Amex Platinum Card – KYC (ID and financial checks)Back to Forum
Just wanted to see if anyone else is caught up in the current Amex KYC updates, where Amex are asking for very intrusive and detailed checking of ID and financials.
I have absolutely no issue with providing evidence of my name, address, bank statement and proof of income, which I have already sent to Amex. This included all income over the last 12 months summarised in a singular bank statement along with accompanying statements from the firm who pays me, along with P60’s for pension income.
However, Amex are insisting on receiving a full copy of my HMRC Tax returns to provide evidence of my income, which I along, with my accountant, feel is disproportionate, highly confidential and unnecessary for the evidence needed.
The accountancy firm I use is with a top 50 UK firm and willing to provide any statement needed or a precis of my income, but so far Amex will not agree.
The Platinum card is my main card for overseas travel expenses and I have been told if I do not pass KYC checks Amex may summarily suspend my card, even if I am mid trip, which I will be next week.
Has anyone else had this issue and would you agree to send a full copy of your HMRC tax return to Amex for income verification purposes?
Would appreciate any help…25 Jan 2023
No. How bizarre. No one has ever asked for my tax return (aside from HMRC, of course)I obviously don’t want to go into details here- and certainly wouldn’t suggest that you give any more in this forum-but it might be that your spend pattern has set off some sort of money laundering alert which is why they are checking. A lot of foreign travel might just do it. The problem is that once that is triggered the mentality is “computer says no”. I have a situation where I have been appointed to a company to replace a fraudster (now sacked) and the bank are insisting that i provide them with a copy of a current utility bill for the fraudster. He has fled the jurisdiction….25 Jan 2023
I am assuming that you checked this is not a scam.
Unless you are President of the USA (or similar) your tax return is private between you, your accountant and the HMRC. Absolutely nobody else other than by court order. If you (or anyone else) gives in, will other financial organisations take the hint and start asking the same?
A financial statement from a reputable firm of chartered or certified accountants must be limit of disclosure. Period.25 Jan 2023
Thank you very much for your concern but I can assure you this is not a scam. According to Amex “it is a regulatory requirement” for Amex to obtain customer tax returns as part of their due diligence process. I have spent a few hours on the phone with their complaints team after the initial batch of documents I sent, despite being signed for on delivery, were mislaid for a few weeks.
You are absolutely right Ask1945, HMRC tax returns are private and I have never before come across a charge card company requiring copies of returns. I understand loan underwriters can request sight of returns to verify income in some circumstances.
However, Amex have me by the “short and curlies” because on the day my card could be suspended, I will be mid trip with no way to pay for my expenses plus a question mark over whether my insurance benefits will remain in force and also whether a significant number of Amex points will remain valid.
Amex also refuse to accept external emails from their customers, refuse to speak to customers other than agents who answer the phone and have confirmed it takes 5 days for any document to be reviewed.25 Jan 2023
I had a quick search online about all this – no doubt you did also. Whilst this will come as a surprise to all of us who have had Amex cards for 25 years or more, apparently it is now quite a common feature introduced by Amex a few months ago. This is especially true for those who are in the Islae of Man.
I don’t think it’s a new regulatory requirement by the FCA – it seems to be a change introduced by Amex.
The clearest explnation of what causes this inquiry by Amex I found on this website:
Whilst it is all about Amex USA, it seems relevant to the UK.
It’s a new worry for all of us who rely on Amex for the bulk of our expenditure, let alone our Avios collection.25 Jan 2023
Unfortunately this is not a financial review.
“We’re writing to request information to keep the details we have on file for you, and any Additional Cardmembers up to date.
We‘re required to periodically gather additional information as part of our regulatory obligations in line with Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (AML). Keeping the personal information that we have about you complete, accurate and current helps ensure we meet our regulatory obligations. In addition, when we know you better, we can then serve you better.
Please send the requested information within 10 days of the date of this email.”
It goes on to provide what documents are needed for employed, self employed etc etc and HMRC Tax returns are a requirement if you are self employed. I also do not believe it is a regulatory requirement, more a case of Amex in their AML submissions saying this is what we are going to do and it has been accepted as suitable, but I doubt it would have been agreed as a requirement.
I have no issues with either a financial review or periodic AML checks. But I have never been asked by any bank, credit/charge card company for copies of my HMRC returns and as ASK1945 suggests,
“A financial statement from a reputable firm of chartered or certified accountants must be limit of disclosure.”..
