Identification (Except for Export Sales)
We are legally obliged to obtain and retain identification records for every purchaser.
ID Required for Callers
Due to many people turning up in the showroom without the correct ID we have copied some text from HM Customs and Excise Notice 701/21 to help our customers. Please see our identification page for further details.
ID Required for Mail Order
Completed order form with name, address, date of birth and payment details.
We are frequently asked, about 20 times per day, why we have to take ID from purchasers. The simple answer is that it is a legal requirement, and we have no choice but to comply if we wish to carry on our business of dealing in investment gold. The only reason given to us is that it is an anti money laundering measure.
What Happens to the Information?
We retain customer identification as required, but do not divulge it to any third party, except to HM Customs & Excise, as necessary. We do not even use it for our own mailing purposes unless requested by customers, and then only rarely.
What Do Customs Do With the Data?
We do not know.
Presumably they check for known or suspected money launderers, and we guess this includes drug smugglers.
Did You Know? - Banks
Most people do not seem to realise that your bank or building society is legally obliged to spy on you? All bank employees with access to any information about your account, are under a stringent legal obligation to look out for and report any unusual or suspicious transactions or pattern of transactions. If they fail to take appropriate action, they are liable to prosecution and 7 years imprisonment on conviction.
They would normally report this to their bank's MLRU (Money Laundering Reporting Unit), which in turn has responsibilities to check for suspicious transactions, and to report them to the NCIS (National Criminal Intelligence Service), and possibly to other authorities.
Your bank is expected to know about your business, but if it has suspicions about your transactions it is illegal for it to tell you about its suspicions. Both the bank and its individual employees could be prosecuted if they alerted you.
Banks Reporting Levels
We previously assumed that banks had threshold figures above which they were obliged to act, but we have recently learnt that there are no threshold limits, and that it does not require large cash transactions to trigger suspicion. For example a sandwich shop which banked lots of cheques for £30 could come under suspicion, unless it is know to sell sandwiches at £30!
The threshold limit in the USA is $10,000, US banks are legally required to report cash transactions over this amount.
For more information regarding payments by cash.