Dates for DWP to Begin Keeping tabs on your Bank Account Confirmed

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has revealed the timeline for initiating bank account checks for benefit claimants.

This is a requirement for banks and building societies to monitor account activity for any potential rule violations and report the information to the DWP.

The new regulations have been implemented to deter individuals from deceiving the DWP in order to receive undeserved benefits. One possible reason for this could be having excess funds, being employed, or travelling overseas, among other possibilities.

Government figures reported by BirminghamLive indicate that £8.3 billion was lost in the welfare system in 2022/2023 due to error and fraud. The new system will notify the DWP if an individual has over £16,000 in their bank account while receiving Universal Credit or other benefits.

Right now, the DWP can only ask to check someone’s account if it thinks fraud has been committed. It also depends on individuals receiving benefits to inform them of any changes in their circumstances, such as receiving a large sum of money, that would make them ineligible for benefits.

The updated regulations require banks and building societies to provide information to the DWP regarding all accounts receiving benefit payments. The top 15 banks in Britain, responsible for handling 97 per cent of all DWP benefit payments, will need to establish systems to monitor these accounts for potential fraud.

The latest legislation will enable additional banks to participate in the future. This indicates that individuals attempting to deceive the system cannot simply transfer their funds elsewhere to evade detection. The DWP intends to trial this upcoming initiative starting in 2025 and fully implement it by 2027. By 2031, it is anticipated that all banks will be participating.

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The government has devised a plan for these latest regulations. The policy has been developed in partnership with operational colleagues, with a ‘test and learn’ phase set to commence in 2025 involving a select group of banks and building societies.

This approach aims to ensure that the data sharing agreement between DWP and third-party data holders is established correctly before rolling out the policy more widely. Following a thorough test and learn process, the policy will be gradually implemented starting in 2027/28, and is expected to be fully operational by 2030/31.

DWP bank checks timetable – full list of dates

  • 2025 – testing of new bank account checks begins
  • 2027/28 – gradual rollout of full powers
  • 2030/31 – new powers operating at full scale with all 15 banks

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