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Natwest have closed my account due to fraud - please help!

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Hi, if anyone can help, I'm very desperate!


So my story begins, 2 weeks ago I received €10,000 (around £8,000) into my Natwest current account. The money was owed to my Partner for months of unpaid freelance work. Instead of my Partner receiving the money, we decided it would be sent to my account as the rent and bills leave my account and we were 2 months overdue on rent (due to the fact he hadn't been paid). The person who sent the money, sent it from their personal account in France. I paid my bills and 2 days later i tried to check my online balance and could not login. I called Natwest who put me through to their fraud department who told me that they had received a SWIFT message saying that the funds sent to my account were fraudulent and they started asking questions about who sent the money, and when I explained the situation, they started asking how long i'd been with my partner etc. I was told that if this was a mistake, I needed to contact the person who had sent the money and they needed to get their bank to send another SWIFT message to Natwest explaining there had been a mistake and the payments weren't fraudulent. This all happened on Friday afternoon.


On Monday, the person who had sent the money told me his bank was closed so I needed to tell Natwest that the SWIFT would be sent on Tuesday. I decided to wait until Tuesday to let Natwest know - but on Tuesday his bank in France (LCL) said that they had not sent the original fraud message, they had not been notified of any fraud and it must have been an intermediary bank, so due to this, they were not able to send a SWIFT to Natwest. I phoned Natwest and explained the situation and was told that either way, my account was now closed. I asked what happened to the funds in my account and was told that they were being held and would be returned to the sender. I was also told that a letter would be sent out to confirm this. My salary was to be paid to me that Friday and I was told that I could access that at a bank branch. When I went to my branch, I was given about £200 out of my £2050 pay......I was told that since my account was now closed, I was in credit for my £2000 overdraft and I had been charged a £6 daily fee and this is what was remaining. On a side note, I had moved £250 of the transfer to my savings, which was effectively mine (but taken to cover part of the overdraft) - so if I had been involved in fraud, why wouldn't I have taken all the money out as cash or moved it all to my savings account???


Anyway, so the situation now is that I have still not received any information concerning my account, I have no bank account, I cannot open an account (I tried opening an account with Halifax and was told to check my credit report as I was turned down), all my cash has been taken my Natwest, either being held or used to pay my overdraft (and its 1 month to Xmas to not exactly the best time for me!) but I was told to provide full information to the Natwest Concerns Team if I felt there had been a mistake - which I have now done, covering every details, even the origin of the money in the French account, proving that no fraud could have occurred.


The company I work for offer legal advice so I spoke to a lawyer briefly and they told me that I need to follow Natwest complaint procedure and if I don't get the right result I need to contact the Ombudsman. I suggested going to the police but they told me that unless a crime has been committed, the police will not investigate. That's all fine but all of this takes time and I'm in a very desperate situation. Luckily the person sending the money has been very helpful and has been very open with his finances, so I can't see any case of fraud (also if fraud had occurred, why has his account not been closed or investigated, why just mine?).


Should I hire a lawyer? I saw County court was suggested, how do I do this? Any advice, please let me know (and sorry for the long long message). Also, if this helps, I've been with Natwest for 7 years - and never ever had any problems.

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