Keeping you safe from scams

We want to do everything we can to make sure that you’re safe from scams when you make a new payment.

We’ve worked with other UK banks and the regulators to make changes recently to the steps you need to make when you make new payments. The reason for these changes is to help you be as sure as you can be that your money goes to the right place.


We need extra details when you pay someone new

When you make a payment to someone you haven’t paid before (a ‘new payee’), as well as the account number and sort code, you’ll now need:

  • The account name exactly as it appears on the account 
  • The account type – personal or business 


We’ll check what you tell us against the details on the new payee’s account and let you know the results before you make the payment. There will be a few outcomes:

1.        The name and account type match 

If you use the correct name and account type, you’ll receive confirmation that they match the account you’re trying to pay, so you can proceed with the payment. No payments will be made automatically. Even when the name and account type match, you’ll always need to confirm that you want to go ahead with a payment.

2.         The details partially match 
If you’ve got a partial match, you’ll be given the actual name or account type of the account holder, so you can check and update the details, or contact the person or organisation you are trying to pay.
3.         The name doesn’t match 
If the name doesn’t match, you’ll be told that the name is not correct and advised to contact the person or organisation you’re trying to pay.

Joint accounts

If you need to pay a joint account you’ll need to ask for the name of a joint account exactly as it’s registered with your payees’ bank, the same as for any other account.

Giving you extra peace of mind

These checks can help you avoid simple mistakes like mis-typing account details when you set up a payment. They also help tackle fraud. They offer increased protection against authorised push payment scams  and aim to reduce the chance of you falling victim to the different forms of maliciously misdirected payments. Credit cards and BACS payments including Direct Debits are not included for the time being. 

Keeping you secure

To check that payee names are right, banks will use a secure directory. We’re one of several of the UK’s largest financial organisations to implement these changes. Other institutions include: Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Nationwide, RBS and Ulster Bank.

When is it happening?

The banking industry is making these changes over a period of time to minimise any potential disruption. They’ll happen between the end of 2019 and early April 2020, but not all banks are participating straight away.

Opting out

 Customers of the participating banks will automatically be included so that we can make these checks to help our customers pay the right account. However, if you’d rather opt out, you can let us know and we’ll make sure that your name won’t be validated and presented back to anyone sending you payments. If you’d like to discuss opting out, or understand the implications, please either call us or visit your local branch. 


You’ll already be familiar with changes we made a while ago:

  • When you enter the sort code of the account you’re paying, we show you the name of the bank so that you can check it’s the right bank.
  • We ask you to choose a reason for the payment so that we can help protect you from scams.
  • Before you go ahead with a payment we ask you to make sure all the information is correct and that you’ve read the messages we’ve shown you. 

Never set up new or change existing payment details without first verifying the request directly with the person or company you’re paying, preferably using existing contact details.

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