Verifying your identity

Why have I been asked for proof of identity?

You may be asked to confirm your identity if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • New customer
  • Individual appointed as an attorney
  • Existing customer applying for a new product/ service over six months later
  • Existing customer on-boarded before regulatory changes were introduced regarding identification and verification of customers
  • Individual making a payment on behalf of the beneficial owner of the product/ service
  • When we have not been able to successfully verify the identify of an individual
  • To ensure that our records are up to date
  • To protect both yourself and us against fraud

We will utilise an electronic identification system to verify your identity in the first instance.  When it is not possible to confirm your identity using this method, we will request documentation from you to help us verify your identity.

If we request proof of identity, you may provide us with one of the following documents:

-Valid Passport

-Valid Driving Licence

If we request proof of address, you may provide us with one of the following documents. Please note, it must be dated within three months of the date it is sent:

-Bank Statement

-Utility Bill

All documents must be clear, legible and complete. The entire document must be provided (although we will accept bank statements with transaction information redacted). Downing reserves the right to reject and request new copies if the documentation received is of sub-standard quality. Other documentation can be accepted, please speak to a member of our customer service team for further details on this.

What can I do if my documents show my previous name?

We accept documents in your previous name. However, you will also need to provide a photocopy of your marriage certificate/ change of name deed to evidence your name change.

I have recently moved address and do not have any documentation evidencing my new address- what should I do?

We accept a letter from a solicitor for a house purchase or a rental agreement that states your full name and address.

I am a resident in a nursing home- how can I evidence my address?

We accept a letter on a headed paper from a nursing home confirming your residence or an invoice from the nursing home dated within three months.

All of my proof of address documents are in electronic format- will you accept them?

We do not accept documents printed directly from the internet because they can be easily altered. However, online bank statements can be accepted if they are certified by your bank as a true copy.

I don’t want to send original documents; can I send copies instead?

We accept copies of most documentation if they have been certified by a person of one of the below professions:

  • Financial advisers 
  • Regulated Financial or Credit Institution including Intermediaries 
  • Lawyer/solicitor
  • Accountant
  • Embassy/Consular Staff 
  • Post Office Identity Checking Service
  • Doctor
  • Police Officer

To certify the document, the person should review the copy and the original, and write the following statement (or words to this effect):

"I {name of certifier} certify that this is a true and accurate copy of {full name of investor}'s {description of document} as witnessed by me on {date of certification}

If the document being certified is a copy of an identity document with a photograph e.g. passport, the certifier must also state that they confirm that “it is a true likeness” of the individual. 

The certifier must sign the copy, stating their job title and professional address or contact number.

The certification must be no older than six months on the date we receive it and must be written in English in wet ink. 

Please note, we do not accept certified copies of certified copies under any circumstances.

My documentation is not in English- can they still be accepted?

As we are a UK registered and trading company, we usually only accept identity documentation (including death certificates) in English. In exceptional circumstances, we may accept documentation in another language.

What will happen if I do not provide the required documents?

Unfortunately, we are not legally allowed to transact with any individuals whose identity we are unable to verify.

Will you accept my application without a wet signature?

Unfortunately, we only accept application forms with wet signatures from the underlying investor.

Why do you require my bank details on the application form?

In order for us to fulfil our obligations under the Money Laundering Regulations and Client Money Regulations, we need verify your bank details. If we cannot verify your bank details, we may have to contact you for further information. Any proceeds will be paid back into the account detailed on your application form unless we are notified otherwise

Why can't my bank account details be verified electronically?

There are various reasons why bank details might not be able to be verified electronically:

  • Details might not be up to date
  • Some information may have changed recently
  • Your bank might not be able to provide your details to the external database - this can be the case if you have held an account with them for a long time or if they are a "new bank".

In such circumstances, we would require evidence of the account that is registered to you at the address you have provided.

Can I transfer investment funds from an account that is not in my name?

We only accept investment monies from an account in the name of the underlying investor, including joint accounts. Any exceptions to this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.