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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: information powers: rules that apply to all notices: notices to banks about their customers: information and documents

Generally, notices to banks about their customers should ask for documents rather than information. Where information is required it should either be

  • clearly able to be derived from existing documents, or
  • intended to explain terms or entries in known documents.

Information outside these descriptions may only be requested with the approval of (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) . Fraud Investigation Service (FIS), Wealthy (previously High Net Worth Unit), Counter-Avoidance Directorate (previously Anti Avoidance Group) and Large Business (LB) have their own arrangements for giving approval.

Notices and mandates should specify only those documents available to the bank’s customer, which will normally include copies of documents provided to the bank by the customer.

You should not normally ask for documents that are confidential to the bank and not available to the customer, such as the bank’s correspondence file or information about credit-worthiness, but see CH232700. Nor should you normally ask for documents, retrieval of which is particularly costly and time consuming for the bank, for example paying in slips or paid cheques.

The authorised officer for FA08/Sch36, or a manager for CEMA/S118BA, could, for example, approve production of the following documents normally available to the bank’s customer:-

Records of

  • bank accounts
  • deposit receipts
  • standing orders
  • securities, valuables, and so on, held for the customer (either in safe keeping or as nominee)
  • accounts at other branches or banks
  • credit cards issued
  • safe deposits
  • the purchase and sale of shares
  • insurance transactions carried out on the customer’s behalf
  • details of loans arranged.

Your notice should only include requests for documents that relate to the tax periods, duty accounting periods or duty points you are checking.

See CH22140 about getting an authorised officer’s agreement to ask for documents more than 6 years old in FA08/Sch36 information notices.