It looks like I have no choice as I can not take the risk of having my card and benefits suspended mid trip….25 Jan 2023
I have received a similar request from Amex. I have the Platinum Euro card and most of my charges are either retail in Portugal, or travel related. In my case they asked for proof of a UK residential address, and also a UK bank account. I have a UK residential address, but am not a UK Resident. I sent them a copy of a small Barclays account in the UK, and my UK passport.
This was sufficient in my case.25 Jan 2023
I think something must have changed because I am going through something similar with Barclays on the business account I have for any consulting income in my retirement. They have asked for details of every overseas customer and the work done for them. There are no dodgy countries or organisations in there just ones like Japan and Germany. It also had a curious question about whether the work had involved any government or state and whether I had shipped goods to a customer. I felt it quite intrusive and it uses similar KYC language to that you quote but if felt more like gathering information for marketing their banking services better.. I wonder though whether it is anything to do with Russia sanctions
1 user thanked author for this post.26 Jan 2023
KYC can be very difficult, with those doing the checks blindly following a set of instructions.
A bank (think of a city in Northern Spain) were a nightmare on a charity account of which I’m on the board.
Income largely comes from donations and membership fees, plus income from open days, sales of books etc.
They froze our account for a few months because we couldn’t satisfy their requirements. Certain people had to fund things personally hoping to get reimbursed when the accounts etc were unfrozen. It really helped when we made an official complaint which allowed non KYC people to get involved.
After several months they were wanting more (solicitors letter verifying our accounts, etc). We said we’ve given you everything we can (audited accounts, membership names and numbers, budgets, past spending invoices, receipts etc, details of contracts with local organisations like the County Council and a major Corporation) and said we can’t give you anymore. Either unfreeze our account or return our money so we can open an account elsewhere more accommodating of charities.
They relented. It caused our Honorary Treasurer a lot of stress and personal time.
Was laughable when they accepted we were unnecessarily caught up in their KYC bureaucracy …but still persisted on following every step as if we were money laundering organisation26 Jan 2023
Chris in MakatiParticipant
Reading this thread, and some of the links provided above, makes me rather concerned about where and how I should use my Amex Platinum card in future. I have the card for the benefits as much as anything else, so perhaps I should limit my spending to a few mundane local purchases rather than run the risk of triggering a KYC check by using it overseas and for higher transaction amounts.26 Jan 2023
Well on a minor related issue with Amex Plat Card which I posted on an anomaly with their car insurance. A car hire company can force you to use their insurance by simply saying you have to use our insurance. Thus another decline in the value of the Amex Plat Card26 Jan 2023
I’ve not had that but had a variant on it. Not with the big boys like Hertz and Avis but some of the smaller cheaper players. I declined their insurance because I had it on Amex only for them to advise there was a charge for the lost income if the car was off the road for repairs, if it broke down or had an accident. That was not covered by Amex. Seen also lots of other insurance requirements for tyres, windscreens etc. So it looks like in these tough economic times they are getting creative in how they top up their revenue from rentals.26 Jan 2023
I had a BA Amex card from the year dot. At the beginning of this month I was told they were cancelling the card as I had not used it in a year (which I hadn’t), but to have it instantly cancelled was beyond me. I phoned their Complaints dept. and was given a load of blurb saying that I had to reapply which to me was somewhat unacceptable as I have been with Amex in total for around 35 years holding a Platinum, Gold and the BA card. Out of interest I did a ‘dummy’ application, and they wanted all the details of which this Forum has mentioned.
I was very disappointed as I have been the perfect customer and have always held them in high esteem, but not anymore.26 Jan 2023
I do have sympathy with the preemptory way you say you were treated by Amex.
However, I have a few Visa and Mastercards which I rarely use, but keep as standby cards in case I lose my main Visa, Mastercard and Amex cards. To avoid falling into the difficulty you are experiencing I make sure that I use each card for a smallish purchase, once or twice a year.
This has worked up to now.26 Jan 2023
Returning to the OP, as I suspected it’s an anti money laundering issue- and not a regulatory requirement as such. Each financial institution takes its own view on what is appropriate-and for Amex it’s a tax return if you are self employed. Quite what they will elicit from that is hard to fathom, since any competent money launderer is hardly likely to file anything which will incriminate themselves and certainly not information which will enable Amex compliance people grounds to file a suspicious activity report.But I suspect they take the view that it gets the box ticked…26 Jan 2023