Why do I keep failing my security check with my bank?

Dear James,

When my bank asks me security questions I always fail, even though I know what they say about me is incorrect. When I dispute this they advise me the information comes from my credit report. The information on my credit report is clearly incorrect. How can I get access to it and correct any errors? 

Adrian, London


Dear Adrian,

Sorry to hear you’re having problems confirming your identity with your bank. It’s important for banks and lenders to take steps to verify your details when you get in touch to help keep your money and details safe.

When you first open an account it is quite common for companies to carry out quite rigorous checks which can include asking questions based on the contents of your credit report held by one of the three credit reference agencies. Now if, as you suggest, questions and answers based on your credit report suggest there may be some incorrect information held about you it would be a good idea to order a copy of your report from the agency in question and check it through very carefully. If you do this and spot any discrepancies you can ask the agency to help you put this right.

It’s important for the information on your credit report to be accurate and up to date. The easiest way to check your report is online, where you’ll find more information about your options including obtaining a copy of your £2 statutory credit report.  Read more about correcting any mistakes on your credit report in this previous Ask James question.

Once you’ve opened an account with a bank or lender, for example, you usually set up some personal security details, such as a username, password, memorable word and PIN. If you’ve done this and are having problems accessing the account its best you contact the bank’s customer support team for advice as I’m sure they’ll be able to help.

Get tips on keeping your money and details secure when your online from the identity protection area of our website (April 2016)

James Jones Signature

To see the latest questions answered by James, visit our Ask James Q and A section on the blog.

2 thoughts on “Why do I keep failing my security check with my bank?

  1. Barbara

    I failed my bank’s ID check so I obtained a copy of my credit information which matches what I told them. Bank will not tell me why I failed? Thanks

    1. CreditExpert Neil

      Hi Barbara, thanks for getting in touch. You may wish to check with your bank to see which credit reference agency they were using for their checks as it may have been one of the other two agencies, or the bank may have been using their own information if you already hold an account with them.
      Should you wish to check the information held with the other credit reference agencies their details are as follows:

      Callcredit PLC: Consumer Services Team, PO Box 491, Leeds, LS3 1WZ
      Tel: 0845 366 0071

      Equifax Ltd: Customer Service Centre, P O Box 10036, Leicester, LE3 4FS
      Tel: 0800 014 2955
      Kind regards


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