Names on the Current Account

(Rika Raybould) #82

I wrote a much longer version of this post but realised that it duplicated a lot of the original document in the first post of this thread. I’d highly recommend reading this as our policies have been built on it. :point_up:

Legal and preferred names can be different for a number of reasons though and we would make a judgement call as to if it is appropriate. Having helped a large number of people through these, it is incredibly rare that I have to deny this. :slightly_smiling_face:

One of the major places where we are required to send your legal name is unfortunately outbound bank transfers. There is a ticket open to add a warning about this in a future app update but to change this, you would unfortunately have to go through the deed poll and ID update process. A future update to the service currently in development will automatically drop middle names though (but hopefully without dropping parts of double-barrel surnames) as this is by far the most common feedback we get here.

For card emboss names, we have a stricter set of rules due to the restricted length of these. There are almost too many to list here but get in touch with support if you’re unhappy with the options or what our name shortening service chose, we take the feedback very seriously and use it to improve that service for others.

In general, we don’t like the word “nickname” and stick to the above terminology of legal and preferred names internally. We also don’t like to say that names are “real” or “fake” due to the freedom of self-identity in the UK as described. :sweat_smile:

(Allie) #83

I’m genuinely curious, have you ever found anyone else to consider the term nickname offensive? Legally, my name is Alex (not my birth name, I’m trans) and I use it professionally, but most of my friends have taken to calling me Allie. This is a nickname, in my eyes and theirs.

Though, as I’m more out, I’m starting to use Allie more. Maybe I’ll do another deed poll some day! I really like that Monzo has embossed my card with Allie, from where it asked preferred name. It’s a cool extra, and still clearly a variation of my ID name. It’s a nickname. I don’t consider that offensive or anything, a lot of my friends have nicknames too, some less clearly variations on their ID name, etc. But all… nicknames. And if I do another deed poll one day, I still won’t care if anyone says Allie is a nickname! Nickname is kinda a cute term, not at all offensive in my eyes.

Obviously, I totally respect Tony’s wishes, I’d never call his name a nickname again - but I’m curious if this is a more widespread view? Possibly, it’s a generational thing, though I have no idea what generation he’s in! It’s interesting. And of course, needs respected both ways because all humans deserve respect for how they identify, no one else has a right to tell anyone how to identify!


I don’t think the term nickname is offensive, although I can see some difference between a diminutive and a nickname. I think institutions are more likely to accept the former than the latter.

(Peter Roberts) #85

The way I read the situation is that a clerical error was made in processing documents. So therefore in my mind Tony’s name is clearly Tony, his legal name is ‘incorrect’

Assuming all that, I find it very easy to empathise with Tony not liking his name being referred to as a nickname. The inappropriateness of the term here is contextual to me and in general I see it as inoffensive

Apologies @TonyHoyle if I’m completely wrong, I just wanted to post something as it seemed like no one was paying attention to the context of your situation in the discussion here

(Leon) #86

Hold on! Is no one to blame? Really? I can blame two groups of people the first is the registrar and the second is, unfortunately, his parents.

As if they were so inclined they could have got another amended copy, as remember it was not their mistake that lead to their son being misnamed. So either they did not spot the mistake or they spotted it and thought it’s no big deal.

(MikeF) #87

I think it may be best not to discuss another customers family and personal circumstances like this. Thanks.

(Leon) #88

So I am in the wrong but the post above mine is right? Have some balance. The above poster is fine putting the blame at the poor registrar but when I add that they was 3 adults in the room it’s suddenly a problem.

(MikeF) #89

No judgment from me on individual posts, just not a fair topic for discussion on a public forum I feel.

(Leon) #90

I agree with you there wholeheartedly. With that said my involvement in this thread is done. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Peter Roberts) #91

I’m sorry that my post came across as so negative and unconstructive :frowning:️. I’ve edited it, does it seem fairer to you now?

(Rika Raybould) #92

Not personally! The reason we don’t use the word nickname as a bank is because it’s far more casual. I totally agree that nickname is a cute term.

As an example, while my legal name and the name I still go by at work is Richard, my preferred name is Rika, but my nickname used by my partner and close friends is Richan. The last is a name that I wouldn’t use with my bank, wouldn’t formally change my name to, and wouldn’t consider appropriate for anybody who isn’t a close friend to use but that’s my personal opinion. In general, we’ve just found that using the term preferred name just sets better expectations. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Allie) #93

Awesome, though now I’m reminded of Mystic Messenger :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for being awesome in this area. Before you, Metro Bank did best.

It’s a bit shocking Starling doesn’t even allow gender neutral titles and neither does Virgin Money. Yet Monzo does way better - no title, no gender, and preferred name!

