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Tier 4 blacklisted financial institutions published by UK Border Agency as the heat is turned up on fraudulent student visa applications | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is publishing a blacklist list of financial institutions which, on the basis of experience, they will no longer accept to verify financial statements.

This week the UKBA has announced the creation of a new initial list containing hundreds international banks and financial institutions which will be used when considering points under a Tier 4 student visa application. 

The bank blacklist will be used when verifying maintenance funds under Tier 4 of the points-based system. A student visa applicant will receive no points for maintenance if they submit documents showing that the funds are held in a financial institution on the list – and could also face a ban from the UK.

The list includes banned banks from India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The list forms part of the reforms to the Tier 4 student visa immigration route, which say the UKBA will ensure that they can verify that student visa applicants hold the required maintenance funds to support themselves and pay for their course in the UK.

Thousands of international students have arrived in the UK with little or no money, despite presenting ‘proof’ of funds to entry clearance officers at their local British Embassy.

Many have failed to pay fees on arrival or keep up with monthly payment plans. Some colleges are having to resort to legal action through the county courts to recover debts owed by non-paying students.

Students end up on credit blacklists with County Court Judgements (CCJ) registered against them, which means they will find it extremely difficult to obtain credit, open a bank account or rent a property.

The consequences of court actions, criminal offences or civil action, can be even more serious for migrant workers under Tier 2 or Tier 4 students.

County Court Judgements, or civil actions, must now be declared on new style immigration forms for further leave to remain or visa extensions and may affect your chances of renewing your Tier 4 student visa. A CCJ or Credit Default (e.g. not keeping up with payments on a credit card, loan or mobile phone agreement) will stay on your credit file and history for six years or more and will have to be declared on immigration forms.

The UKBA will give a 30-day notice period from the date when a financial institution is first listed before the new rule takes effect. This will enable applicants to make the necessary financial arrangements, so that they can provide financial documentation which meets the new requirements.

The list will be kept under review, and we will make additions or deletions as appropriate.

The UKBA said it will continue to verify financial information from financial institutions not on the list, on a case-by-case basis, and may refuse applications on the basis of these individual checks.

The following criteria provide an example of the minimum standard for banks in order for us to satisfactorily verify documentation:

  • international banks; or
  • national banks with a UK private banking presence; or
  • regulated national/state banks that provide a core banking service.

The UKBA adds that ‘points may still be awarded if banks do not meet these criteria, where they have a history of providing satisfactory verification checks’. However, as many have found to their cost, once an entry clearance officer (ECO) or UKBA case worker discovers that a fraudulent bank statement has been submitted as part of a Tier 4 student visa application or student visa extension they are highly likely to slap a 10 year ban on the student.

The list of ‘FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THAT DO NOT SATISFACTORILY VERIFY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS – PHILIPPINES’ runs to 36 pages.

The major Philippine banks which will be still be accepted by the UKBA are: 

 ABN Amro Bank LKG Tower 6801 Ayala Avenue 1200, Makati City, Manila
Al-Amanah Islamic Bank PHIDCO A. Building Veterans Avenue, Zamboanga City
Allied Banking Corporation Allied Banking Centre, 6754 Ayala Ave. cor. Legaspi St., Makati City
Allied Savings Bank Allied Bank Centre, 6754 Ayala Ave. cor. Legaspi St., Makati City
Asia United Bank JN Bldg., Joy Nastalg Centre, 17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Centre, Pasig City 1605
Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) 9F Metrobank Card Corp. Centre, 6778 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. BDO Corporate Centre, 7899 Makati Avenue, Makati City
Bangkok Bank Public Co Ltd 10th Floor Tower II The Enterprise Centre 6766 Ayala Avenue, Makati City
Bank of America, N.A. 27/F Philamlife Tower, 8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 1226
Bank of China (Limited – Manila Branch) 36/F Philamlife Tower, 8767 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City
Bank of Commerce San Miguel Properties Centre (SMPC), No. 7 Saint Francis Street, Mandaluyong City 1550
Bank of the Philippine Islands BPI Bldg., Ayala Avenue cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City 0720
 BLACKLISTED BANKS1st Macro Bank, Inc. (A Rural Bank)  B. Morcilla & P. Herrera Sts., Pateros City  24 November 2011
1st Valley Bank, Inc. (A Rural Bank) Baroy, Lanao del Norte 24 November 2011
5 Speed Rural Bank, Inc. J. P. Rizal St., Poblacion, Padre Garcia, Batangas 24 November 2011
A B Capital and Investment Corporation Unit 1008, 10F Tower I & Exchange Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Ayala Avenue, Makati City 24 November 2011
Advantage Bank Corp. (A Microfinance-Oriented Rural Bank) Stop Over Commercial Complex, Mac Arthur Highway (Namkwang Road) corner Gerona-Pura Road, Brgy. Abagon, Gerona, Tarlac 24 November 2011
Agri-Business Rural Bank, Inc. Poblacion, Solano, Nueva Vizcaya 24 November 2011
Agricom Rural Bank (Sta. Maria,Bulacan), Inc. F. Santiago cor. A. Morales Sts. Poblacion, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 24 November 2011
Agusan Norte – Butuan City Coop RB UCCP Bldg., R. Calo St., Butuan City, Agusan del Norte 24 November 2011

