I need to provide instructions to my oversea bank. I filled out the form and sent it to the bank.

They called me on my account's phone number to let me know that the form was rejected because "my signature doesn't look similar enough to the signature in my account". I was then told to guess what the account's signature looked liked and try to reproduce it.

Unfortunately, my signature changes over time. In fact, I can't even reliably produce 2 identical signatures one after the other, so for me to guess and reproduce what my signature looked like in their 5 years old records is next to impossible.

I am thinking of sending a copy of my passport and try to reproduce that signature, but I don't know if it will be accepted.

The bank has no branch in my country so the only alternative I can think of is to fly to the bank's country and handle the transaction in person. Of course this would be expensive and extremely inconvenient at this point.

Is there another way I can prove my identity to the bank? Maybe a legal procedure like signing in front of a notary?

  • In the absence of any information as to which country the bank is located in as well as the nationality shown on your passport, it might be hard to answer your questions. – Dilip Sarwate Apr 25 '15 at 13:25
  • The bank's country is Hong Kong, and my passport is French. – Sylver Apr 25 '15 at 13:49
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    Ask the bank what they'd accept. This is a bamk-by-bank decision. – keshlam Apr 25 '15 at 14:25
  • According to the call center employee who called me, they will only accept a form signed with the same signature as the signature on record and that my best chance was to try again and resubmit my letter with "my best guess". Calling back the call center is unlikely to produce any fruit unless I have a solution to run by them. – Sylver Apr 25 '15 at 15:47
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    Gah, what a nightmare. This happened to me. Try calling them up and screaming at them in French. – Five Bagger Apr 27 '15 at 2:27

You're going to have to work it out with the bank. This is one of those things where the Internet isn't going to be able to help you much because it's entirely up to the bank to decide how they will verify your identity. A copy of your passport is a good idea, but you need to ask them if it will help.

I think the take-home message is that you need to develop a consistent signature. Obviously the bank is worried about fraud and identity theft, and rightfully so when a signature doesn't match.

  • The issue about "asking them" is that I am talking with call center staff with no decision power. This is why I tried to anticipate the kind of documents generally be accepted as proof of identity. There should be a back up solution to authenticate users. Signature authentication is very much like voodoo in the first place. Calling the phone number registered in the account and asking security questions is a lot more secure than looking at a squiggle and guessing if it was produced by a forger. – Sylver Apr 29 '15 at 14:36

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