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to ask my bank to accept that I use my middle name as my first name?

(49 Posts)
fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:09:17

I have always used my middle name as my first name. I have paid countless small value cheques into my bank in the name of my middle name in the 20 odd years I have banked with this bank. Today I tried to pay in two small cheques. Bank queried the initial as both were made payable to Mrs B Fuckwittery, when my full name is Mrs A B Fuckwittery. I explained I was known as Mrs B Fuckwittery and showed a number of other cards in my purse with the name Mrs B Fuckwittery on, my credit card, library card, business card (as a solicitor) etc. I also had photographic ID in my full name.
I was told I couldn't pay these in, I would need to ring the people who sent the cheques and get them to change the initial. This is going to cause massive problems, as I am administering my late mum's estate and I have arranged countless cheques to come back from refunds etc from premiums paid annually, bank accounts I am closing etc.

As I am going to have to make 20 odd phone calls in distressing circumstances to get all the cheques changed, I asked if I could obtain proof for the bank that I used my middle name, i.e. a declaration in front of a solicitor (which is legally acceptable to change a name*). Answer, no, I can only have one firstname for the bank's purposes, I can't be "also known as" B.

Apparently I can change my name to Mrs B Fuckwittery formally, (getting rid of the A, or becoming Mrs B A Fuckwittery) but I will have to do so on my driving licence and passport too, which the bank will require sight of?! I don't wish to do this as my name is Mrs A B Fuckwittery, known as B and I don't want to lose the "A" as it is the name my (dead) parents gave me. I asked what all the countless other people known by their middle name do, do we all have to lose our first names, but apparently we cannot use our middle name as a first name for the bank's purposes.

I can see I am going to be told that I was unreasonable to give my name as Mrs B Fuckwittery regarding my mum's death but it has never caused a problem with my bank before and funnily enough I didn't think about the problems it might cause (other things on my mind). I also was fairly sure there was a note on my bank account that I am also known as B but apparently not.

Surely in these circumstances the bank could have satisfied themselves of my ID with all the proof I was offering (wasn't even asking to pay cheques in then and there, was asking what further proof I could go away and get). Offered to bring in the letters that accompanied the cheques, so it could be seen that they were written to my address, to the executor of my mum's estate, together with the proof I was the executor, but no this was not good enough.

WAIBU to sit and cry in the bank manager's office. What really fucked me off was not once did he say, I'm sorry for your loss, or acknowledge these were particularly distressing circumstances (he had the death certificate in front of him showing my mum only died 3 weeks ago!). Walked out saying I would change my bank.

*I might actually change my name to Mrs Fuckwittery, it's cheered me up no end typing up Fuckwittery so many times.

PumpkinPositive Fri 23-Nov-12 18:14:55

What is your actual account name - is it Mrs A (B) Fuckwittery?

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 23-Nov-12 18:20:05

I use my middle name. My first name is used by only my parents and social services.

The bank have both names - so A B Caja, and accept money as both. Is your account in both names or just your first name?

BigBirdisSaved Fri 23-Nov-12 18:20:20

Have you tried talking to head office?

minibmw2010 Fri 23-Nov-12 18:22:35

Can you pay them in via the machine and your card?

MimiSunshine Fri 23-Nov-12 18:26:33

Mini I was about to suggest the same.
Fuckwittery - does your bank have a cheque paying in machine? I use them all the time, you put your card in, it scans the cheque and asks you to confirm the amount and then 1/2 days later the money's yours.
If you've paid cheques in before then it may go through.

fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:27:25

Account is in the name of Mrs A B Fuckwittery. I am going to email head office I think, especially as I've just discovered on the passport website it is possible to have an "otherwise known as" name on your passport - so why not my bank?!

i think that a real person checks the machine paid-in cheques, and I bet that fucker of a bank manager has now put some sort of warning on my account, as he said I had been lucky to pay in cheques previously in the name of Mrs B Fuckwitter.

fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:28:26

at my bank (Barclays), I don't think the machine does scan the cheques? I just put in an envelope which is deposited in a hole in the wall. I always thought that a real person had to open the envelope.

fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:30:35

thank you for the suggestion though, I will try paying into the machine tomorrow and see if it goes through, the confrontation just really stressed me out though and if I do have to change all the cheques I'm not sure how I'm going to manage all the phone calls. I've had time off after my mum died but I often work 60 hour weeks, back full time next week and emotionally I think I will crack up having to argue with god knows how many call centres as I bet it will be a nightmare trying to explain.

PeerieMootsMum Fri 23-Nov-12 18:30:57

Sorry this must have been very difficult for you at such a sad time. I'd try going into a different branch and try again - IME the ability to deal with non by the book issues varies greatly. Chances are another teller wouldn't even notice if it was B or A but take your proof in case you need to speak to the manager there as well. Failing that I'd phone to lodge a formal complaint - along the lines of 20 yrs long term customer with no issues, it's supposed to be noted on your account and they must have note of your middle name on account anyway. Banks have to report to regulator on formal complaints and how quickly they resolve them so you'll be amazed how common sense can suddenly prevail!

