISA 25 Day £3,000 5.25%* 4.87% Yly
    Alliance & Leicester Direct ISA Issue 2 None H £1 5.20%* 5.20% Yly
    Tipton & Coseley BS Premier ISA 30 Day P £3,000 5.15%* 4.97% Yly
    Halifax ISA Saver Direct None H £1 5.00% 5.00% Yly
    Bradford & Bingley eSavings ISA None W £1,000 5.00% 5.00% Yly
    Source: www.moneyfacts.co.uk Rates correct as of: 3 March 2006
    *=Introductory variable rate for limited period. F=Fixed Rate H=Operated by Internet or Telephone. OM=Interest paid on maturity. P=Operated by Post. W=Operated by Internet.
  4. Thank you both for your very swift answers. F_S, how do you type so quickly?

    I came up with roughly the same list of providers, and have spoken to a few of them already, with the results I mentioned.

    Sixty foot doll, I would be grateful for the info you have on proving ID and eligibility.

    Thanks again,

  5. I have encountered this problem and though letters from COs sufficed it was a pain. This time, when posted overseas, we left a bank account and driving licence at a UK address to cover proof of residence. Mail is then forwarded to us.