Frances Ball 25 Jun 2019 03:18pm

Lloyds freezes 8,000 offshore accounts

In a new crackdown on money laundering, Lloyds Banking Group has frozen 8,000 offshore accounts, based in Jersey, after spending three years asking the account holders to prove their identity

The news comes in the wake of crown dependencies Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man announcing that they will open their company registers to public scrutiny.

Lloyds Banking Group’s international business is based in Jersey. The Financial Times, which first reported the story, said that HSBC, Barclays and RBS have all also tightened controls in Jersey.

The bank had reportedly been asking customers to provide extra identifying information since January 2016, to try to meet stringent ‘know your customer’ regulations.

Lloyds froze the bank accounts at the end of 2018, in order to meet Jersey’s money laundering rules.

They were frozen due to the lack of response from the account holders, rather than over any other concern, the FT said.