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UK government access to UK citizens bank account

UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Old Apr 5th 2023, 8:18 am
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Default UK government access to UK citizens bank account statements

I have never had a good relationship with DWP (Department of Work & Pensions) and this goes back 30+ years! Can DWP access my UK bank account statements?

HMRC - I have no issues with them but DWP is another story!

Last edited by FenTiger; Apr 5th 2023 at 8:47 am.
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Old Apr 5th 2023, 8:47 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

I would say that any UK government agency has the ability to access your bank account if they are of the opinion that you have broken the rules or the law in some way.
Theoretically it's not allowed of course, but I have come across some anomalies myself.
Maybe a good idea to try and sort out the long standing problems with DWP. The big problem with them is communication and the speed of any response.
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Old Apr 5th 2023, 8:58 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by calman014
I would say that any UK government agency has the ability to access your bank account if they are of the opinion that you have broken the rules or the law in some way.
Theoretically it's not allowed of course, but I have come across some anomalies myself.
Maybe a good idea to try and sort out the long standing problems with DWP. The big problem with them is communication and the speed of any response.
The main issue I had in the past plus present is consistency in their decision making. As mentioned I have no issues with HMRC.

When I worked in UK I received grants from DWP as part of their Access To Work scheme. They cut half my funding yet another colleague received thousands of pounds for equipment not fit for purpose!!! A good example is two BTE hearing aids supplied by private hearing aid clinic. Cost £4,000 each! The hearing aids user could not hear anything. As mentioned the equipment supplied was not fit for purpose.
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Old Apr 5th 2023, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

It shouldn't be possible for anyone to access your bank account information without a court order/ warrant. If the court is satisfied that there is a legitimate need for the information for investigative purposes, you may not have been entitled to have been informed.

Can the DWP just phone up and ask for your account information? No, for the same reason I can't phone your bank and ask for your information - the bank cannot verify who they are speaking to, and neither the DWP nor I know whatever passwords or security questions you may have set up with your bank.
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Old May 21st 2023, 6:39 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Pulaski
It shouldn't be possible for anyone to access your bank account information without a court order/ warrant. If the court is satisfied that there is a legitimate need for the information for investigative purposes, you may not have been entitled to have been informed.

Can the DWP just phone up and ask for your account information? No, for the same reason I can't phone your bank and ask for your information - the bank cannot verify who they are speaking to, and neither the DWP nor I know whatever passwords or security questions you may have set up with your bank.
For a while I have been suspicious of DWP because I felt they have been inconsistent with their decision making.
Ah, well, that's the story of my life. There's always someone out there who says No .... you cannot do this yet .... someone else gets a Yes you can!!!
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Old May 21st 2023, 3:47 pm
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Pulaski
It shouldn't be possible for anyone to access your bank account information without a court order/ warrant. If the court is satisfied that there is a legitimate need for the information for investigative purposes, you may not have been entitled to have been informed.

Can the DWP just phone up and ask for your account information? No, for the same reason I can't phone your bank and ask for your information - the bank cannot verify who they are speaking to, and neither the DWP nor I know whatever passwords or security questions you may have set up with your bank.
Trawled from the internet.

quote
Information collected by UK financial account providers will be sent to HMRC. HMRC will share information with the tax authority of another country (where we have an agreement in place to do so) if the account is held by one of their tax residents.

and

While the DWP does act on reports from the public, it also has its own sophisticated means of detecting when fraudulent activity might be taking place - which means anyone receiving benefits from the DWP could be investigated at any time - even over Christmas and New Year.

end quote

HMRC don't need a court order to look at your bank account, just reasonable cause - and I am sure they are too busy to just go looking at Joe public's bank account on the off chance something might be amiss
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Old May 21st 2023, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
.... and I am sure they are too busy to just go looking at Joe public's bank account on the off chance something might be amiss
This bit is definitely true. .... For the vast majority of the public, their life isn't interesting enough, nor their bank balance large enough, for "the government", or the tax authorities to spend any time whatsoever monitoring them or aimlessly trawling for information. A lot of tax and benefits fraud investigations are started based on lifestyle information - the investigators look at your home, the cars you drive, and expenditure on holidays, private schools, boats, etc. and then work back to estimate how much income you have to have to afford that lifestyle. So while ultimately the tax authorities will probably ask for bank statements, they already have most of what they need from just looking at how you live your life.

The rest of what you posted/ quoted, contains elements of truth, but unless you know what transfers of information take place, and under what circumstances, then what is written is misleading. So while HMRC might only need "reasonable cause", they can't (UK and US, ... other countries are often more restrictive) just send a demand to your bank saying "we have reasonable cause ..." - they need to take that to a court and get an order to hand over certain specified records

So far as the international disclosure of records for tax purposes goes, AFAIK, it is relatively limited - names and identifying information, balances (maybe year end, and "highest during the period"), but not a wholesale dump of all account and transaction records.

There are other disclosures made in most countries (literally most countries around the world) too, which could feed into the sections you quoted, but they are driven more by the banks sending specific limited information than government/ tax authority demanding information, and to circle back to where I started, it is highly unlikely that most people are doing anything of interest enough to attract their bank's attention, as the banks are only looking for things significantly out of the ordinary. So your salary credits, bill payments, ATM withdrawals, etc. and occasional things like amounts consistent with a car purchase or sale, simply never appear on the radar. .... Now if you start depositing $000's a week into your personal account, or start frequently receiving credits from numerous people, and transferring the money to another country to somebody else (not your name), or to a remitter (person unknown), then your bank might get interested.

