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back to article Minister: Banks should give ID cards to people with no money

Home Office Identical Minister Meg Hillier has hit on a brilliant wheeze that could solve all her social exclusion problems. Banks need proof of ID when you open an account, right? Banks give people free stuff when they open an account, right? Sooooo... banks could give people free ID cards when they open accounts! This cunning …

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FAIL

Oh look,

she's talking garbage, her lips moved!

Dumb guvmuppets, all of them

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Flame

oh dear

The dent in my desk where my head keeps meeting it at high velocity is starting to look more and more pronounced. Is there no end to the dumbfuckery of this administration? Bring on the GE, I know it won't change much for fucks sake it's an opportunity.

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As was said elsewhere

..... branding the cows benefits the farmer not the cows

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And

And certainly provides no benefits to the slaughterhouse!

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Go

Title.

"And that last bit could be seen as flagging another critical flaw in Meg's plans to fight social exclusion. It is not, surely, difficulties in proving their identity that stop the socially excluded opening bank accounts and getting credit - might not the fact that they don't have any money have something to do with it?"

I love this paragraph, and were I gifted with a womb, would gladly bear it's children.

This single paragraph neatly lays out the proof of our government's complete lack of mental acuity, regardless of the area to which they apply their unimaginable ignorance.

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Unhappy

"Let them eat cake..."

I'm just waiting for the modern equivalent of the title phrase. Won't be long now, this is a close runner up.

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The government cant give em away right now

But when they have 90% of us signed up it will be £100 to re-issue the card every few years or even to change your address (which will be compulsory).

I hate to think what this shithole of a country will be like in 10 years time, makes sad and angry at the same time thinking about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Title

Is there no proposal too stupid for members of this government to suggest.

Comical, desperate, unworkable rubbish.

ID cards will be a failure in the UK, please stop spunking taxpayers hard-earned up the wall trying to convince us otherwise.

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FAIL

Not to mention the fines

when they do a moonlit flit, and don't notify the change of address. Perhaps she expects the banks to pay them as well.

Who in their right mind would buy a card two months before the next government may cancel it?

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Boffin

Each country has the piliticians it deserves

You only have to be a foreigner to experience that you be turned down by banks when you try to open an account. And this kind of proposals cannot be serious at all.

The “United Kingdom” needs a credible constitution and a reliable legal framework, the basic foundation for a democratic country. But all this can only be achieved with smart, educated politicians.

I know – farfetched – the bit with the politicians.

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The UK constitution

If the UK got a written constitution today it would be full of the rights of citizens to give up their freedoms in exchange for silly laws being passed to prevent nameless bad people doing nameless bad things in nameless bad places.

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Let me correct that for you...

"If the UK got a writen constitution todasy it would be full of the rights of citizens to give up their freedoms in exchange for silly laws being passed to prevent nameless bad people doing nameless bad things in nameless bad place... from being prosecuted"

There. That's sorted. NuLab would put together a croney's constitution - nothing more, nothing less.

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Big Brother

Well

Well, you can channel that anger at hating the terrorists who hate freedom. Also, channel it against the dark forces waiting in the shadows...always ready to pounce...always waiting to destroy freedom wherever they find it!

If you hate ID cards...you hate freedom...you don't hate freedom do you? Good.

*dispatches helicopter to retrieve Nathan for re-education*.

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Anyone with limited proof of ID, can open a basic bank account

Those without ID (passport, utility bills etc) can still apply for a 'Basic' bank account, which usually just provides a debit card and online banking facilities. The Benefits Agency and local authorities also strongly suggest to claimants to open a 'Basic' account. My banks gives leaflets suggesting they will open accounts from people who just provide letters from GP's/Teachers/Social Workers, confirming they know the holder, other things like Benefits Agency letters, NHS registration cards, Electoral registers all support opening such basic bank accounts.

Check out:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=basic+bank+accounts&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

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Big Brother

IDs for banking

My wife used to be a cash/counter manager at a building society that was bought by a bank. A lot of her customers were very unhappy when this happened, but were really stuck when it then came to taking out their money, or closing their accounts.

Recent regulations (from the politicos) said that everyone had to provide certain proof to do things like open acounts, or move large amounts of money (in case it hadn't been taxed enough). Some of the customers didn't have passports or driving licenses, and found that under the new rules that they couldn't have their money.

There were also similar problems for people wanting to open accounts. Nothing could be done if you didn't have a pasport or driving license.

If the gov really wants to push ID cards, then they will just change the rules again, and make it compusory to use a Gov ID card to open accounts or move money.

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Pretty much, yeah

"Those without ID (passport, utility bills etc) can still apply for a 'Basic' bank account, which usually just provides a debit card and online banking facilities."

