UK banks and other financial institutions from January will start checking 70 million current accounts to see if their holders are in the country illegally, it emerged.
It is part of a move approved by Whitehall last year under the Immigration Act 2016, aimed at prompting people to leave volutarily.
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Room for error…
But critics say it leaves much room for administrative error.
Accounts of those identified as illegal immigrants after lists have been given to the banks, will have accounts closed down or frozen.
The checks will be carried out each quarter and the Home Office reportedly expects to uncover 6,000 visa overstayers, failed asylum seekers and foreign national offenders facing deportation in the first year.
Banks have been told to tell people
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