The list of Indian banks runs to 49 pages and includes:

 Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Ahmedabad Mercantile Co-Op Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Amanath Co-operative Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Andhra Pradesh Mahesh Co-Op Urban Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Bassein Catholic Co-operative Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Bharat Co-operative Bank (Mumbai) Ltd 24 November 2011
Bharati Sahakari Bank Limited 24 November 2011
Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Limited 24 November 2011
Charminar Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Citizen Credit Co-operative Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Cosmos Co-operative Urban Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Dombivli Nagari Sahakari Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Goa Urban Co-operative Bank Limited 24 November 2011
Gopinath Patil Parsik Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Greater Bombay Co-operative Bank Limited 24 November 2011
Indian Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Jalgaon Janata Sahakari Bank Ltd 24 November 2011
Janakalyan Sahakari Bank Ltd 24 November 2011

You can find the full list at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/studying/financial-institutions/

Earlier this month a pilot scheme to help UK banks and credit providers identify fraudulent applications by immigration offenders was launched by the Audit Commission.

The Commission and the UK Border Agency will share ‘real time’ information with financial institutions. Each year the UK Border Agency processes around 3.5 million applications to visit, live, work or study in the UK.

The aim is to prevent those with no right to stay or work in the UK from accessing financial services. In return, financial institutions will provide the Agency with information on where illegal working and employment is taking place, supporting the Agency’s work in tackling immigration crime.

Revised Tier 4 General application form (07/11) now asks for a lot more detailed information covering criminal and civil offences, good character, benefit claims and includes the following statements:

‘I understand that if the UK Border Agency has reasonable cause to believe that any document or documents I have submitted with this application are forged, fraudulent or not genuine, and the UK Border Agency has sought to verify the documents using processes specified by it but has not been able to verify them, no points will be awarded for these documents even if the UK Border Agency cannot prove that they are not genuine.

‘I understand that my details may in certain circumstances be passed to fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering. I also understand that such agencies may provide the UK Border Agency with information about me.

‘The UK Border Agency may request information from other law enforcement agencies, Government departments or Agencies, local authorities, the Police, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration or research purposes to enable them to perform their functions.’

Section E.1 of the form asks:

‘Has the student had any criminal convictions in the United Kingdom or any other country (including traffic offences) or any civil judgments made against them (i)?’

In signing the declaration the student agrees to the following:

‘I am aware that it is an offence under the Immigration Act 1971, as amended by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, to make, to a person acting in execution of any of these Acts, a statement or representation which I know to be false or do not believe to be true, or to obtain or seek to obtain leave to remain in the United Kingdom by means which include deception.

‘I understand that information I provide to the UK Border Agency will be treated in confidence but it may be disclosed to other law enforcement agencies, government departments, agencies, local authorities, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration or research purposes, for purposes as stated in The Biometric Registration Regulations, or to enable them to perform their functions.’

The student agrees to post issue enquiries and information discovered being used in court. There is also a short line which warns that ‘providing information or documentation that is not correct will normally result in my application being refused and may lead to my prosecution for a criminal offence’.

It should also be remembered that work permits, visas and even ‘indefinite’ leave to remain (ILR) can be cancelled by the Home Office for various offences. The Home Office has or the Home Secretary has the power to revoke British Citizenship under the 2006 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act.

Most in-country refusals carry the right of a full appeal before an immigration judge at a tribunal, unlike out of country student visa refusals which are reconsidered under an administrative review.

The student visa crackdown has no effect on Bulgarian and Romanian students who want to work full time in the UK by taking NVQ vocational courses.

Although Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not enjoy full free movement rights to work in the UK they can obtain Yellow Card permits to work full time as part of a vocational study programme such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care.

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not enjoy full free movement rights to work in the UK, but can obtain Yellow Card permits to work full time as part of a vocational study programme such as NVQ or QCF courses in Health and Social Care.