Indeed, the banks are required by law to provide this facility, and Meg Hillier is full of shit. The only reason that people have difficulty opening bank accounts is if they have a dodgy credit history - in which case they can still have a basic account because there are no overdraft or credit facilities offered, or they do not wish to have their details forwarded to a credit agency because they are absconding from debt, in which case they are well and truly fucked because all of the banks will pass your details to a credit agency even if they don't do a check.

Besides which, if someone is so 'socially excluded' that they can't rustle up enough ID to open a bank account, they really won't have any actual money (or not 'legitimately'), because if they were in the system _at all_ tax, benefits, etc, etc, all provide a paper trail you can use. So basically what Hillier means when she says "socially excluded" is "dodgy fuckers", and funnily enough, banks don't like to business with dodgy fuckers.

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Anonymous Coward

the banks are required..

..by law to provide this facility.

'Fraid not, and I speak as a former bankrupt. Although I agree that that single regulation would be a million times more useful than any amount of ID card fuckwittery.

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My bad

Jumped the gun, it is in fact not law yet, but it will be shortly due an EU consultation exercise that took place early last year. Wires crossed, sort of thing.

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If I was a bank manager.....

There's no way I'd give money to someone who presents a UK ID card as proof of ID.

If they have that little regard for their personal data security then there is no way they should be trusted with a bank account, credit card, PINs, etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Deposits are a bad thing..

"They make money from deposits and from lending money to people who're likely to be able to pay them back"

Banks lose money on anything that's deposited with them as the people sort of insist on being paided interest, which then puts a dent in the profits. Also they don't lend that deposited money out as such, they leverage it to create many times the deposited amount out of thin air which is then handed out to Joe Public.

Now if Banks could just get rid of that inconvient part of having to have capital they could stop paying out all that interest and then they'd be really profitable, honest guv.

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Deposits make money for banks.

Banks deposit their deposits with the Bank of England that pays more interest than they do. The difference is profit.

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Boffin

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that

Although I'm as ill-informed as anyone else about this...

Surely a BoE deposit is just one of many investments a bank could choose to make with account holders' money? I would expect it to have a pretty low, but near-enough guaranteed rate of return, so it would be a pretty safe investment. I'm sure they also invest cash in riskier things like the stock market, not to mention all the weird and wonderful creations that come out of the derivatives markets.

Regardless, I think what the BoE does a lot of is simply give other banks cash in return for "stuff" valued using whatever hocus pocus seems to be the least worst way at the time, and charge interest on the loan too. Especially now, when cash is scarce, the BoE seems to be quite keen to loan cash out to anyone who can pass it something of perceived worth in exchange.

Where's the house-of-cards icon?

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Ummm....

"I would expect it to have a pretty low, but near-enough guaranteed rate of return".

Yes.... you might expect that. However, part of the reason for the current economic troubles is because the banks invested the money with other banks that had offered "safe investments" on products that were essentially flimsier than toilet paper (and the generic single ply brand at that)

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Anonymous Coward

will "Problem" please meet "Solution" at the customer service desk?

So the government comes up with an ID card that literally NO ONE wants, not the public, nor the airports, nor the banks. And all they can do is run around telling each of those groups that the other 2 groups are waiting for THEM to finally get their ID cards. Operating under the assumption that 2 or more groups of people would never talk to each other and find out what's really going on.

Divide and conquer I think the motto is. Maybe Meg Hitler needs to hitch her wagon to a more divisive issue?

"Hey chavs, do you hate RICH PEOPLE, get ID cards and I promise to kill all the rich people and give their money to you!"

"Hey toffs, do you hate CHAVS, get ID cards and I promise to kill all the chavs and use their bones to make glue!"

Sad thing is, that actually has a better chance of working than what she's doing now. I think God ran out of brains and took a piss in her skull.

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Where to go

If my bank offered me a free ID card I'd happily tell them where to shove it. Then I'd be looking for somewhere else to keep my overdraft.

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Anonymous Coward

If my bank offered me a free ID card...

... I'd be tempted to go to the bank next door where they don't know me and I don't have an account, fake up a couple of utility bills etc on a printer and say "Yes, thank you, my name is Mr A Cowherd and I'll have a free ID card...

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NRT

I almost feel sorry for Meg

Imagine the scene. You are waiting by the phone for the call that tells you that you have reached the peak of your career... You have been promoted to minister!

Then you discover that it's "Minister of going around sounding like a fool". What a crushing anticlimax it must have been.

Nick.

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> Minister of going around sounding like a fool

Is there any other kind?

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Is there any other kind?

I have a sneaking regard for Estelle Morris who, when Education Minister, admitted the job was too difficult for her and resigned.

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Goverment to pay for card?

If Meg Hiller wants the socially disadvantaged to have easy access to banking, and thinks that a lack of an ID card is preventing said people from getting a bank account, then why doesn't she give free ID cards to those in receipt of certain benefits?

Simples!

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d

Because then they can't externalise the cost onto the banks!

