Banks and building societies are to carry out immigration checks on 70m current accounts from January in the biggest extension of Theresa May’s plans to create a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants in Britain, the Guardian has learned.
The Home Office expects to identify 6,000 visa overstayers, failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation in the first year of the checks, which are to be carried out quarterly.The accounts of those identified will be closed down or frozen “to make it harder for them to establish or maintain a settled life in the UK”. Officials say freezing accounts that hold significant sums “will create a powerful incentive [for those involved] to agree to voluntary departure” so they can secure their money once they have
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