A new service has launched to enable bereaved families to report a death to major financial services providers in one go.
Instead of having to contact each financial firm individually, a free online Death Notification Service will allow family members, carers, neighbours and professionals to notify major banks in one step when a customer has died.
The new service comes in the wake of a three-year campaign by Money Mail for banks to reform the way they treat bereaved customers and make it easier for them to close accounts on a loved one’s death.
There are around 500,000 deaths registered in the UK each year, according to Office for National Statistics figures, and customers rarely have a relationship with just one bank or building society. Financial providers that will take part in the service will cover around 85% of the current account market.
The six banks participating in the Death Notification Service are Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nationwide Building Society, RBS Group, and Santander.
Related banks and building societies also taking part are Barclays Card, First Direct, M&S Bank, Bank of Scotland, Clerical Medical, Halifax, Scottish Widows, The Mortgage Works, UCB Home Loans, NatWest, and Cahoot.
When a notification is received, financial providers will update their records and advise the person who contacted them of the next steps.
Stephen Jones, chief executive of financial services trade body UK Finance, says: “Following the death of a friend or family member, it can be hard to repeat the same conversation with several organisations. The launch of this new service is an important milestone in the industry’s commitment to do all it can to provide greater help and support to people during difficult circumstances.”
It’s worth noting that the Death Notification Service is not linked to the‘Tell Us Once’ service that lets people report a death to government organisations – relatives will still have to fill in this online form separately.