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Brits on benefits to have bank accounts checked every month in new crackdown

Brits on benefits to have bank accounts checked every month in new crackdown

It's a major change to the current system as the government cracks down on fraud

Those who receive benefits are going to face new changes as a result of a new crackdown.

The measures are coming into place as the UK government aim to tighten up on fraud.

Brits on benefits are set to have their bank accounts checked every month as a result.

This major change in the law is reportedly set to be confirmed on 22 November at the Autumn Statement.

The drive is an attempt from the government to lower the number of people on out-of-work benefits.

At the moment, the current rules enforce that the Department for Work and Pensions has to request the details of each individual benefit claimant’s bank accounts if they suspect fraud.

However, the new proposed system will mean banks have to run a monthly (or potentially even weekly) data check to look for red flags suggesting a ‘risk’ of fraud being committed.

Those on benefits will face monthly checks by their bank.

These red flags may include the account regularly transferring money overseas.

Also, as people with more than £16,000 in savings aren’t allowed to claim Universal Credit, any bank accounting hinting differently could be another red flag for fraud.

A government source has said: “Every pound stolen by fraudsters could be spent on our public services or on those most in need.

“DWP Secretary Mel Stride sees it as profoundly wrong that benefit cheats aren’t playing by the rules and is determined to bring fairness for the taxpayer.”

Since Stride took up his role last autumn, ‘rooting out fraud’ in the benefits system has been a priority.

It’s believed the current system of having to individually requesting the bank details before conducting checks is too ‘ad hoc’.

It's part of a government crackdown on fraud.
Doucefleur/Getty Images

Whereas this new monthly system would put more responsibility on banks to find those red flags.

The Sun reports a recent public consultation on these plans found that more than half (52 percent) of the 2,127 found this idea of regular bank checks to be acceptable.

Just three percent saw fraud and error in the welfare system as ‘no issue at all’, while 62 percent saw it as a big problem.

This news of benefits bank checks comes as tomorrow’s (7 November) King’s Speech is set to reveal which pieces of legislation Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is going to prioritise in the final parliament before the next general election.

It’s likely that’ll take place within the next year too - as it must happen by January 2025.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Money, UK News