See also:

Health care workers needed in UK now

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

What is ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ and why do Bulgarian and Romanian student yellow card applicants need it to work in the UK?

Crackdown on immigration fraud – banks and UKBA to share information on debtors

Post Study Work Visa to be abolished April 2012 as part of student visa clampdown

Home Office can revoke British Citizenship as well as deny it for civil offences

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

Majestic College offer special packages and free advice for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

Majestic College also has access to funding for Apprenticeships.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email info@majesticcollege.org

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11 Responses to “Tier 4 blacklisted financial institutions published by UK Border Agency as the heat is turned up on fraudulent student visa applications”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] Tier 4 blacklisted financial institutions published by UK Border Agency as the heat is turned up on … […]

  2. firdos says :

    it was so right to investigate and ban financial institutions that were not following the code of conduct

  3. […] UK Border Agency has also created a list of more than 2,000 blacklisted banks and financial institutions who can no longer provide evidence to verify a student has sufficient funds for their course. If a […]

  4. The college should not hold back your payment because of a dispute with an agency, however, if you have paid your money to the college via an agency this is where the problem may lie. Either way they should still refund you if you have not been issued with a CAS. You could complain to the UKBA, but they are unlikely to get involved with disputes over payments.
    What about your own government? Your agency, based in in the Philippines, shut down owing money, so why not pursue them?

  5. nina noble says :

    I refused my application last march 2011. I have an agency who help me to process my docs.unfortunately before i submitted my docs in Uk embassy the agency was closed but they promised me they will assist me.In short the school issued me a cas and my docs was lodged.
    This march 2011 i was refused. I decided to refund the payment in school in the amount of 1,200 pounds.but the school did not accept my request to refund the payment they reason out that the agency had unpaid balances. because the operation of the agency was stopped they cant pay all the outstanding balances in school. I emailed the owner of the school I tried to explained that I am a victim here whatever the liabilities of the agency they should not include me. Until now the school stopped answering my mails. I would like to ask help to the Uk Embassy here in the Philippines how we can refund the payments in school. I want to complain the school.I have the right to refund the payments since I didnt proceed my application. kindly email me where I am going to go/ the right persons who will help me in UK embassy.

  6. […] in the long run. To know more about VISA assistance philippines, kindly visit Ultimate Visa Corp. For an aspiring immigrant, having a free immigration consultation can be vital. Paying for an immigr…e. Even if you receive the cash to pay for an immigration attorney, remember that it might […]

  7. amanpreet kaur says :

    i have submitted my application for tire 4 visa on 11th April 2011 and i show my funds through punjab co-operative
    bank.is new rule which will stared on 24th Nov.2011 effects my application or not?
    thanks

  8. The homes that i had contact with so far did not comply with health and safety regulations they maltreated me, they discriminate against age, status and everything.

  9. It is unfortunate that care industries are short of care workers and yet the fraudulent agencies collect documents and applications from qualified people and yet they do not give job to genuine persons even after given written documentation that one has been offered the job, they only call and take ones availability and give the job to non-qualified people.
    I paid a lot of money to the school, i am expected to pay rent and bills and yet i do not receive anything in return. I have been in the country now for over 2 yrs, just to pay the school fees whereas i am also entitle to work for 20 hrs even as qualified nurse, midwife and peadiatric nurse from my country i am highly dissapointed that working in a care home can be a difficult issue and even when one is given only 5 hours in a week their staffs feel threatened because of inferiority complex. Now i will soon be living UK for my home country but coming to UK is an unforgetable experience.

  10. Nancy L Homan says :

    BEWARE!! UKBA advised that my student friend from Kathmandu use Standard Chartered Bank. I sent him £13,000, since the visa rules require the money be held in his own name (even though I was prepared to guarantee that I would be paying his college fees and providing total accommodation and maintenance costs). Before my young friend came to UK, I asked him again and again to make sure he knew how he could access his money once in the UK. More than five times he was assured by staff in Lalitpur branch of Standard Chartered that all he need do was go to the nearest local branch in UK. Once here, he contacted STB headquarters in London to locate the nearest ‘branch’, only to be told they do not have branches and do not do personal banking. Since then, we have encountered one obstacle after another, with the Lalitpur branch refusing to release the money for college fees because my friend is not in Kathmandu to provide a signature. This has caused untold stress and but for the forbearance of his college, he may well have lost his place. No helpful advice was offered by the bank. Recently, by chance, we discovered a ‘forms centre’ on the bank’s website, so we have sent the completed form to his father, to see if he can gain access or give assistance by presenting the forms with his son

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