N26 requesting NI number

Received an email from N26 this morning asking me to provide my National Insurance number. I’ve already confirmed that I’m UK resident for tax purposes when I applied for the account. They’ve signposted some OECD requirement - surely there would be a Regulation at the very least; a UK law would be even nicer!

I’m pretty sure I’ve never provided this info to any other bank.

Thoughts?

I’ve had to provide when opening an isa but not ever for a current account.
Is it a genuine email or phishing?

All German banks have begun asking for their customers’ tax payer reference numbers if they are tax resident outside of Germany.

This is a German, rather than UK regulation.

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Its fairly common around the world to require the number issued by the relevant tax authority. In the UK that will be a National Insurance number.

You have to provide your tax number in Italy, France, Germany and many other countries in Europe.

N26 is a German regulated bank.

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The bank account is so basic I am going to do nothing. The app is no longer on my phone. We will see what happens.

It’s certainly a struggle to know what to do with the account at the moment.

There’s no real incentive to use it. I buy pretty much everything on my Tandem credit card to feed the cashback monkey. The best I could come up with was to forgo 2p and use my N26 to pay for coffee when I go to the office.

UKgov advice re NI numbers is not to give to them to people who don’t need them for a specific purpose. On that basis, I think I’ll resist for the time being and see how loud N26 scream.

Deutsche Bank told me that they’d have to close my account, if I didn’t supply my NINO and UTR by the end of this 2018 (which is funny, because a lot of people won’t have a UTR in the UK, and even more funny because I closed my deutsche bank account in 2015).

For the reason behind it: its got to do with the Common Reporting Standard. An OECD scheme to fight tax evasion, where, in this case, the German bank N26 shares some info regarding your account with the German tax authorities (just like any UK bank would share this info with HMRC). The German tax authorities then share the info with HMRC. In order to make this international data sharing easier, the bank is supposed to ask for tax identification numbers of customers with tax residence abroad.

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Who uses your National Insurance number

These organisations need to know what your number is:

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
  • your employer
  • the Department for Work and Pensions (which includes Jobcentre Plus and the Pension, Disability and Carers Service), if you claim state benefits, or in Northern Ireland the Department for Social Development
  • your local council, if you claim Housing Benefit, or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • Electoral Registration Officers (to check your identity when you register to vote)
  • the Student Loan Company, if you apply for a student loan
  • your pension provider if you have a personal or stakeholder pension
  • your Individual Savings Account (ISA) provider, if you open an ISA
  • authorised financial service providers who help you buy and sell investments like shares, bonds and derivatives - you can check if your provider is authorised

N26 is an authorised financial services provider. The definition on the Gov website is slightly wrong, but it still states authorised financial services provider.

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But not a vague reference, quite a specific reference! And it doesn’t include retail banking.

Not sure why you guys are so adverse to giving your NI number to N26, it’s literally just to report your accounts to foreign member states where you have tax residency. If you don’t have tax residency it’s not an issue.

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Because the account isn’t worth the grief. N26 will surely fail in the UK. I have no intention of using it again and will now wait for them to close the account on my non compliance with this requirement.

Why open it in the first place ?

I have lots of accounts, but I avoided opening N26 because it was obvious even before launch they couldn’t the get the basics right.

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Agreed! Anyone who’s actually held an account outside of their country of residence will have had to share their tax details with their bank. Furthermore Monzo already do this for anyone who has a passport issued outside of the UK https://community.monzo.com/t/providing-tax-information-to-hmrc/51743

I seriously doubt this

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I think they’ll do better than Starling in the short term, to be honest. Perhaps long term too. They have the advertising down and their account is going to be wider range (investments etc). They certainly aren’t likely to fail.

Eh, I don’t see the point of going that route. Just keep it open and idle, seems like the better option.

Yeah, had to do so with Bunq and N26 so far.

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What do you like about their advertising. I thought it was attrocious. Completely lacked a usp

Am I missing something? I have just taken another look at the app and the offering, after the above comments.

I still see a clean app but little else. Limited spaces with out interest or account numbers. No cass, no joint accounts etc. It all seems geared to those who want a ‘metal’ card frankly.

Same. I opened the account thinking that it might give Starling a run for their money. It’s proven worthless to me. I’ve emailed them to close my account this morning.

Did Starling offer interest when they first launched?

They’re planning on spaces to have their own account numbers. Spaces just happen to be a new thing for N26 even in their older markets. They’re planning to expand on the functionality.

Did anyone have this when they just launched?

Did anyone have this when they just launched?

I feel like both you and @Ad13 are expecting too much from a company that has just launched in the UK. It’s a bit infuriating really.

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Yep I agree. Just look at their blog post from December 2017, which states what customers could and couldn’t do when they launched. One quote stands out for me:

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But Starling were a brand new start-up having to build everything from scratch, where N26 have been about the block (although not in the UK) and should have been able to draw on systems and processes already well established in other territories. I feel like they should have been much further ahead at launch than they actually are.

On top of that, the only time I had to contact Customer Services was to ask how to close the account. I was met with possible the most abrupt response - a single copy and paste and then disconnect. There were no pleasantries whatsoever. I will not miss N26 in my life.