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8000GBP retained by Bank of Scotland

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Hello everybody!

 

I have an issue with Bank of Scotland regarding an account that I have opened with them. They have blocked theaccount and are refusing to return the 8000GBP that I have in it.

 

The account was opened for myself as self employed. After 9 months since opening it was closed without explanation by BoS. This happened 2 years ago. Since then, they have refused any communication with me and to this date the reason of the closure of this account is unknown to me. I have contacted the Financial Ombudsman Service and after their investigation they have concluded that I need to take them to court as there is nothing they can do to help me. It appears that Bank of Scotland has told the Financial Ombudsman office the reason but they've asked them not to disclose it to me.

 

The money belongs to my business, the tax on them has been paid and I have all the documents to prove that their provenience is lawful. The account was never overdrawn, no illegal activities were made, I have never owed any money to anyone and I still have no debts whatsoever.

 

I have no knowledge or idea why this has happened and since then my trust in the whole banking system has been very low. I would really like to get my money back and find out why and how this can and has happened.

 

Does anybody know what shall I do at this point?

 

Thank you.

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Will try and find some help for you. Meanwhile there are 4 articles in the CagMagazine, linked at the top of the screen, that you might find useful. They are the first 4 articles.


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

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2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Yes, this sounds like a very solid case of unfair treatment.

 

Please start off as advised above, reading the articles. They are all linked from here as well http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/announcement.php?f=84&a=228 - to make your life a bit easier maybe.

 

On the basis of what you say, it seems to be cut and dried. However we woukkld like to know more detail about the account.

 

Was it well run. Has there been any dispute? Have you been putting large unexplained sums into the account?

 

What correspondence have you received from the FOS?

 

I think that it is interesting also because it seems to suggest how the FOS is unwilling to enforce the statutory BCOB provisions. As they have recommended court action to you, they clearly believe that you have a right in the matter.

 

has any one ever talked about the police? I am asking this because one reason for witholding you rmoney would be if there was suspicion of money laundering or some other criminal activity. However, I would expect that the bank would have contacted the police by now - and if there were illegality, then I would say that the bank's failure to contact the police to have the matter resolved was itself a potential breach of statutory duty.

 

We are interested to drive through some trial cases.

We would be happy to work with you closely on this if you are interested.


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I assume that you are referring to the articles about BCOB.

 

Please tell me:

- Do I need to read the whole BCOB and the procedure to take them to County Court?

- Shall I seek professional help? If yes, where?

- Shall I wait for the small claims amount to be changed to 10,000.00?

 

One more thing ::

The "block" on this account happened immediately after I've sent 2 x 10000GBP transfers to my personal bank accounts in the same day. As they've told me that they've blocked the account according with their terms and conditions, I tried to read them but it appears that they've never gave me the terms and conditions. I went to the Halifax, LLodys and Bank of Scotland branches to ask for a copy but they were unable to provide me with the terms and conditions as they do not have them.

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At the moment you don't need any help. Yes, it would be helpful if you read BCOBS the BBA and FSA guides.

 

They are obliged by the Payment Services Regulations 2009 to supply you with your T&Cs. That is also unfair not to do so.

 

The large transfers which you made are probably what triggered the block and I suppose that they will rely on the money-laundering exceptions to say that they are acting according to the law.

Waiting to the £10000 small claims limit is a reasonable idea - but remember that even if the claim is less than the SC limit, if it has complications to it, it can still be fast-tracked.

 

They would be obliged to abey money-laundering rules regardless of their T&Cs - but it is interesting that they are refusing them and so I as I gather that you don't have their refusall in writing, I would suggest that you start off by writing and asking for copy and see if they give you a refusal in writing.

 

You could then start a small BCOB/PSR action just to get the T&Cs and fire a shot across their bows.

 

As they are probably blocking for money laundering reasons, it is easy for them to hide and to say nothing on the basis that they don't have to. Of course that is very convenient for them.

 

If this really did happen two years ago then their failure to deal with it in that time is unfair by any standards.

 

I think that a BCOB action is going to be the only way - but certainly while the SC limit is at £5k it is going to be risky and maybe it will be risky anyway.


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Was it well run. Has there been any dispute? Have you been putting large unexplained sums into the account?

