Cifas is the sole provider of access to the Home Office’s list of 'disqualified persons' for organisations such as banks or building societies that offer current accounts.
Banks and building societies who offer current accounts are required by the Immigration Act 2014 to check the Home Office’s list of 'disqualified persons’ before they either open a new current account, or add a new signatory or beneficiary to an existing current account.
When the Act became law in 2014, Cifas was named as the sole provider of disqualified persons data for banks and building societies. Our relationship with the Home Office began several years before, sharing data to help UK organisations prevent fraud and stop crime. Our secure systems, not-for-profit status, and position as a Specified Anti-Fraud Organisation make us a trusted partner to the government.
If your organisation is already a member of one of Cifas’ databases, you will already have access to the data. If your organisation is not one of our member banks or building societies, we offer specific access via the Cifas Immigration Portal (CIP).
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) provides guidance for banks and building societies on the requirements of the Act. Along with the FCA, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding explaining how our two organisations work together in order to support the Act’s successful implementation.
By accessing the disqualified persons data before you approve an application for a new current account, or add a new signatory or beneficiary to an existing one, you are helping to create a hostile environment for anyone in the UK illegally – i.e. those who have exhausted their legal right to appeal in the UK and are either an illegal overstayer or an absconder.
The Immigration Act 2016 builds on banking measures in the Immigration Act 2014, and places a statutory duty on banks and building societies to check details of their existing current account holders against a list of 'disqualified persons’.
Where such checks identify that a current account holder is a "disqualified person", the bank or building society is required to notify the Home Office and, when instructed by the Home Office, take steps to prevent continued access to existing accounts. The Home Office will either notify the bank or building society that it is under a duty to close the account as soon as reasonably practicable, or apply for a court order freezing the disqualified person’s account.
The banking measures come into force on 30 October, 2017. Banks and building societies will conduct their first check in January 2018. If you have questions for Cifas, please email us.
The FCA has detailed guidance for consumers on their rights when opening a current account. In addition, the Home Office provides guidance to individuals whose applications for current accounts have been rejected due to their inclusion on the list of disqualified persons.
We are unable to take enquiries from members of the public about the list of disqualified persons – please contact the Home Office directly.