As I often note here on BE, on threads requesting advice about sending money, often larger amounts such as the proceeds of a house sale, the easiest way for a customer to attract the attention of their bank's compliance and monitoring department, is to ask about the bank's account monitoring and reporting procedures - the banks don't like that! The second easiest way is to start monkeying around with your account transactions "to avoid attracting attention", because there is nothing more obvious than someone who is trying to avoid attracting attention.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 21st 2023 at 5:16 pm.
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Old May 21st 2023, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Pulaski
This bit is definitely true. .... For the vast majority of the public, their life isn't interesting enough, nor their bank balance large enough, for "the government", or the tax authorities to spend any time whatsoever monitoring them.

The rest of what you posted/ quoted, contains elements of truth, but unless you know what transfers of information take place, and under what circumstances, then what is written is misleading. So while HMRC might only need "reasonable cause", they can't (UK and US, ... other countries are often more restrictive) just send a demand to your bank saying "we have reasonable cause ..." - they need to take that to a court and get an order to hand over certain specified records

So far as the international disclosure of records for tax purposes goes, AFAIK, it is relatively limited - names and identifying information, balances (maybe year end, and "highest during the period"), but not a wholesale dump of all account and transaction records.
What HMRC want access to is getting wider and wider in their attempt to track down the 'black economy'

The question was Does HMRC need a court order to see bank details
Quote
Until June 2021, the answer to the question was a qualified ‘yes’. If HMRC is investigating a taxpayer, the power to issue a ‘third party notice’ to request information from banks and other financial institutions has been there for some time. It can also issue these notices to a taxpayer’s lawyers, accountants and estate agents.However, this doesn’t mean that the taxman can issue these notices willy-nilly. HMRC not only has to prove that information is ‘reasonably required’, but the taxpayer or a tax tribunal must give approval.

Financial Instistution Notices (FINS)

However as from June 2021, HMRC are now able to issue a new ‘Financial Institution Notice’, requiring financial institutions to provide information about a taxpayer. For this, the consent of the taxpayer or independent tribunal approval is no longer necessary. One of the main reasons that this was changed according to HMRC was that obtaining information from some overseas banks was taking too long.
End quote

But as said above HMRC will need some suspicion of wrong doing before they start digging.
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Old May 21st 2023, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
.... But as said above HMRC will need some suspicion of wrong doing before they start digging.
Interesting .... there are a few similar "demands" possible in the US too (though not for tax info AFAIK, though court orders for tax investigations are easy enough to obtain), but they're not trawling exercises, they're when you have already attracted attention and are in deep doo-doo, you just don't know it yet!

BTW I significantly expanded my post that you quoted (you quoted a work-in-progress), not only at the end, but near the start too.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 21st 2023 at 6:06 pm.
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Old May 22nd 2023, 5:34 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Recently checking my HMRC account I noted a private pension provider had been added but was astonished to see the yearly income ..... either my private pension provider had passed to HMRC or HMRC input the incorrect figure. It was enough to buy a Ferrari 458 Italia. I amended the figure online and got a quick response they will change my tax code. I did think why the heck had I paid more tax last month. If HMRC checked my bank account they would have seen the figure input was incorrect.
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Old May 22nd 2023, 7:55 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by FenTiger
Recently checking my HMRC account I noted a private pension provider had been added but was astonished to see the yearly income ..... either my private pension provider had passed to HMRC or HMRC input the incorrect figure. It was enough to buy a Ferrari 458 Italia. I amended the figure online and got a quick response they will change my tax code. I did think why the heck had I paid more tax last month. If HMRC checked my bank account they would have seen the figure input was incorrect.
Your pension provider passes info to HMRC
But who got the figure wrong you don't know without asking your pension provider what they passed to HMRC.

HMRC would have had no reason to check your bank account - unless a complaint is made. Anyway I suspect the whole process is automatic without any manual intervention.

Last edited by Peter_in_Hungary; May 22nd 2023 at 7:57 am.
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Old May 22nd 2023, 8:37 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
Your pension provider passes info to HMRC
But who got the figure wrong you don't know without asking your pension provider what they passed to HMRC.

HMRC would have had no reason to check your bank account - unless a complaint is made. Anyway I suspect the whole process is automatic without any manual intervention.
I have written to my private pension provider. I will not be happy if they made a mistake and I honestly would not be surprised because late last year they sent me a letter with wrong policy number and mentioned the date they supposedly received my documents. That was wrong too. They take 2-3 weeks to reply. I cannot telephone them for obvious reasons.

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Old May 22nd 2023, 10:44 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by FenTiger
I have written to my private pension provider..................... They take 2-3 weeks to reply. I cannot telephone them for obvious reasons.
You are better off writing anyway. Otherwise it's hours spent waiting for an answer after going through 5 mins of pre-recorded message. If you write the answer is probably gong to be correct because people think before putting pen to paper (usually) whereas on the phone it is their opinion at the moment - which can change for the next person.
This also applies to Hungary
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Old May 27th 2023, 9:21 am
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Default Re: UK government access to UK citizens bank account

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
You are better off writing anyway. Otherwise it's hours spent waiting for an answer after going through 5 mins of pre-recorded message. If you write the answer is probably gong to be correct because people think before putting pen to paper (usually) whereas on the phone it is their opinion at the moment - which can change for the next person.
This also applies to Hungary
That's the plan .... to write to them. I've just got to prop myself in front of my laptop and get cracking but I have not been feeling very motivated due to my left hand wrist injury and a few issues with a social media FB group!
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