Why do I need to provide ID to my solicitor / conveyancer?
Under new government regulations clients must prove who they are. This applies to new clients and also to existing clients who have not instructed for some time.
The reason behind this is because the UK is a major international financial and legal centre, with a strong reputation for honesty and integrity and this is why financial and professional businesses, like solicitors’ firms, are attractive to money launderers (criminals who sometimes try to hide stolen money by turning it into legitimate income).
To try and combat this issue, the government has introduced measures to make it more difficult for criminals to make and keep money from their crimes and also to confiscate any proceeds of crime. For this reason there are compulsory checks which solicitors have to make of their clients.
Being asked for identification does not mean you are under suspicion. The new identification requirements apply to all clients when they are asking their solicitors to conduct certain types of cases. The requirements mean that clients have to show their solicitor personal documents which include:
- Current signed passport
- Photo-card driving licence
- Benefit book
- Recent gas, electricity or other household bill
At Guest Walker we provide a comprehensive list of all documents that are acceptable for these purposes at the beginning of each transaction so that each client knows at an early stage what documents will be required from them. Should a client have any difficulties in producing the required documents then we are always on hand to talk through alternative acceptable documents. Please always remember that we are not asking for the documents to be difficult but simply to comply with our requirements.
If you’d like to find out more, or meet or Conveyancing Team, click here.