Banks put their trust in engineers

The status of professional engineers has been acknowledged by the UK financial-services industry with their acceptance as certifiers of documentary evidence of customer identity — as might be required to open a bank account or take out a loan. Until recently, professional engineers were not accepted by the banking industry as certifiers of documentary evidence of customer identity. The Engineering Council has been instrumental in bringing about this recognition. Last year the council was one of a number of organisations invited to comment on proposed new guidance published by the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group. Part of the guidance is concerned with mitigating the risk of impersonation when business is not carried out face to face. The guidance makes reference to copy documents, submitted as proof of identity, being certified by an ‘appropriate person’. Following pressure from the Engineering Council for a definition of this term — and one that would include engineers — the guidance references the UK Passport Service list of acceptable counter signatories. This list has long included professional engineers, and the concept has now gained Treasury approval.

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