Certifying documents at the branch- what is the norm? pavane

I went into Lloyds, where I do my main banking, today to request certification of my driving license. They had previously done both my passport as well as my driving license 3-4 years ago. I spoke with a helpful manager type chap who came around to help as the regular queue I was a part of was rather long. He told me Lloyds branches no longer do this unless it is for use within Lloyds. I told him I was happy for Lloyds to retain a copy for their use but he said they can't let me keep a copy and that this service would only be in cases where a customer is applying for a Lloyds product for internal use due to "privacy protection". I thanked him and left, not raising the point that about 2 years ago when a large online card payment was blocked as a precaution the identification questions they asked me over the phone included information from these documents, despite them not mentioning to me at the time they were keeping copies for themselves. So much for privacy I thought, surely just cost saving.

I walked down the street to Halifax where I also have an account. Once I managed to get the attention of the young lady playing on her phone, I was explained she "could only do it for those she personally knows". I tried to explain the request again which is to certify the copy of the document, not anything about the individual, but saw this was a pointless discussion and thanked her and left.

On my way back, I passed a Nationwide. Not a customer, never been inside a Nationwide. I asked the same question, "certainly sir" was answer. "...but I am not a customer" I said, "not a problem" I was told. Had my certified copy in 30 seconds.

So what is the norm?

Halifax wouldn't for me last year, similar explanation as your Lloyds. They told me to go to the Post Office which charges a tenner, for a stamped photocopy! No thanks. Natwest did it. I know my colleague has got hers at Santander before. So it seems to be a Lloyds thing.


You are essentially expecting the bank staff to take a risk with their job so you can get a freebie.
Originally posted by Heng Leng

I thought the first reply was trolling, but now this one so there seems to be confusion.

What 'risk with their job'? Document certification is not document legalisation, it is simply taking a copy of an original and confirming the copy is true (unaltered), nothing about the original document or individual requesting it.

What does cost have to do with it? So, if a bank staff does it for free it is risky, Post Office staff charges so it is not risky? If a teacher or priest does it for free it is risky, but an accountant or solicitor does it for money it is OK? If anything it would be other way round, an individual/organisation that does not have any financial gain would not take this any less frivolously.

Also, the requirement the Halifax girl was describing is more akin to document countersigning which does require knowing the individual. Document certification does not.

There's a big difference between a countersignature verifying a person's identity by someone who knows them personally, and a simple certification that a photocopy is a true copy of a document by an official who has viewed the original.

I have already noticed that bank staff, police officers and others are either unable or unwilling to make the distinction, but like the OP I'm a little surprised to see this tendency to jump to the wrong conclusion in two normally very knowledgeable forum members.

The list of people the banks allow to do this is getting shorter and shorter. When I had to do this for Tesco recently I found they had removed minister of religion (which for me, being a church member, is the easiest option). Left with GP and solicitors and the like who would probably charge serious money to do it I took the Post Office option - OK, a charge (£8, not a tenner), but small fry compared with the money I was about to invest. Can only be done at main branches, but efficiently done by their approved procedure and custom made stamp - and yes the lady at the till had never ever seen me before.

Having worked in a number of banks, financial institutions etc I have quite a bit of experience in dealing with such requests. It is not so much the not knowing you as that only applies to counter signing photos, to verify a copy of a Passport etc, you are signing to verify that the photo is a true likness of they person, that you have seen the original Passport etc and that it is an authentic and not a forgery. This is why someone could be seen as taking a risk over their job as if the document turns out to be fake and is used in criminal activity, the investigation will include checks on the person who signed the certified copy.

Certain places will make certified copies for clients and some won't. It depends on their policies and it is up to each company to decide this for themselves. They are under no obligation to provide certified copies to clients. Everywhere I've worked where we could give certified copies to clients, we have been told we have the right to refuse is we have any doubts at all as to the reason for the request or the document itself.

Thanks for the responses. So it seems there is no norm and depends largely on the staff. From this thread it is clear many do not understand the request just as the girl from Halifax.

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