Money Laundering

Today, I/we received a demand from Barclays Bank (France) to disclose all my income, living expenses, taxes, investments, money at other banks and etc.

I am told that if I do not comply within 4 weeks they will close my/our account.

It is alleged that it is a legal requirement to prevent Money Laundering.

I don't have a particular problem with this but:

a) Has anyone received anything g similar from their banks.

b) Do they really have the legal right to ask about our deposits in other banks?

The ads you see are delivered to you by Google and are targeted and contextual, we don't all see the same ones.

Funnily enough as I catch up with this discussion today, there is an ‘ad’ on rhs of discussion, for worldremit, which says, use code “free” for. O fees on your first money transfer. - below that is a link button which says “transfer now” . While hovering the finger touched something on the screen, and next thing I know World remit site has opened and first thing I see is “send money to Kenya”,!!!

, yes it’s looks a respectable webpage for a business, so I wonder James and Catherine do you monitor your website for the ads that Re on there or is it just this iPad Air that allows any ads to appear to side of discussions. Your own SFN icon is directly under the world remit ad!

Before anyone asks, or warns, no I’m not using world remit or any other transfer company Anyway.

my money’s safer under the mattress! Even if not earning interest :slight_smile:

. Very strange - box ad now disappeared from side and gone to top of page, wording changed, in an oblong box, but still for World Remit! Couple of small ads still on r h s for Bio vert and holiday insurance!

Whilst on topic of laundering and scams - wonder what both Barclays and HSBC will have to say about the FIFA debacle, apparently, they are involved in the handling (transfer?) of these huge sums of money now being talked about!

I don't understand how this applies to restaurants, do you dine by mail order?

As a (retired) vendo,r Paypal by reputation can be a nightmare, their admin isn't the greatest they are unapproachable and high handed, they can give wholly unjustified refunds to customers and then sting the vendor for ridiculous charges, and can take monthsworth of money out of your account by DD; also they take a whopping slice of the price (3.4%), much worse than Visa etc (under 1% for a decently sized business). google paypal nightmare.

If any company accepts cards online (or by phone) they have to get the security code from the back don't they, that's not a danger sign?

About banks, yes it was evident they were ignorant toerags (I had to explain the P&L to one manager!), but found it hard to come to terms with what lying scuzzbags they were.

I have a short set of rules that I have applied to both my business and personal life that so far (touch wood) at least has got me through just about every situtaion. I pass them on for your interest;

1) Never trust ANYTHING that comes via an e-mail - even if you think you know the company or person involved.

2) Never pay for anything purchased online if the company does not accept PayPal and/or asks for the security code on the back of your card. Again I have been with PayPal in both business and personal transactions for well over ten years, and only once had a problem which was covered by their insurance (free) system.

3) Pay for all utilities through direct debit with your bank.

4) Yes, I DO have two only exceptions to this a) Amazon (both ways) as they are both source of product and payments of my Royalties, and have been for several years, so I am pretty comfortable with them. The other is restaurant payments, although I do recognise the risks in this area.

It isn't total protection but it goes a long way towards it.

When I was a Marketing Prof. I made a constant reference to the fact that (as I have said earlier) that Banks are NOT your friends nor your Business allies but simply Commercial enterprises out to make a profit. They do have certain regulatory obligations above and beyond most others, but for the most part these are related to opening accounts and proof of identity in certain transactions. Beyond that they are strictly commercial - notably in the realms of insurances.

We need to protect ourselves more and more as the internet takes over our lives. Although unavoidable Government information is also seen by a myriad of people, many of quite junior rank, but I suppose you have to trust some areas - although if I was Greek I think I would not believe that!

What's the term 'due diligence' or 'caveat emptor'? - Probably both.

It seems that scamming is on the increase in connection with holiday lets- just received this email from Sawdays warning their customers (hope they don't mind me reposting!!!)


May is the time of year when most of us plan and book our summer holidays. Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when cunning scammers are at their busiest.

So, PLEASE follow our simple three-step guide, below, to avoiding being scammed, as you plan your summer escape.

1. Always be vigilant:

Scams are disturbingly common, not just in the travel industry. We’re now hearing from many other travel companies that owners of properties and guests alike are falling victim. So, please take care when you are making an online payment, such as a bank transfer, to someone you don’t know.

2. Be sure you are dealing with the person you think you are:

Do make sure that you’re speaking to the right person when having an email conversation and that you are certain you have the right person's bank details before you transfer money. Scammers are hacking into email accounts and posing as property owners. Using email addresses such as ‘Rental Properties Manager’, they appear quite plausible and are convincing unsuspecting enquirers to transfer money into bogus bank accounts.

3. Call the Sawday’s owner directly before transferring money:

By speaking with the real owner of the property you can be absolutely certain you have the correct bank details. (It's also a nice way to get to know them a little before your stay.) We also provide each owner’s email address on the confirmation page that appears once you’ve made an enquiry through our site. So, please make a note of it and only respond to emails from that address.