PumpkinPositive Fri 23-Nov-12 18:31:11

Could you not just er... INSERT an A in front of the B and pay them in at another branch?

blueemerald Fri 23-Nov-12 18:32:09

How strange! I use my middle name as my first name socially and have had many cheques cleared with just my middle name on! I normally just put them in the cheque deposit box though. Could you squeeze your first initial on the payable to line?

fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:33:12

I could with one cheque squeeze the initial on, it's not got much room though, but the other cheque is a typed one. I knew it was common for people to have cheques paid in their middle name!

orangepudding Fri 23-Nov-12 18:37:30

I have a joint account with my husband. I have kept my surname, I tried to pay a cheque in with my married name and the bank wouldn't accept it. I was prepared to bring in my marraige certificate as proof that I could also be known my my married name in order to cash the cheque. I could only do so if I changed my name permenantly on the banks system! Can't understand which they can't be a little flexible and have both names on the system!

blueemerald Fri 23-Nov-12 18:37:56

If there's no space I would just try another branch. I think someone was just having an officious day.

PumpkinPositive Fri 23-Nov-12 18:39:54

I'd squeeze the initial on the one that you can, and take both to another bank.

I ended up getting my name changed by deed poll as the name I am known by varies by one letter to my birth name (think Leeanne/Leeanna). Occasionally I would get cheques made out to birth name (which was not my account name) but no teller ever commented or refused the cheque. Problems only ever arose when it came to disclosure checking.

Sorry for your loss, btw.

fuckwittery Fri 23-Nov-12 18:41:54

It was three people I saw in the bank all being officious, the teller, the chief teller woman, and the bank manager. I lost the plot and had to leave before I could tell him to register it as an official complaint. I am torn between escalating my complaint and possibly having to argue it out at another bank or just sticking in the machine and hoping it gets through.

Orangepudding, it's ridiculous. Lots of women keep both their married and maiden name and are known by both in different circumstances. When I was filling in the tax forms for my mum's death and the social security forms, there were spaces on both for names otherwise known by, so it is not uncommon.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 18:46:29

The name the cheques are made out to should be the name on your account. A different initial causes confusion. They aren't very flexible. I got a cheque once made out to Mrs Husband's initial instead of mine. The bank was really awkward about it and said they supposed it might be OK as it was a joint account.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 23-Nov-12 18:49:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ilovesunflowers Fri 23-Nov-12 18:59:34

My bank doesn't care a jot about me using my middle name. It's never been an issue. Maybe switch banks?

MsPickle Fri 23-Nov-12 19:12:05

Haven't read all the responses so may well be cross posting but my gf was always known by his middle name and I'm sure would have dealt with the bank as both. I've got a forename which is often misspelt and they've accepted multiple variations. Mind you, it was me that had to go back and reclaim a cheque I'd paid into my current account made out to my husband! Good luck.

DayShiftDoris Fri 23-Nov-12 19:46:45

I have used my middle name for a long time and changed it by change of name deed as soon as I was legally old enough (long time ago).
I still have to present the certified copy of the change of name deed for passports, bank stuff and mortgage stuff plus inform of my previous name on anything that requires me too such as CRBs

I have everything in my middle name other my birth certificate which by law can not be changed after the first year.

If I had not gone through this process then I could only be known as my middle name socially and not for anything 'official'.... so as a registered midwife I would have had to sign as my legal name, my bank would be in my legal name, etc, etc...

Tesco clubcard, blockbusters, the RAC might be ok to use a 'known as' name but a bank shouldn't... if they are accepting cheques with a 'known as' name then they probably shouldnt but it could be that under a certain amount a cheque goes through a less rigorous checking process so previously it has been missed.

I have friends who use middle names but I have not known any that have anything official in their 'known as' name to prevent issues - after all if your name is Gertrude Elsie Smith and you need to prove who you are to an employer to match a CRB / birth certificate then you are strewed if utility companies, banks, etc have all your documents in Elsie Smith...

*disclaimer... have worked in NHS long time and they are particular about these things as employers...

DayShiftDoris Fri 23-Nov-12 19:48:12

*screwed not strewed

And sorry OP I meant to say - sorry about your mum x

TalkinPeace2 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:56:33

Tell them they are being arseholes

I have two surnames
bank accounts in both
CRB in both
and as of next year, passports in both

according to the fuckwits at my bank, my marriage certificate is "out of date" for amending account details

open another account in the other name. do the MINIMUM necessary to keep it non charged and sweep money around at will

urbandaisy Fri 23-Nov-12 20:07:31

Horrible! I would write to one of the money 'fixer' columns in the weekend paper - Margaret Dibben in the Sunday Times or Lisa Bachelor in the Guardian for choice. They're good at getting results in the face of this kind of officious nonsense. Working in a press office myself, I know how quickly poor customer service can be rectified when a company's PR team gets involved.

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