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Problems opening a Currency Exchange Account !

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 11th Sep 2009

I already held a currency exchange account with a different broker, but for whatever reason, I had taken the decision to place my business with a broker who had a better understanding of my circumstances. My old account with the previous broker had been open for over 5 years whilst I was resident in the UK, and as such a combination of apathy and complacency led me to carry on using them over the years.

I had completely forgotten the rigmarole involved in opening up a new currency trading account. Sure, I understood the need for such complete security to crack down on ID fraud and money laundering etc... , and yes, I understood that these were conditions laid down by the FSA, and not by each individual broker (and therefore the application process would be the same wherever I chose to take my business).

My problem was this (and I suspect that many other people resident in Spain will have the same Problem too!): In order to open an account certain documents are required in order that the applicant can prove that he is who he claims to be, and that he resides at the stated address. So far so good !

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The documents required are:

- A copy of a passport (photo ID page only)

- A bank statement

- A utility bill (NOT a mobile phone or landline)

My House is an old finca that has recently been restored. As such I am still in the process of waiting for my cedula to be granted , which in turn means that I can not get mains water or electric. This means that only have “Builders Supply” and as such no statement is provided.

AAdditionally, my bank account is held in joint names with my partner – and for some reason it is just her name that appears on all of the statements (No big problem until now, so we have never queried this)

All of my correspondence is sent to a Buzon – Does this count as proof of an actual address?

I am self employed, so I have no wage slips and no employer to "Vouch for me".

When I pointed all of these things out to my chosen broker – mentioning that I could forsee that there would be many other people living in Spain in similar circumstances, he was sympathetic, but could not see that there was any movement in the FSA regulations to do anything.

All I have been able to do is send copies of what documentation I have and hope that my chosen broker can plead a case for me with the FSA compliance department.

The documents that I managed to source were:

- Copy of Passport (photo page)

- Copy of latest municipal tax bill

- Copy of Residencia (Inc NIE No.)

- Copy of mobile phone bill(I know they said not applicable, but hey!-you never know)

- Copy of landline bill (Ditto!)

- Copy of a UK private pension statement posted to my Spain address.

I then managed to get the back of all of these papers signed, dated and stamped by my Asesor to verify my details and vouch for me as a fine upstanding member of the tax-paying public (or at least I think that's what he wrote).

The documents have been posted out today so I wait with baited breath to find out the outcome .Of course many people in Spain with have the benefit of receiving mains utility bills and have their bank statements in their own names, so this should not be a real issue. Likewise for those who still have a UK address that they are receiving Bills at. I only hope that the FSA realise that the whole system is a joke - after all, If I were a Criminal looking to launder some money, then what would stop me from using my OLD account? - It is only registered to an address that I have long since moved away from in the UK.

# EDIT # Yay ! it seems that my efforts have paid off - my account has now been opened and activated and is ready for use !

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