Finally, if you’ve made a recent booking or payment online it might be worth giving the owner a quick call to make sure all is well. Or, you can read more about booking and paying safely with Sawday’s.

Wishing you happy and safe travels.

I think that just because something emanated from a bank doesn't make it any the less of a scam or 'phishing' trip.

We tend to forget than they are just as much commercial enterprises as someone flogging double-glazing. Anyway as far as I am aware the Taxation Authorities here in France have every right to access all private bank accounts if they so wish.

Rather than try and check with the bank involved I would be inclined to contact the taxation offices and see what they have to say. As others have said, the invasion of privacy now worldwide should not be deemed acceptable from ANY commercial enterprise, including banks.

I grant it is probably too late to shut the stable door though.

Hi Peter,

My bank (not Barclays) demanded similar personal details which I thought a damn cheek. I told them I wasn't going to reply but thanked them for their request. This was a couple of years ago and I've not heard anything since. It'll probably surface if I want anything from them but at the moment, by the grace of God (rather than Mamond), I don't.

Personally I think all this intrusiveness should be stopped.

your sincerely


I week and one day and still unable to speak to Barclays Bergerac!

They just ask about income and investments. I get all earnings from abroad. I get some from Jordan in a couple of weeks, that might ring a few bells. Save the Children is hardly an international laundering business, but they'll be asking. I have contracts, receipts and all to deal with that.

Hi all, having started this discussion, in some respects pleased to read that I am not being picked on.

For those of you who thought it was a scam, the request is a valid one from Barclays, as I have spoken to their staff at their number and indeed it is on their web site demanding that I respond.

However, the form did not explicitly say "world wide", so I have supplied the information on my bank account and investment details in France, all of which of course are known to Barclays.

I have been a client of Barclays France for over 20 years and have found them to be a most pedantic and procedure bound operation. Essentially, banks are instructed that that they must "know their clients" and even now after 20 years dealing with a very small agency Barclays still ask me for proof of identity. As for the limp excuse about anti money laundering, do they really think that the primary money laundering perpetrators are going to be exposed by the bank sending out these trite (and excessively intrusive) forms? My guess is that not a single one of these forms has managed that. In fact, it is the banks themselves that have been heavily fined recently for money laundering (and plenty of other financial misbehaviour too) - tell them to get their own house in order before imposing their half baked procedures on innocent clients.

Better than mine (HSBC-UK) which wanted a copy of my new passport (in case of what I ask myself); the French relationship manager actually scanned my passport, actualy emailed it when I was in the office, and still the %^&*s denied receipt.

Haven't had a demand for such extensive detail in the past 16 years from either of two banks we have operated (as a non-resident, non-business) house owners. However, when a substantial sum was deposited by a notaire (subsequent to the sale of an earlier house), a written statement was demanded (although the bank accepted that they knew that the money was from the the sale of a house and was deposited by a notaire). In the UK, in my limited experience, questions are asked by a bank (usually by a phone call) and briefly answered (by us) if a substantial (unusual) amount appears in a bank account. The French banks seems to be more particular, in my experience. Good luck!

Do please double check with the bank directly. Details of living expenses, investments, taxes, evening outs, holidays ... sounds unreasonably painful... Vive la France!!

Thanks to the UK government I got a refund

I don't see how they would ever be able to verify your balances in other banks, or indeed the existence of accounts in other banks so let your imagination run riot!

I've tweeted the CNIL (data protection France), this goes well beyond Know Your Customer in my view

I had a very lucky escape about 2008 when I decided not to put the proceeds from a UK property sale into a little bank called Landesbanki (although they were clients of mine)- they came from Iceland and they were offering ridiculous interst rates and LOTS of British councils put public money in (they should have spread it but didn't).

Look for the World Bank report on laundering from about 2012. It is fascinating reading. Virtually no financial institution has clean hands and I am surprised HSBC did not get their comeuppance sooner for that alone. A terribly large amount of tax avoidance and evasion depends on laundering to move money around, especially from large corporations to their owners since the strictly legitimate route through their company's bankers would make their money susceptible to taxation because governments can insist on seeing the details of accounts no matter what they ell us. The laundering thing here at present is happening all over Europe and is becoming the norm. The UK is avoiding such things, being trustful of their clients. There I must laugh when it is slowly but inexorably becoming clear that the City is one of the best clearing houses for large amounts of money that in part of of dubious origin. So, filling in a little form and pretending to be good means that if you are at it then do it somewhere else and very carefully.

More than likely. There was a very anti Channel Island banking article in our local paper this week and Barclays obviously have branches there. Anglo Saxon banking is seen as a great devil in France, although the French banks lost fortunes in the banking crisis as they had lent huge sums to dodgy property spivs in the UK and USA. Just as the Irish banks lost money in France as well as the UK. When I wanted to get access to a UK family trust bank account I was told that I would have to visit a UK branch of barclays to prove my ID and that visiting a branch of their's in France would not be acceptable, as there are allegedly Chinese walls in the company between different countries. So much for reducing bureacracy!

Perhaps Barclays France are being investigated by the tax authorities!