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First Direct want to close my account


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Hi all


We moved from Barclays to First Direct in December and they completed the switch over on the 16th, and we closed our Barclays accounts last week.


They then call me yesterday saying that they are very sorry but they have just found some records of my poor conduct as a First Direct customer nearly 10 years ago and they are going to have to close the account. The chap I spoke to (who, to his credit, was clearly very uncomfortable with the message he was delivering) kept saying "the account should never have been openend in the first place".


This puts us in a very difficult position, we (as they were very aware) are relying on the overdraft provision for the next month due to us having a baby in November, and then Christmas and then moving house in January and as I am self employed have not been able to bill anywhere near as much work as usual for the last 3 months.


If they close the account, we will need to somehow pay the £800 or so we owe them, and then find a way of paying the rent (and probably buying food as well).


Obviously, I'm furious. We were open about the fact I had had a previous account with them when we applied and they could find no record of it. I was open that due to me losing my job my relationship with them had ended badly, but again they could find no record and were happy to procede.


My questions are:

  • If they do close (we are awaiting to hear back from them today) will they have to give us sufficient notice to allow us to find a new bank?
  • Under data protection leg. (and I believe some of you may have had some experience with them on this) would they have any reason to still hold the information about my conduct all that time ago?
  • Do I have a case to complain to the ombudsman re. unfair treatment? If they had just turned us down in the first instance we would have just gone somewhere else, but because they are doing this retrospectively it's causing us a huge amount of trouble.


Sorry to ramble, all advice is really appreciated.


Many thanks



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