‘Banks to be required to carry out 70 million immigration checks every quarter on current account’ is a blog written by Gherson Immigration on 27th October 2017. This blog seemed reasonably short in comparison to many other blogs I have come across so I thought it would be good to have a range and explore this one further. I read the first few sentences and it drew me in so I read on.
This Blog speaks about the purpose of the Immigration Act 2014, which highlights the importance of banks and building societies to carry out checks when opening current accounts in order to identify disqualified persons. A ‘disqualified person’ which in this blog is defined as ‘a person in the united kingdom, who requires leave to enter or remain in the united kingdom but does not have it, and for whom the secretary of state considers that a current account should not be provided by a bank or building society’.
Several approaches have been taken to ascertain whether an individual is a ‘disqualifies person’ or not. Banks and Building societies use details such as name, date of birth an address against a database supplied by the Home office and held by an anti-fraud agency (CIFAS), which is in relation to foreign national who the Home Office believe are in the UK illegally, and who they deem to be liable for removal from the UK.
If after checks are taken the secretary of state determines that the individual is a ‘disqualified person’, they may apply for a freezing order. Whilst the bank or building society are awaiting confirmation by the Home Office the current account will remain open, it is also unlikely that the individual will be informed that they have been flagged as a potential ‘disqualified person’
Though they have the ability of freezing the account, the home office may make exceptions to this case and make provisions to allow the ‘disqualified person’ to access fund to meet their reasonable living costs and legal fees
Unfortunately errors do occur at times where individuals who are legally in the UK have their accounts frozen in error. This also allows for further errors where the Home Office may use the information given to them to pursue enforcement measures against the individuals identified as being a ‘disqualified person’. This is a lengthy procedure to get resolved which causes lots of error within individuals.
To some extent I agree with some of the points raised in this blog, as I feel like it is to help maintain the countries safety and so that it is clear who is present and who is not. However, thy system can do with some maintenance clearly as I don’t feel it is expectable to be freezing individual’s bank accounts when they are a British citizen, even if it is a mistake. It is understandable that mistakes do happen in the work place, but if they are serious then they should be resolved immediately and defiantly not leaving the individual at any harm. However in this blog, it tells us that the Home Office could potentially make the situation even harder for the individual and the resolving of the issue is also a long winded procedure. I don’t feel that this is fair as this individual could be in a situation where it could change certain paths in their life if their bank account is been frozen but they urgently need to access it, whether that is for work or health purposes.
Also, I do understand and agree that if it is a ‘disqualified individual’ then their bank account should be frozen, however I feel like the individuals situation needs to be looked further before making the final decision. This is because for instance it is different for someone who may have just came to the country and lives here alone and someone who perhaps has been in the country for a while and has family living in the UK too.
I don’t feel like Ghersons blog provided much evidence to back up what is being stated so at times I felt the need to go into external sites to find out more about what is being said and get further information.
Overall, the layout and legal significance of the blog was very easy and simple to read with a very clear layout. I also like the fact that it was sharp and short, as it meant that no breaks were needed and you can just read it all in one go.