FAQs Verifying your identity
As a regulated financial services company, Aviva is required to carry out identity checks on its customers in order to help prevent financial crimes such as money laundering and identity fraud. This also extends to associated third parties such as attorneys.
Such checks are normally carried out when an individual first becomes a customer, but there are also situations where we may need to verify the identity of existing customers - for example if you were a customer before such identity checks became a legal requirement, if you have had a change of personal circumstances, or if we have been unable to successfully verify your identity in the past.
We will always try to confirm the identity of our customers using an electronic verification system which checks your name and address against several databases including the electoral roll. Sometimes it is not possible to verify customers using this method, such as if you reside overseas, and we will ask you to provide documentation.
Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2017, firms must have procedures in place to detect and prevent money laundering, including measures to verify the identity of its customers and associated third parties.
Please supply one piece of photo evidence from the list below:
- Current passport
- Current photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
- Firearms/shotgun certificate
If you don’t have any of the above, you can use a combination of two pieces of non-photographic evidence – one from Section One and another from Section Two.
SECTION ONE: Evidence of personal identity
- Current old style UK driving licence
- Recent confirmation of tax credit
- Recent state pension entitlement
- Recent evidence of entitlement to local authority benefit (e.g. housing or council tax benefit)
- Recent education or other grant
- Employment support allowance confirmation letter (giving details of allowance received)
- Disability living allowance entitlement letter (giving details of the payments received)
SECTION TWO: Evidence of address
- Recent council tax demand
- Utility bill less than 3 months old (not mobile phone or printed from the internet)
- Current bank/debit/credit card statement less than 3 months old (not printed from the internet)
- Instrument of court appointment (liquidator/grant of probate)
- For customers who live in a nursing or care home, we can accept a letter from the principal of the home (less than 3 months old) on headed paper confirming that you are resident there
Documents must be dated within the last 12 months when we receive them, unless otherwise noted above. The name and address stated on the documents must match what we hold on our records, otherwise the evidence may be rejected.
We can accept certification by any one of the following professions:
- Embassy official
- Consulate or High Commission of the Jurisdiction of issue
- Lawyer, Attorney, Notary Public or equivalent
- Commissioner of Oaths or equivalent
- Financial Adviser (regulated in the UK)
- Chartered Accountant
- Justice of the Peace
- Police or Customs Officer
- Postmaster or Sub Postmaster
- Bank or Building Society Official
Please note certification is at the discretion of individual branches; please check whether your branch offers this service
- Member of Parliament. Councillor (Local or County)
- General Practitioner (GP), Consultant or Medical Professional (e.g. Nurse, Midwife etc).
- Civil Servant (permanent)
- Social worker
- Officer of the Armed Services
- Minister of recognised religion
- Teacher or lecturer
Please note the certifier must be actively practising their profession. We are unable to accept certification by other individuals or professions.
Documents should be certified only by an individual, and not in the name of their firm. They must be easy to contact and not a family member.
The certifier must sign and date each document, stating ‘original seen’ and print their name and position. The certification must be dated within the last 6 months.
If the document includes a photograph, the certifier needs to also confirm that it is a ‘true likeness to the individual’.
The certifier should stamp each document with their company stamp. If they do not use a company stamp, they should also state their company name and address. The certifier should also provide their contact details (including address if this is not included in their company stamp).
Please note some professions may charge for certifying documents. We are unable to refund any costs incurred in obtaining certification.
Original documents may be lost or intercepted in the post, which can put customers at risk of fraud or identity theft. Therefore we do not ask for originals except when absolutely necessary, such as when dealing with legal documents.
Whilst we appreciate it may be inconvenient, obtaining certification helps protect customers, as it provides evidence that we are dealing with that individual and not someone claiming to be them.
If we are unable to verify a customer’s identity within a reasonable timeframe, the law requires us to stop accepting transactions until verification is complete. This includes associated third parties. In such a scenario, we will be unable to pay the proceeds of any withdrawal and may also be unable to accept further investment from you.
Please note that, while we are awaiting documentation, any withdrawal proceeds will be held in a designated client money account and will not accrue interest during this period.
Depending on the circumstances, we may be able to accept documents in another name as long as we have sufficient documentation to evidence that you are the same individual.
For example, if you have recently changed name due to marriage or deed poll, and your documents are still in your previous name, we will need to see the original marriage certificate or a certified copy of your deed poll alongside your evidence.
If your investment is in your previous name and your documents are in your new name, we will also need to update our records and will need an instruction signed in both your old and new names (even if your signature is unchanged).
Please contact us before submitting your evidence, explaining the reasons for the difference in name, and we will let you know what additional documentation we will require.
I have recently changed address but all my documents show my previous address. What can you accept instead?
We will accept any solicitors’ letters relating to your house purchase, or any rental agreement, that states your name and full address as evidence of address.
We can accept a recent bank statement (less than 3 months old) as evidence of address. If you are unable to provide a bank statement, or any of the other documents listed in section 2, there may be other documents that you can provide. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and we will let you know what other documents we may be able to accept.
We are unable to accept documents printed directly from the internet as they may be easily altered. However, many banks will be able to arrange for a paper statement to be sent to you on request.
I am resident in a nursing / care home and don’t have any of the requested documents. What can you accept instead?
For customers who live in a nursing or care home, we can accept a letter from the principal of the home (less than 3 months old) on headed paper confirming that you are resident there as evidence of address. Alternatively, we will accept an invoice from the home (less than 3 months old) as long as it is on headed paper and states your name and the full address of the home.
For evidence of identity, we can accept a recent confirmation of state pension entitlement. If you do not have any documentation from the Department of Work & Pensions relating to your state pension, we can accept a bank statement showing that you are in receipt of state pension payments as evidence of identity. This would typically appear on your bank statement as DWP followed by your National Insurance Number.
Whilst we are able to hold a PO Box or Care of address on file for correspondence purposes, we are required to hold your permanent residential address on file to comply with tax legislation and it is this address we must verify.
We appreciate that some overseas countries do not deliver post to residences. If you do not have any documents showing your physical address, please contact us to discuss your circumstances and we will let you know what other documents we may be able to accept.
We are able to accept documents with a BFPO address, as long as that is the address we hold on file for you.
We generally require documents to be provided to us in English. We may be able to accept bank statements or utility bills if your name and address information is clear and we are able to recognise the bank or utility company. Otherwise, we will require a certified translation to accompany the document.
For customers who have a power of attorney registered on file, we can accept documents from section 1 that have been issued care of the attorney as evidence of identity.
However, your evidence of address must show your permanent residential address. If you do not have any documents showing your physical address, please contact us to discuss your circumstances and we will let you know what other documents we may be able to accept.
When attorneys are appointed jointly and severally, they all have authority to deal with the client’s account. We therefore have to register all of the appointments, even though they can act independently. The regulations require us to obtain verification evidence for all third parties with authority on the account, so we are obliged to ask all attorneys for evidence, even when appointed jointly and severally.
We appreciate that some clients may not have all of the documents we have requested. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances and we will let you know what other documents we may be able to accept.
Need more information?
For further information, you can get in touch with us by phone or in writing.