 

I think it was quite well run. I've deposited and withdrawn cash, and paid bills. The deposits were from cash received from sales. I've never had the account overdrawn nor had any debts with them.

 

Is this the right place to discuss these details?

 

What correspondence have you received from the FOS?

I've talked with and adjudicator which had investigated everything and reviewing Bank of Scotland's reply, strongly advised me not to go forward to an ombudsman officer as I will only loose time. She said that I can only recover my money if I take them to court.

 

Please note that she has seen their arguments of why they blocked the account, but did not disclosed them to me as per BoS's request.

 

has any one ever talked about the police?

I do not think that the police is involved in this matter. There is absolutely no reason for them to be involved and it has been 2 years and 1 month since this has happened.

 

 

We are interested to drive through some trial cases.

We would be happy to work with you closely on this if you are interested.

I am very interested in finding someone to help me in this matter. I will contact you shortly via PM.

 

Regards!

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they will rely on the money-laundering exceptions to say that they are acting according to the law.

 

The taxes to HMRC have been paid (on this amount too), and the accountant which has seen all the invoices and sales agrees with us that there has been no money laundering; I was just paying myself after 1 year of work.

 

They would be obliged to abey money-laundering rules regardless of their T&Cs - but it is interesting that they are refusing them and so I as I gather that you don't have their refusall in writing, I would suggest that you start off by writing and asking for copy and see if they give you a refusal in writing.

 

I do have an answer in writing from them:

 

"I refer to your recent letter concerning the block placed on your account.

 

I can confirm that a block was placed on your account as per the Terms and Conditions of your account. Regrettably, I am unable to provide you with any further information at this time.

 

I appreciate that this may not have been the response that you would have hoped for, however I can confirm that this is the Bank's final response on this matter.

 

Should you remain dissatisfied with my response, I have enclosed a leaflet which explains how you may refer any of the issues you have raised to the Financial Ombudsman Service so they can consider your complaint independently.

 

[legal stuff cut]

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Willie Carson

Customer Care Manager."

 

 

I think that a BCOB action is going to be the only way - but certainly while the SC limit is at £5k it is going to be risky and maybe it will be risky anyway.

 

Can you please tell me what is the advantage of going to small claims court and when will the limit be raised?

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Everything you say here makes it look more unfair by the bank.

Small Claim would put you on equal footing with the bank.

 

the bank would have to reveal certain info to the court.

Even if the bank had a good reason for the block, you would still argue to the judge that the length of time itself was unfair. As well as their failure to inform the police if they had a real suspicion of wrongdoing.

 

When you go to the FOS, - as you have seen, you never really know what goes on. the bank has its own secret access to the FOS and it is very unsatisfactory. The FOS has more than ample power to make a proper recommendation as to the length of time it has taken so far - and they have not done so.

The FOS doesn't seem to be very enthusiastic about anything out of the ordinary.

 

What have you received from the FOS in writing? Have you something in writing which suggests that you go to court?


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BankFodder: Regarding working together to solve this problem, I'm unable to write you a private message as your quota is full. Please send me a private message with your email.

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What have you received from the FOS in writing? Have you something in writing which suggests that you go to court?

 

Their reply was:

 

"Findings

 

I am sorry to tell you that your complaint does not appear to be one that we should consider further.

This service was set up by statute and under our rules we can decide not to consider a complaint further if we form a view that it is more suited or better dealt with by a court which has greater powers.

 

We aim to provide a quick, efficient and informal way of resolving disputes. Unfortunately, some cases can only be determined fairly by some other tribunal, such a a court. In your case this service has no powers to compel Bank of Scotland to return your funds.

 

Therefore I am of the view that your case is better suited to be dealt with in a court and for the court to make a ruling concerning the release of the funds. I might add that a court can award damages whereas the Financial Ombudsman Service cannot.

 

Conclusion

 

As a result of this, I do not believe we should consider your complaint further. I appreciate that this is likely to come as a disappointment to you . I know that this is not the outcome you were hoping for. But I hope that my explanation has been helpful in setting out clearly why I have taken this view. (comment: not really, no)

 

[paragraph regarding appeal - cut]

 

As we explain in our leaflet, your complain and the ombudsman, consumers have the right to ask an ombudsman to review the opinion that the complaint cannot be considered further. But if we do not hear from you by 11 March 2010, we will assume that you have decided not to pursue the complaint further.

