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June 25, 2019updated 28 Jun 2019 10:21am

Lloyds freezes nearly 8,000 Jersey expat accounts

Lloyds Banking Group has frozen around 8,000 Jersey-based expat accounts that are registered offshore in a bid to curb money laundering, reported Financial Times.

According to the report, the affected accounts constitute less than 5% of its expat accounts.

The action was taken after the account holders in question were unable to provide certain details regarding their identity.

The concerned customers were directed to do so three years ago.

A Lloyds spokesperson was quoted as saying: “Over the last three years we have made multiple attempts to contact these customers, asking that they provide us with the necessary information.

“Unfortunately, where a customer has not provided us with this necessary information we have had to freeze their account until we get the information.

“This is also to protect the customer, as it prevents anybody else trying to use the account if the customer has stopped using it or has moved address.”

Jersey houses the bank’s international headquarters.

Through its international unit, Lloyds offers private and consumer banking services as well as financial advice to residents and expats in the Channel Islands.

The latest move comes in the wake of stricter anti-money laundering rules in Jersey.

Jersey along with Guernsey and the Isle of Man recently agreed to set up public registers of the owners of offshore firms.

Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank sought company ownership and other documents from around 1,000 of its corporate customers.

The bank said that these customers could risk losing access to banking services on failing to do so.

 

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