UFU urges members to verify bank accounts in good time

Thursday, 7 July, 2022

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging members to make it a priority to verify bank accounts and to give themselves plenty of time to complete the process, so it does not disrupt the daily running of the farm. Cases of fraud and money laundering are on the rise and to combat this, the Financial Conduct Authority has instructed that all UK business accounts be updated to confirm that those named on the account are the rightful owner.

UFU deputy president William Irvine says it’s extremely important to pay careful attention to all correspondence from your bank and not to assume letters are unimportant or that emails are spam. He continued, “UFU members will receive letters from their bank informing them that they need to verify their accounts to stop further crimes of fraud and money laundering, and the steps to take to do this. The process differs for each bank with some proving to be much more complicated and time consuming than others, which is why farmers should not leave it to the last minute. There is a limited amount of time to verify your account and we’ve heard of cases where the farm business account has been frozen because paperwork hasn’t been sent in on time. This causes serious issues for the farm family when it comes to taking out and lodging money, as well as stalling any direct debits for insurance and other bills. An operational business account is key for any farm business and when it is no longer functioning it can cause huge stress.

“Members should follow up on any correspondence from their bank with immediate effect and should they have any difficulties verifying their account they can contact their local technical officer for assistance.”