 

Yours sincerely,

.....

Adjudicator

"

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I would send an SAR to the FOS and also to the bank. At the same time ask for the T&Cs in writing.

See what you get in response to that lot.

 

Also give the bank a formal request for an update and if they are not able to give you info now then can they give you a target by which they will have an asnwer.

Ask them formally if they have notified the police of any suspicions they might have and if so can you have a crime reference or other number.

 

Come back here with the answers.


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Did you go back for the Ombudsman's review?


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I see that you didn't go for the review. I think that you were badly advised. It would have done no harm.

I think that they fobbed you off and that you let them off the hook


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Did you go back for the Ombudsman's review?

No, I did not. I was considering legal action, as adviced by the Adjudicator. Then, I've decided to wait until the accountant finishes the accounts so I can prove to the court that the taxes have also been paid and there can be no question about money laundering.

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I would send an SAR to the FOS and also to the bank.

I will do that tomorrow.

 

At the same time ask for the T&Cs in writing.

 

Also give the bank a formal request for an update and if they are not able to give you info now then can they give you a target by which they will have an asnwer.

Ask them formally if they have notified the police of any suspicions they might have and if so can you have a crime reference or other number.

Is there a formal way to write these requests? Or shall I write it in my own words?

 

 

Come back here with the answers.

I will certainly do.

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With regard to writing to the bank for the Terms and conditions. Something simple along the lines of..

 

"you have closed my account citing that you are able to do so as per the terms and conditions. However, as I have never been provided with a copy of these, would you please send me a copy in order that I can check for myself."

 

Yours etc..


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Well I think that you were fobbed off.

 

Looking forward to see all the answers.

 

Also, maybe someone can tell us when the SC limits are going up


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I see that you didn't go for the review. I think that you were badly advised. It would have done no harm.

I think that they fobbed you off and that you let them off the hook

 

Is it too late to do this now?

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I will do that tomorrow.

 

I am preparing the letters for BoS and I noticed that they have several addresses. Where should I write?

 

The address where I sent the formal request regarding my accont:

Mr Hughes

Bank of Scotland plc

Customer Relations

Trinity Road

Halifax

West Yorks,

HX1 2RG

 

The address where I've received the reply telling me that the account is blocked:

Customer Care

Citymark

Third Floor

150 Fountainbridge

Edinburgh

EH3 9PE

 

The address where I receive the statements from:

Bank of Scotland

2nd Floor

600 Georgie Road

Edinburgh

EH11 3XP

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I suppose they will tell that it is. I suppose that the way to get it to an Ombudsman is to start again.

 

You could always write and tell them that you feel that they advised you badly and that you now want it to go to an Ombudsman but i expect that they won't want to let you.

The letter is useful, though because it reads as if it is a recommendation to go to court. One has the impression that the FOS was not happy at what was happening.

 

Frankly I think that some limited attempt at dialogue followed by court is the direction you will have to take


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also, maybe someone can tell us when the sc limits are going up

 

small claims court limit could rise to £15000

 

posted by: robert cotton | last updated: 05.06.2011

 

the government is proposing to raise the limit for small claims from £5,000 to £15,000.

 

Consumers can currently make a claim of £5,000 or less under the small claims court system, but the ministry of justice wants this threshold to increase to £15,000.

 

In a consultation on the reform of the county courts, the government also suggested that every small claims case should automatically be referred to mediation. The upper limit on other cases at the county court would rise from £15,000 to £100,000. Claims worth over £15,000 would be referred to mediation information sessions.

 

This will not affect the current values for small claims cases in scotland, currently £3,000, and in northern ireland, currently £2,000.

The proposals are part of the wider review to create a simpler and quicker county court system, which is now subject to consultation.

 

If the government proposals are successful, changes to the small claims court system will be in place in april 2012.

 

http://www.nacasadvice.org.uk/news/119/small-claims-court-limit-could-rise-to-&

 

hth


Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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I have more recent info that the SC limit will be £10K - but I don't know when


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I suppose they will tell that it is. I suppose that the way to get it to an Ombudsman is to start again.

