A new service which lets friends and family report the death of an individual to several banks, building societies and other financial firms via just one online form has been launched.

The Death Notification Service works UK-wide and has been set up by trade association UK Finance and the major banks. It aims to make it quicker and easier for anyone who's suffered a bereavement to notify banks and building societies in one step, removing the stress of having to notify each of them individually.

Once the relevant banks and building societies have been notified (the service also covers a handful of credit card companies, mortgage lenders and life insurance and pensions companies), they will then get in touch with you about the next steps.

The new service is similar to the Government's Tell Us Once service, which allows you to report a death to many official bodies, such as HM Revenue & Customs, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the relevant council, in one go.

For full info on how to tackle the financial issues that arise following a death, see our What to do when someone dies guide.

How does the Death Notification Service work?

The Death Notification Service can be used by anyone, such as friends, neighbours and people who cared for the deceased, as well as family members. An ID check will be carried out on you with credit firm Experian but it won't mark your credit file, and your details won't be passed on.

It's recommended that you create an account with the Death Notification Service, though you don't have to. Doing so ensures you get confirmation when notifications have been received by banks, building societies and other firms. Creating an account also allows you to contact more firms if you discover the deceased person had an account with them later on.

Here's how it works:

  • Go to the Death Notification Service. You can create an account or submit a death notification without creating an account.
  • Complete the online form. You'll need the deceased person's name, address and date of birth, and the date of their funeral (so the relevant firms know not to contact you then). You'll also need to say whether you have a death certificate, and provide the reference number if you do.
  • Say which firms the deceased person had an account with. You need to say which banks, building societies and so on they were with, but you don't have to provide account numbers, sort codes or other information (though if you have this, it helps).
  • The relevant firms will then be notified. They will update their records accordingly and advise of the next steps to take within 10 days.

Which firms does the service cover?

Here are the banks, building societies and other financial firms currently covered by the Death Notification Service – more are expected to join in due course:

  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclaycard
  • Barclays
  • Cahoot
  • Clerical Medical
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • M&S Bank
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest
  • Santander
  • Scottish Widows
  • The Mortgage Works
  • UCB Home Loans

It's worth noting that ALL products offered by these firms are covered – so for example, with banks it's not just current accounts but mortgages and other products too.

What does UK Finance say?

Chief executive Stephen Jones said: "Following the death of a friend or family member, it can be hard to repeat the same conversation with several organisations.

"The launch of this new service is an important milestone in the industry's commitment to do all it can to provide greater help and support to people during difficult circumstances."

For more help, see our What to do when someone dies and Death happens – plan for it guides.