Genuine question for the legal experts out there, please.

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by CharlieB, 8 Nov 2018.

  1. CharlieB

    CharlieB Junior Walker and the Allstars

    I am a Trustee for two Charities.
    Excuse the lengthy back story on this before I get to the question.
    Our investment advisors for the smaller of the two Charities is asking me to submit two certified ID documents for each of three authorisers (one is me) on the account. These are as per usual photo ID, domestic bills etc.
    They have also provided a list of the acceptable certifiers, which are all professional ranks of people, e.g. solicitors, chartered accountants, police officers etc. Curiously, GPs are not on the list.
    To do this is a real burden upon this charity for two reasons. One, our solicitors have quoted me £15 per document + VAT - x6 that comes to £108. Moreover, I also have to round each of the other two authorisers up to present themselves in person with the IDs to get them certified. As we're all volunteers with busy professional lives outside this work, this is a total nightmare. It would be like herding cats. This is a time and cost resource we can ill afford and I'd rather spend our money on fulfilling our charitable aims and objectives.
    To my simple way of thinking, all a certification is achieving is saying 'yes, this person is the one sitting in front of me and I agree these documents relate to them.' Why does this need to be a person of professional standing and qualification to be acceptable and why does their word by implication carry more credence than, for example, our next door neighbours (who probably know any of us better than my solicitor). No disrespect intended.
    So, my genuine question is this - is there a legal reason why the certifiers have to be of professional standing?
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2018
  2. Phaeton

    Phaeton Guru

    Oop North (ish)
    No legal knowledge but here's my 2 penneth, why go to your solicitor does the charity not know somebody who is involved in the charity who fulfils the obligation, all they need to do is sign the back of the photos & as you say write a short note which they sign. Alternatively do you not have some form of advertising that you could trade the solicitors for? They complete the certificate & the charity will give them this in return.
  3. Drago

    Drago Guru

    No, there's no legal requirement, it's simply a fairly long standing convention. Provided they're of good character, don't have a criminal record for certain things, aren't bankrupt, and haven't been barred from being a company director etc then your granny could do it.

    I'm also curious as to their fee per document - where 1 document or a dozen lands on someones desk for this purpose the effort and time expended is the same.
  4. Mark Grant

    Mark Grant Acting Captain of The St Annes Jombulance.

    Hanworth, Middx.
    Charlie, Gail is a registered childminder and she signs passport applications for people she knows.
    As far as we know none have been questioned.

    Also our kids passport applications were signed by the mother of a minded child who is a civilian employee of the Met.
  5. Drago

    Drago Guru

    When i joined the Feds I suddenly had a queue of people at my door demanding I sign this, that or the other for them. When i let it be known that i charge £50 a time it quickly stopped.
  6. PeteXXX

    PeteXXX Cake or ice cream? The choice is endless ...

    I had to prove my marital status to HMRC. Instead of posting the certificate to them, I went to the Job Centre and they, FOC, copied it and sent it to the relevant place. A they are Civil Servants, would they meet your requirements?
  7. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    It sounds like a standard anti money laundering regulation thing, but...

    Paging @rvw (Chartered Accountant, charities guru and local).
    Drago likes this.
  8. alicat

    alicat Guru

    If your investment advisors are local, just present yourselves with the originals. They are better than any certified copies.
  9. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Pretty much anyone can sign a passport. The older rules that ran for decades persist in people's memories though.
  10. colly

    colly Re member eR

    Sounds to me as if its to comply with money laundering requirements.
    As for seeking people who have ''professional standing'' thats always struck me as a hangover from the heavy class structures that used to be very common in society. It's still present but less so.
    It is kind of odd that you will have to prove who you are to a solicitor who will simply sign a form to validate you. He will most likely not know you from Adam. Im sure the investment people could make the same checks just as thoroughly.
    Box ticking.

    Of course we all know that all solicitors are absolutely 100% above board and would never ever get involved in any dodgy deals ever.
    classic33 and CharlieB like this.
  11. Freds Dad

    Freds Dad Veteran

    There are a couple of rules who can't sign a passport but as martininyork says almost anyone can. I don't see why the same rules won't apply to the ID documents the OP mentions.
  12. slowwww

    slowwww Veteran

    Can't the Charity's Bank Manager do the certification for you?
  13. Reiver

    Reiver Ribbit, Ribbit.

    is that list not just examples? i thought you could use anyone who was from a recognised body. we used our neighbour who is a retired doctor.
  14. OP

    CharlieB Junior Walker and the Allstars

    Thank you for all the helpful replies.
    To answer some of them;
    No, my granny couldn’t do it. They’ve specifically said no family members, and in any case, she’s sadly no longer with us.
    It is money laundering regs.
    They want certified copies not originals.
    @colly - I totally agree with all you’ve said and the organisation concerned have as good as said it’s box ticking. ‘We have to follow our procedures ‘, they said.
    Bank manager is not an option because we are not with a conventional high street bank.
    Drago likes this.
  15. It’s a racket, an ‘old boys network’ licence to print money essentially. A bit like the conveyancing during property sales, the majority of it is unnecessary, but as long as someone gets a few quid for signing some bits of paper, that’s fine. It sucks, but I think it harks back to when the vast majority of the population were illiterate peasants, and couldn’t sign stuff, because they couldn’t read or write. Why change something that makes money for a few, with little or no effort?
    Salty seadog, Drago and Wixsteman like this.
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