 

They have advised me serveral times that there's a deadline where I can use the Ombudsman Service. I doubt that they will take the case again and frankly, if it is true that they cannot force BoS to return my money, there is no point in asking for their help.

 

What I find most worrying regarding this, is not that they've blocked 8000GBP. My concern is that if a bank can block so easily an account without returning the money and Ombudsman cannot do anything about it, it means that none of our accounts are safe.

 

What if a bank decides that they want to block the main account where I keep all my money? I need to find out why this has happened or I'll never trust any bank again. This event has caused more moral damage to me than the missing 8000GBP, just because each time I want to make a transfer I live under the fear that the account can be blocked. It never happened since then, but who knows when can it happen?

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What I find most worrying regarding this, is not that they've blocked 8000GBP. My concern is that if a bank can block so easily an account without returning the money and Ombudsman cannot do anything about it, it means that none of our accounts are safe.

 

What if a bank decides that they want to block the main account where I keep all my money? I need to find out why this has happened or I'll never trust any bank again. This event has caused more moral damage to me than the missing 8000GBP, just because each time I want to make a transfer I live under the fear that the account can be blocked. It never happened since then, but who knows when can it happen?

 

This is all very noble but it doesn't get you anywhere.

 

Send the SARs etc and then we'll see what can be done


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I intend to send the following 3 letters. Please let me know if there is anything you might like to add:

 

To:

Financial Ombudsman Service

South Quay Plaza

183 March Wall

London

E14 9SR

 

Subject Access Request

 

 

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

 

I am writing to make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998. Please supply me with copies of all the data which you hold on me in relation to any matter and in any form and for any period of time.

 

 

Please note that I require disclosure of any personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you.

 

 

The Subject Access is not limited to my transaction history and it is not limited merely to 6 years of historical information.

 

 

Additionally, where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my banking business with you.

 

 

If you are unable to supply this data because there has been no such manual intervention, then please be so kind as to confirm this in your response.

 

 

I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return. However, please note that the above address is the one which you normally use to communicate my private business to me and which you have hitherto found to be acceptable. For identification purposes, I am also attaching a copy of my driving license.

 

To:

 

Mr. Hughes

Bank of Scotland plc

Customer Relations

Trinity Road

Halifax

West Yorks

HX1 2RG

 

 

 

 

Subject Access Request

 

 

 

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

 

Sort Code:

ACCOUNT NUMBER:

 

 

I am writing to make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998. Please supply me with copies of all the data which you hold on me in relation to any matter and in any form and for any period of time.

 

 

Please note that I require disclosure of any personal data which you hold on me for the entire period of my dealings with you.

 

 

The Subject Access is not limited to my transaction history and it is not limited merely to 6 years of historical information.

 

 

Additionally, where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my banking business with you.

 

 

If you are unable to supply this data because there has been no such manual intervention, then please be so kind as to confirm this in your response.

 

 

I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10. You have 40 days in which to comply.

 

 

As it is your wrongdoing and mishandling of my account which has created the necessity for this Subject access request, I shall also be reclaiming the enclosed £10 Data Protection Act Subject access request fee.

 

 

If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to my identity, please let me know by return. However, please note that the above address is the one which you normally use to communicate my private business to me and which you have hitherto found to be acceptable. For identification purposes, I am also attaching a copy of my driving license.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

To:

 

Customer Care

Citymark

Third Floor

150 Fountainbridge

Edinburgh

EH3 9PE

 

 

29/12/2011

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr Carson,

 

 

I write your regarding your letter date 16th December 2009, your reference __/__/_____. For your convenience, please find attached a copy of this letter.

 

 

You have blocked my account citing that you are able to do so as per the terms and conditions. However, as I have never been provided with a copy of these, would you please send me a copy in order that I can check for myself, as obliged by Payment Services Regulations 2009

 

 

Also, please point out the actual section which allowed this blocking of my account. Would you also please be so kind and transcribe the section concerned.

 

 

I would also like to make a formal request for an update and if you can give me any more information at this time.

 

 

Considering that two years have passed since your block I would like to ask you to review the conditions that have caused the block and decide if they still apply. If they do not, I would like to ask you to release my funds immediately.

 

 

This is also a formal request to inform me if you have informed the police of any suspicions you might have and if so, please provide me with a crime reference number.

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