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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: third party notice: bank mandates: introduction

Where you need information or documents that a bank would normally provide to the person you should, in the first instance, ask the person to provide them; issuing a formal request and considering a penalty if you receive no response. If this approach is unsuccessful, only then should you consider the issue of a third party notice to a bank see CH232100.

The person may ask that you contact the bank direct. You may judge this to be the best way to progress your compliance check. However, particularly if you have issued a taxpayer notice requiring the person to provide information or provide documents, you should not allow the person to avoid that obligation by making direct contact with the person’s bank.

If you decide to make a direct approach to the person’s bank you will need the person to complete a bank mandate.

A mandate has the advantage that it can give a higher level of assurance that all the information you need has been produced. In cases where you require that higher assurance you may wish to take the initiative in proposing a mandate. Note that a mandate will only enable you to obtain material that the bank would have provided to the person. If you need the bank’s internal confidential records, see CH232600.

You should make the person aware that the bank may charge him or her for the information provided.

Where the person is willing to give you a mandate you should let them have two mandate forms for each bank* you need to approach. Ask the person to sign and return to you each mandate form, see CH225170.

After the signed mandate is received an approach to the bank can be made, see CH255175.

*With the exception of the Ulster Bank where a mandate is required for each branch.