Cancer Research UK
Mental Health Media
Elephant Atta
College of Policing

Home Office suspends bank checks

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

THE Home Office is to suspend immigration checks on thousands of bank accounts following the Windrush scandal. The department is contacting banks and building societies to instruct them to re­duce the scope of the investigations. Since January, banks have been re­quired to conduct quarterly checks on 70 million UK current accounts. If an ac­count is suspected of being used by an illegal immigrant, the Home Office reviews it before instructing the bank to act including shutting it down. The Home Office said it did not pub­lish data on the number of bank accounts already closed under the measures. It comes after home secretary Sajid Javid said his officials had written to banks to flag thousands of accounts believed to be held by illegal immigrants. But the problems highlighted by the Windrush scandal – of individuals be­ing wrongly identified as illegal immi­grants and having access to services and work denied – have raised doubts over the reliability of the checks. A Home Office spokeswoman said the checks had been sus­pended temporarily. “It is vital that the compliant en­vironment protects vulnera­ble people and appropriate safeguards are built into the measures,” she said.

You do not have access to this content. You need to create an account.