(Nick Perry) #94

At the risk of keeping parts of this debate unnecessarily open, I think there is one important concept that is being misunderstood or misconstrued within Monzo (albeit probably in good faith):

As has been said by others, in England and Wales (and a lot of countries with common law) there is no concept of a “legal name”. Or more accurately any name a person uses legitimately (i.e. not for fraudulent purposes) is “legal”. Or to be absolutely exact, a person’s name is a matter of fact and useage, not a matter of law or formal registration.

So when @RichardR says (as above) there are some rules or regulations that require Monzo to communicate using a “legal” name, then either that requirement is based on a bogus and incorrect concept that such a canonical legal name exists, or it has been misconstrued somewhere down the line (not by Richard, but by a regulator or processing body perhaps).

[Edit: insertion for clarity] To address this in the terms Monzo use in their document quoted at the top of this thread, it is this statement that I say is flawed:

“There are many circumstances in which someone would prefer to use a name other than their legal name, for example:…”

In fact there ought be no distinction. Any name used becomes, by sole dint of its use, that person’s “legal” name. A so-called “preferred” name is a perfect example of a “legal” name because it is commonly used and established.[/Edit]

For instance, the requirement might be to quote the “name” that was recorded in the official identity documents seen by the bank. That would be an unfortunate and unhelpful requirement based on a misunderstanding of what a identity document establishes, and to use that to refer to a person further down the line a further reinforcement of the misconception.

We need to know what organisation is imposing the requirement for a “legal” name to be used in order to unpick where the error is. In the meantime we might persuade Monzo to take a more sensible attitude to a potentially nonsensical requirement.

There is no escaping the fact that for some bodies it is easier to play their games and provide them with strictly unnecessary paperwork, than it is to argue the toss at every juncture, but it doesn’t make it right.

Incidentally, it might be helpful to think of this in terms of changed surnames rather than as changed forenames as it is a concept we are all more familiar with in practice. For instance, it would be unconscionable for a bank to continue using a person’s married name, if they had become divorced and disassociated themselves from their married name by stopping using it, whether or not their passport had been updated yet.

Legal (or given) name vs preferred name in help chats
(Rika Raybould) #95

We’re fully aware. When we use the term, we use it as a proxy for the actual meaning of the name that you are known to the government by and that is on your ID. As a bank, we must run various checks and reports based on this name.

While I’m a little out of my depth on exact regulation and wording, the following page does outline the chain that is followed of us being required to send this information with the transfer and that information needing to be checked against a government issued document. :slightly_smiling_face:

You can find more specific requirements and considerations (without having to read the raw EU regulations themselves) in this page and document.

(I’m aware that these pages generally cover money service businesses not supervised by the Financial Conduct Authority but this will still give you a good idea of the considerations.)

(Nick Perry) #96

Thanks Richard

You are ever the one with the background impressively at their fingertips!

Interesting reading. And on first glance they don’t seem to be incompatible with common law. Although what matters are the actual regulations and legislation rather than guidance, and like you, I’d be well out of my depth spouting an opinion on the extent to which they might conflict.

I guess, what some of us might be keen to see Monzo champion, is unpicking this apparent incompatibility in much the same way you do with gender (which in many cases is an overlapping issue). I recognise Monzo sometimes hits hard stops of technological and apparent regulatory compatibility but I also know you put resources into questioning these with the relevant bodies when they arise. :fist:


On one of my foreign bank accounts their internet banking system have these fields for payments (all be if some state “if known”)

• name
• postal address, including postcode
• account number
• customer identification number
• national identity number
• payment reference
• reason for payment (e.g. tax, mortgage, alimoney, etc)

(Stephen Morris) #98

So I’ve read through this whole thread and I’m still unsure of whether I’m allowed to change the name embossed on my card before I order my new investor card!

I don’t want anything quirky. At the moment my card shows Firstname Middle Initial Surname and I want to either lose the initial or (God forbid the formality!) be Mr First Initial Middle Initial Surname.

Is it a yay, nay or “it’s in the pipeline”?


It was definitely possible for me. I had to contact customer support to set the “preferred name” manually prior to ordering the card though.

(MikeF) #100

It’s a yay as far as I know. In-app chat is the way to go with this at the moment I believe.

(Tony Preece) #101

Hi Richard, I’m interested in this particular statement given first direct, NatWest and Smile have always been happy to send payments from my accounts using Tony rather than Anthony.
Today I opened a Starling account using the same ID I used for Monzo and sent payments which arrived under the name Tony.

Are all these other banks breaking the law, or is Monzo’s interpretation of the rules a little too tight?