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Advice for suppliers

College suppliers

New bank details From 1 July 2022

Account Name: Birkbeck College University of London
Account Number: 83416194
Sort Code: 200000
Bank Address: 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP
IBAN: GB97BARC20000083416194
SWIFTBIC (BANK Identifier Code): BARCGB22

Please quote Invoice or reference number to ensure the payment can be identified.

or call +44 (0)20 3926 3184 or +44 (020) 3926 3223


Supplier advice

We want to alert you to a fraud that is targeting existing and potential suppliers of goods to many universities in the UK.

The main victims are not the universities but hundreds of organisations across the UK and Europe. In the UK alone, it is estimated that the sums run into £millions.

The scam

  1. A supplier will receive an email or phone call requesting a quotation for goods - on extended payment terms.
  2. Once the quotation has been provided, a purchase order is emailed to the supplier that is similar to an authentic university purchase order.
  3. The purchase order typically instructs delivery to an address that may or may not be affiliated with the university.
  4. After shipping the goods, they are collected and dispatched, usually abroad.

Identifying Fraudulent Emails and POs

The following will be evident in these fraudulent emails and purchase orders:

  1. An incorrect domain name (incorrect email extension) will be used to send emails and purchase orders. At first glance these fraudulent domains may appear genuine.
  2. Suppliers must always ensure that the email address is genuinely the university email address.
  3. Delivery addresses will typically be a self-storage facility or freight forwarders, often nowhere near the university.
  4. In some cases the delivery address may be a genuine university address, which is later changed or redirected.
  • Never contact the name/number used on the email/purchase order.
  • Always contact through the main university switchboard.
  • For high value orders, please refer to the universities guidance on public procurement.
  • We advise all suppliers to consult with their IT or cyber security advisors to ensure they remain vigilant and informed on how to identify suspicious requests.

If you are ever unsure about a quotation request sent by email and purporting to come from Birkbeck, University of London, or the subsequent purchase order, please contact the Procurement Team on +44 (0)20 3926 3184 or (0)20 3926 3223 or a known College contact. Please do not attempt to call any telephone numbers contained within the suspicious emails.


Our objective is to secure maximum value for money, consistent with acceptable standards of quality and service.

Following the College's standard procedures (all figures inclusive of VAT):

  • For purchases under £5,000, departments are advised to purchase through the best value for money approach. This is if the goods/services are not already covered by an existing contract.
  • For purchases between £5,000 to £50,000, departments are advised to complete a quotation exercise to receive at least three written quotations.
  • For purchases over £50,000, a competitive tender process with guidance from the Procurement team will need to be followed. This is typically for the purchase of more specialist items of equipment/services, or large works projects.

Certain opportunities are advertised on our e-tendering portal, In-Tend, and through Contracts Finder (and the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU), if appropriate). Note that the Find a Tender Service (FTS) will be used to post and view public sector procurement notices, replacing OJEU/Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) after 11pm on 31 December 2020 (the end of the Transition Period). If you are interested in being awarded a contract to supply Birkbeck, you may wish to regularly keep abreast of potential contract opportunities via these sites.


  • The College is a member of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC), allowing us access to existing regional or national contracts/frameworks for a range of goods and services developed by the LUPC or a partner consortium.
  • The College can also use any other contracts/frameworks accessible to the higher education sector.


  • All orders are placed subject to the College's Terms and Conditions, or subject to any special terms negotiated by the Procurement team during a tender exercise.


  • Each department or school holds their own budget, and is ultimately responsible for purchasing its own goods and services following the appropriate procurement procedures.
  • All procurement activity within the College, including spend funded through research grants, is carried out in accordance with legal requirements, financial regulations, our procurement policy and procedural guidance. In addition to adhering to our own financial regulations, Birkbeck is bound by UK Procurement Legislation (Public Contracts Regulations 2015).


Please follow our guidance to ensure that you have access to all the information you need, and to ensure timely payment.


  • Supplier portal: Suppliers can access the Proactis supplier portal to view and manage all purchase orders raised, as well as add their invoices to the purchase order directly without the need to forward it for processing. This allows a quicker turnaround in submission of invoices for processing and payment.
  • PO flip: Suppliers need to be able to see the purchase order in the portal so that they have access to 'flip' the order and create an invoice summary, then upload their PDF copy of the invoice they wish to have paid. When allocated correctly, the Birkbeck requisitioner will receive a notification email and will have to process it for payment by receipting. The Supplier PO Flip Guide provides further information on entering your purchase order invoices electronically.


  • The College undertakes thorough and extensive checks to validate supplier details. Therefore, in order to help us pay suppliers promptly and be able to update records within good time, the College requires a minimum of two weeks advance notice of amendments to any of the following:
    • supplier name
    • supplier address
    • key personnel contact details
    • telephone number
    • ordering email address
    • bank account details
    • remittance email address.
  • Unless and until such amendments requested by the supplier are properly validated and processed, there may be a delay in payment.
  • Please provide us with your updated information, in PDF format, on your company letterhead via .
  • Any updates to bank account details will also require independent proof of the change, e.g.:
    • a void cheque/paying-in slip
    • a signed letter from your bank confirming the new account details
    • a copy of a bank statement dedacting any transaction data.



Suppliers who have registered with the College as a trade supplier will be able to receive purchase orders. Suppliers will not be assigned a trade supplier number on the College's system at their request.


  • If a department or school wishes to purchase goods or services from a new supplier, both the supplier and the College requester must complete a new supplier registration form.
  • The requester will send the new supplier registration form to the supplier to fill in. The supplier must also provide proof of bank details in one of the formats below:
    • a void cheque/paying-in slip
    • a signed letter from your bank confirming the account details are correct
    • a copy of a bank statement redacting any transaction data.
  • Once set up, the supplier will then receive a welcome email containing a supplier ID and log-in to our supplier portal, Proactis eMarketplace.
  • This will enable the supplier to upload and submit invoices directly onto the College’s finance system, thereby increasing efficiency in the payment cycle. This process is referred to as PO flip, i.e. converting a Birkbeck Purchase Order to a Supplier PO Invoice, which when submitted, enters the Birkbeck system for processing.
  • A link to download an instruction guide will be included in the welcome email automatically.