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Coat

@Colin Miller

"then why doesn't she give free ID cards to those in receipt of certain benefits?"

Shut up you fool.

The last thing you want to giving the Minister for Confiscating All Your Personal Data for Safe Keeping is an *idea*, 49 days away (84 maximum) before an election. With her 10 000+ majority she will have one of her staff make a note and put it in a folder (something like "The World Shall Hear From Me Again")

Mine's the one one with some of Christopher Lee's back catalog in it.

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Mental image

"Banks need proof of ID when you open an account, right? Banks give people free stuff when they open an account, right? Sooooo... banks could give people free ID cards when they open accounts!"

I have no idea what Meg Hillier looks like so when I read this who popped into my head but that chirpy little ginger chipmunk Hazel Blears. Thanks, Reg!

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Megaphone

We all have ID cards already from our banks

We all have ID cards already from our banks: credit cards and debit cards? what are the politicians talking about ?

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Anonymous Coward

Banks know about ID cards now?

My partner presented his ID card as proof of ID, they didn't know at the bank what it was or whether it was a recognised form of ID. They photocopied it anyway to keep as an example. The photocopy came out black...

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Happy

From henceforth I shall be know as...

"So try this scenario. Someone with no utility bills, credit history or whatever but £10,000 in crumpled fivers walks into a bank and asks to open an account. "

I haz the cash and my name is .....Mr. E.Dealer

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This is going to end well

As soon as people with no access to banking are given it with the encouragement of the government, you can guarantee that some oik in a nasty shiny suit will develop a 'product' that gives them access to stupid levels of credit, encourage them to get horribly into debt and kick off yet another cycle of boom and bust.

And it'd be foolish to think the banks won't do it - they did it before with self-certified mortgages, 125% loan to value mortgages and subprime deals - it ended horribly and what was the pay-back? They got bailed out by the taxpayer. there's simply no risk being a banker, the government will always cover your losses.

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FAIL

The smell...

... of sheer desperation from this woman is just overwhelming. Is there anything she won't say or do (or pretend to believe) just to keep her pet project going? Anything other than LISTEN that is?

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@Mike Richards

"And it'd be foolish to think the banks won't do it - they did it before with self-certified mortgages, 125% loan to value mortgages and subprime deals - it ended horribly and what was the pay-back? They got bailed out by the taxpayer. there's simply no risk being a banker, the government will always cover your losses."

Yes it does sound like the sort of situation the City of London would come up with some legal(ish) "financial instrument" to do *exactly* that.

However they're far to smart to get lumbered with the admin for this rubbish. thumbs down for a truly stupid idea.

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Anonymous Coward

Deep Spin

The saddest thing isn't the violently ludicrous notion of havng banks pony up the dosh to give sad sacks ID cards that nobody but the government wants even if they'd drop the price -- the life long hassle just isn't worth it.

No, the real problem with this sickening attempt at saccharine government spin is that somehow without government oversight and a membership (``ID'') card to go with it, you cannot be social. Sorry girlie, the government just isn't that important. In fact, it excels at painting itself irrelevant incompetent idiots.

I have news for you: Painting yourself more into a corner isn't going to get you out of it. Obviously, but it equally obviously is news for you.

On that note, anybody tried signing up for a card then opting out right after receiving said card? (Only try this if you're terminally bored and could do with some futile ``excitement'').

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Identity?

"it would effectively operate as a pass, as opposed to actual proof of ID" - meaning that a card with your fingerprint on** would prove who you were? How? It wouldn't even 'prove' you are the owner of that print, your finger does that.

** or a link to a database with your print on - same thing.

No-one in government seems willing (or capable) of thining out what identity means!

AndyD 8-)#

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Big Brother

Herr Flick

As there aren't any ID Card readers to speak of, bank employees will have to adopt the government's (euphemism) advice and 'flick' the card, listening for that particular and peculiar sound an ID Card makes.

Well, you could make it up. The government (euphemism) does.

I have taken the advice of a previous El Reg contributor and ordered 5 information packs which I will redistribute (using pre-paid envelopes, of course) to various MPs including Meg Hillier!

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Flick the card.

That looks good written down. It will look even better in capital letters. Painted on a wall. With the crook of the 'L' slightly rounded, and its tail blending into the 'I'.

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One problem...

There's no guarantee here that the banks will give them an account.

If they can't prove who they are initially then the chance is their credit history is blank, inaccurate or negative - and they will just get rejected.

And lets face it, getting a lifetime, legal, obligation to keep documentation up to date. As a promotional item its a poisoned chalice. Within years there would be stories of people being fined/imprisoned because they got a bank account and had no clue about the "compulsory permanent ID" part.

I'd rather have the carriage clock.

Next she will be suggesting we implant GPS chips in all ID cards and make them mandatory to carry with you (oh, wait). Then you wouldn't need a permanent address.

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