I have Banked with Barclays as a personal customer for several years.
Recently I opened a Barclays Business account and 2 weeks later following our first transaction received funds of approx 20k followed by several additional purchases from the same Business client totalling some 80k.
The money was used to pay the overseas supplier, (supplier A) and balance used as down payment for additional import stock.
The following month approx 40k was received from a customer for building supplies, we had secured 30 days credit terms with the supplier, (supplier B). The same day the money was put to use by making a payment to supplier A with whom we had already placed a deposit.
The next day the account was locked pending a review.
Initially we thought money in and out same day likely triggered the review, and had ready relevant invoices and purchase orders.
Barclays did not ask for any information, so we waited for the review to complete.
After the review period, Barclays closed both Personal and Business accounts with the following letter:
We phoned Barclays wanting answers and they simply advised there was nothing they could do and we should submit proof of funds to barclayspof#barclayscorp.com which we did. We had to wait 10 working days for a response.
So far the timeline goes like this:
Dec 2017 Business Account opened
Feb 13, 2018 Money received for building supply customer - 40k made up of 4 x 10k payments
Feb 13, 2018 Request made in Branch to have 38k transferred to overseas Escrow platform, awaited supplier invoice, then payment was released.
Feb 14, Payment via Swift leaves Barclays and they locks accounts.
Feb 15, I enquire in branch about accessing funds, they release some wages from my current account.
I enquire about review, they say very little, go around the back make phone calls etc.
I enquire about Swift payment, and manager quietly tells cashier to 'place a marker on the notes', they explain swift is en-route and should arrive within 3-5 working days.
Feb 22 Letter above received.
I send supporting docs to my local business manager via email, and request they release funds as per their instructions:
"Make alternative arrangements for your banking services immediately and withdraw any outstanding credit balance from your account(s)."
Response received is they can't help and email the docs to Pof@barclays.
5 March, Comprehensive email sent to POF and in the meantime, we approached another Bank with a view to moving our Business banking needs. They replied, 'no' and referred us to CIFAS.
12 March, whilst waiting for SAR result to CIFAS I emailed pof@barclays:
Whilst I await your response to the unfreezing of the accounts and access to my funds, I have requested a full disclousure of data held on me from Barclays Bank via a Subject Access Request submitted 8 March 2018. Could you ensure I receive the note put on the system at the local branch Manager's request, dated 15 February 2018, where I was informed the transaction was suspicious.
I didn't know what that meant at the time, and it was received by the beneficiary a day or two later without issue.
I would like to see what exactly was suspicious, and if it relates to the customer who paid the invoice, myself as the account holder or the beneficiary receiving the swift payment.
Cifas report received 16 March:
My knee jerk reaction, having skimmed over the letter was to write the following complaint and hand deliver it into my local branch:
16 March, phoned Barc fraud department, passed through security and was told they still assessing documentation I supplied.
I explained I'm phoning about the Cifas marker.
Call Lady explained there was a specific department for that and she would put me through.
20 mins on hold and back to customer services,
I phone again and this time the young man answering explains 'that department' have now gone home and asks how he might be of help?
I explain I want to know what 'False instrument(s) paid in' on the Cifas report refers to?
He explains he would enquire and ring me Monday 19th March.
17 March I re-read the Cifas report carefully and realise the 4 payments of 10k must have been fraud and Barclays believe me to be involved.
Email received today from POF@Barclays:
BARCLAYS CLASSIFICATION: Restricted - External
Thank you for recently contacting us in regards to your remaining balance.
We’ve completed your account review and are now in a position to return funds.
What this means for you.
Please make arrangements to visit your local branch with two forms of I.D I have left relevant notes on your account to authorise you to withdraw your funds."
I believe this refers to my personal account, and have no intention of pursuing the remaining funds from the 40k payment.
My response today to their email:
17th March 2018
Thank you for your earlier response.
I have been told by Barclays Customer Services Fraud Team that Barclays closed my account of 3 years for 'commercial' reasons and this would not impact my ability to open Business account elsewhere.
However, I applied to another High Street lender and they refused to accommodate my needs and referred me to CIFAS.
I have contacted CIFAS, received a SAR response and filed a complaint with Barclays 16/03/2018, (copy attached) for accusing me of being a money launderer.
I have since shown the Cifas report and Bank Statements to a friend in the Legal Profession.
I have been advised Barclays are actually accusing me of allowing my account to be used for fraud and actively receiving 4 x £10,000 of stolen/fraudulently obtained money.
This is absolutely not the case, and I want Barclays to clear me of any wrongdoing and update CIFAS entry immediately.
Barclays, If the money was unlawfully obtained, why did you allow it to be credited to my account?
Why on the same day did you allow me to send Money overseas via a Manager in Branch?
Why did you not contact me at any point to raise concerns over these payments?
Why did you not warn me when I enquired in Branch 15/03/2018 on the status of the Swift Transfer?
I could have recalled the money at anytime in the several days it remained in my Akirix Foreign Exchange account. I could have prevented the customer from collecting the goods they purchased.
Many things could have been done to prevent this unfortunate situation.
On the face of it, it very much looks like Barclays failed in their duty of customer care to protect these funds from falling into the wrong hands, and are now making me, a innocent business to be the scapegoat. This is totally unacceptable.
Please provide me with the crime reference number, so I can liaise with the Police and get to the bottom of this.
I await a response from Barclays; I spoke to #### and #### yesterday, 16/03/2018 before getting help from my friend.
#### from the Fraud Team promised to ring me Monday 19/03/2018 and explain what Giro Credits on the 13th February mean.
The Branch statement shows it as Third Party Transfers, (FIP) see attached copy, yet the Statement received after Account closure reports the transfers as Giro payments.
I will be awaiting his response before submitting a Second complaint, now that I am getting clarification on the actual issue to hand.
Put this situation right by removing the CIFAS entry against my name.
End of timeline
I want Barclays to correct the Cifas entry and clear me of any wrongdoing.
I had no idea the money was received via Giro payments, (whatever they are).
We made clear we do not accept Cheques or Cash and only Bank Transfers are accepted for payments above £5,000.
We carried out our due diligence as best we could and should not be expected to Police transactions.
I've never put pen to paper to complain before and would appreciate some input from experienced members following the outcome of Barclays phone call due Monday 19th March.
Thank you for reading this. I will update on Monday