Thursday, 18th January 2018
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Opening a bank account

Question

My bank is insisting I must prove my identity to open a new account, even though I already have an account with them. What is required to open a bank account?

Answer

Under laws to prevent money laundering, there are minimum requirements you must meet to prove your identity when opening a bank account. These apply even if you already have an account with the same bank. You cannot use the same document to prove both your identity and your address.

You can prove your identity by producing one of the following:

- Valid photographic identification in the form of a passport or driving licence.

- A National Age Card (issued by An Garda Síochána).

- An identification form with a photograph signed by a member of An Garda Síochána.

- A document issued by a Government department showing your name. This must be verified by a person in a position of responsibility who will come to the bank with you and bring proof of their own identity. Check with the bank who they will accept as a person in a position of responsibility.

In addition, you will need one of the following as proof of address:

- A current utility bill (such as a bill for gas, electricity, phone or TV).

- A current car or home insurance policy with your address.

- A document issued by a Government department that shows your address.

- A list of your tax credits or a current balancing statement (P21) or a C2 certificate from the Revenue Commissioners.

- A social insurance document that shows your address.

- A letter from your employer or licensed employment agency to say that you have recently arrived in Ireland and started work but cannot provide evidence of your address here yet. This evidence will have to be submitted later.

If you have a problem opening an account and you cannot resolve it with the bank, you can make a complaint. If you are not happy with the bank's response to your formal complaint, you can complain to the Financial Services Ombudsman.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

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