So my little foray into banking territory eventually ended in success. I proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one does not need a deed poll in order to open an account. No lies were told. No fraud attempted.
I don’t yet have a cheque book, but that is as much to do with my not having a credit history yet. That will begin when the next electoral roll is published, and will show Ms Fae as a council tax payer at a property where she also runs a phone and pays all her bills in time. Not brill, I’ll grant – but good enough, I suspect, for a cheque book.
Before I achieved the result, I went into my local Barclays, armed with the selfsame information. They handed me a leaflet (seems to be the stock bank answer to asking to open an account – apart from Nat West, who keep their identity requirements secret!).
This was different. Pretty much everywhere else works like this: are you on the electoral roll? Do you have photo id in the form of a passport?
If not, then pick two documents, one from a list to establish identity (like your tax record) and one from another list to establish address (like a utility bill).
Not so Barclays. Their leaflet suggested just four documents. These included passport, photo driving license and national id card (now actually defunct). What about my tax documents? Utility bills?
Nope. At Barclays the girl behind the counter was adamant. The published list – or no account. But? She checked with a colleague. Who agreed.
So…could I show her my documents. No. Not worth it.
So that was that.
Now, a quick reprise. I am presently without passport. Unfortunate co-incidence of dates, but my passport expires this year. So, of course, I can hie me down to the nearest passport office (which, since I live near Peterborough, is not that far off), hand over £90 and obtain a new one. Er: in my old name and with my birth certificate gender.
Or I can hang on a year or so, and see what happens.
Of course, I could do the deed poll thing and change my name. But we’ve been over those arguments at great length and my suspicion is that by the time I get to the point of changing passport, things may have changed slightly. I digress. What I cannot amend, until post-op and the obtaining of a gender re-assignment certificate is my passport gender.
So a new passport now will cost me all that cash – for something that will be obsolete in maybe as little as 12-15 months.
I think not.
Anyway. Back to Barclays. I left their branch clutching nothing but a pretty leaflet. At home later that day I rang to complain. In the end, I spent the best part of half an hour on the phone, but eventually spoke to a manager who saw my point.
I suggested Barclays were discriminatory in demanding only passport or other photo id and.. she agreed that such would be the case. Except they don’t.
So-o. Nice lady manager is now investigating. Formal complaint lodged. And if nothing else, I expect flowers or chocs (or both) for the half hour of wasted phone time.