Monzo account denied due to CIFAS marker (I think?)

Hello all,
I tried opening a Monzo account recently, only to have the application denied.

I was told to contact CIFAS, which I don’t understand, as I don’t believe I have a marker there anymore.
I have however submitted a Data Subject Access request, to check.

(I had a Cat.6 for a short period of time, as my elderly grandmother paid me for foodshopping, then reported the payment as fraudulent when she forgot what it was for. I was assured by her bank, HSBC, that it had been removed)

I also contacted Monzo by email, but they have informed me that they are unable to comment on account denials.

As well as this potential marker, my address given and the one on my driving license do not match, as I have recently moved (this is now being updated!)
I also have a low credit score due to a friend using my debit card/overdraft for a shopping spree back in uni, and me being unable to get, or pay the roughly £3k back…

Would Monzo refuse a basic account, with no lending or overdraft features, for any of these reasons?
Has anyone got an account, having been in a similar situation?


You need to speak to CIFAS. If you still have the marker then you won’t get an account.

There’s no point worrying about anything else until you’ve done that.

The thing that confuses me, is that I was able to open a new NatWest savings account afterwards, so surely it must have been removed?

I suppose I’ll have to wait for the DSAR to come back from CIFAS, along with my updated drivers license, then try again.

A savings account would have different requirements to a current account, though, surely?

Your credit score is not relevant, IIRC Monzo do perform a soft credit search however, so any change of address may have an impact.

Any CIFAS marker trumps all others, though. Especially if you’ve been specifically directed to contact them.

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You can sign up for the money saving expert credit club and it will show you any cifas , it should be quicker than waiting for a dsar.

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Thanks for that!
I’ll give that a go!

Many CIFAS markers don’t appear on your credit report - they tend to show certain ones only. CIFAS is the way to go.


Worth having a look on Credit Karma which gives you quick access to TransUnion.

Got the same issue, EU national, just moving to UK and decided to give it a try by a friend’s hint, provided an address of my temporary stay in the UK maybe that was an issue, otherwise do not see any ideas why denied and reference to CIFAS, I have revolut/N26 and several accounts opened within the EU and never had any issues with this, first time see it and quite shocked.

It may be Monzo filing the marker with CIFAS. CIFAS wouldn’t hold any information on you otherwise if you’ve not been to the UK before or applied for any UK financial services.

Not only that, it’s a generic message so there may not even be a CIFAS marker.

My feeling is the denial instead relates to the “just moving to UK” part, and that the temporary address was indeed the issue. As I’ve noted before, Monzo seems to have become much stricter when looking at applications from people who are moving/have recently moved to the UK.


Should also note is Cifas is an instruction for banks to be extra vigilant as this person in the past been a victim of fraud, or has proactively asked for the protection.

If you check credit karma you’ll see if it’s been added. If you know it shouldn’t be there then get it removed. As it’s a UK service I don’t think they work with non-UK financial services.

However as pointed out it’s most like just part of the generic reply.

Most likely temporary address and/or financial history is the issue. But we would all be guessing.

Thanks for the thoughts, guys! I feel more like it is generic, I have not been to UK ever before, plus I have never taken any loan from my original EU bank nor overdrafted any CC’s. So probably it is the address of the hotel which made them suspicion but simply deny - this is weird. Tried Sterling after, they did not open straight away but asked for proof of purchase after all, (not promoting or so, just a comparison of new customer treatment :D) Seems will have to use my EU accounts hope it is not an issue within the UK.

So did you manage to get a Starling account? Or because it’s a temporary address of a hotel they said nope because of no documentation you could provide, other than a hotel booking acknowledgment?

Try Monese if not

I did not provide the proof of address to the sterling, thus, not sure would they open or not, I don’t think a temporary booking will be accepted as proof of address, or you think I should give it a try?

Overall kind of strange, as EU national we do not need any permits (yet) thing will change soon of course, but so far it is possible to come - stay - work, and you need a bank account for that, obviously, but they just denying it with “fraud” referenced reply

I think Monzo are a little overzealous with their denials, for a bank that’s supposedly needs to grow it’s strange. I’ve had my account for years but recently switched everything to Monzo and wanted to set up an overdraft as a buffer (That i’ll probably never need, I never used my FirstDirect one) and they denied my application, and the same when I checked loan eligibility, another thing i didn’t need. Seems weird when my credit score is perfect, I have no debt, and my disposable income is fortunately very high. Maybe those things worked against me, didn’t bother to get into it with support as like I say, neither are needed per se. But i understand why they would deny things to those who look particularly risky, being the size they are.

If you have a CIFAS marker though, that makes sense. Get it looked into and removed if possible. That’s the first job.

There’s something happening in the world of banking that is prompting banks to close the accounts of UK folk living in the EU. I wonder if the same is true of EU nationals wanting to open accounts here?

To be honest Starling is better than Monzo.

However no fixed address might be tough. That’s why I would try Monese

Part of growing is not leaking money because you’ve on-boarded so many people only to realise you have to pay out loads of money due to fraud.

Monzo aren’t a charity and aren’t required by law to take on the additional risk. It all depends on how you look at it really, because I could say that you were previously so comfortable with your income that the amount you’ve requested as a loan or overdraft is a cause for concern and implies your circumstances have changed. i.e. if you have so much money available, why do you need more especially in the current climate where people who previously had money available suddenly don’t.

That’s not me questioning your judgement/request etc. You’re of course entitled to do whatever you like with your finances, but the point I’m trying to put across is just because you think you’re low risk, doesn’t mean Monzo see it in the same way.

I mean, I did say “maybe those things work against me”, like I said I don’t NEED those things, and it’s possible that Monzo don’t have enough information on me as I haven’t used them as my main account for more than a couple of month, I’m sure if I really wanted to I could contact support and go through a lengthier process for approval. I never said they were required by law either, it’s my opinion that they are a bit overzealous with it. But I have no experience in the banking sector, nevermind a bank like Monzo, so my opinion is worth a pinch of salt. I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it!