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Halifax closed my Account for using debit card in a sanctioned country


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Dear All,

i really would appreciate help and advice on how to deal with my situation.

 

I visited a country on three occasions from last year to date.

On each occasion i notified my bank the dates i was going to be away and the country to which i was visiting

so that the Halifax knows exactly which country i would be visiting and how long i would be away.

 

 

On each occasion of my travel i phoned and advised Halifax but more than that,

i specifically asked them if it would be possible for me to use my debit card in that country.

 

 

On each occasion, the Halifax said there was no problem and i could use my debit card there.

 

 

On the last occasion i met with my account manager on 18 Nov and explained quite specifically that i shall be visiting this country

and shall definitely be using my debit card there.

he told me that there was absolutely no problem.

 

Whilst i was away on 08 Dec. my account was closed by the Halifax

I found this out by chance because someone gave me some money which my partner tried to pay into my account.

 

 

She was unable to credit my account

when she asked the bank, she was told that my account was closed down because i used my debit card in a sanctioned country.

 

As soon as i learnt of this, i phoned Halifax and spoke with a manager there.

I explained my situation and explained that i have to pay a hotel bill and i needed to use my debit card.

 

 

I explained that i advised the Halifax etc. but the key thing was i needed to pay my hotel bill.

The manager said he will see what he can do and will call me back.

He never kept his promise.

 

I had to settle the bill in cash which my relatives in the country lent me.

Had i not been able to pay the hotel bill i would be in prison now.

This country is pretty strict.

 

I had banked with the Halifax for 20 years.

I have not defaulted on my account.

rarely do i go over my credit limit.

 

i returned to UK over the weekend.

i have no idea what to do.

 

 

Will some one please advise me.?

 

What can I do?

 

How can i get my account re-instated?

 

How do i claim compensation against the Halifax?

 

this is rather urgent because, i now have no bank account. (I am trying to see if i can open an account with another bank)

but these things take time.

Already, my standing orders are effected.

 

please advise me on what i can do

thank you

Wrecked.

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It is difficult to advise without knowing more details but I suspect it is an Islamic country that is classed as being one involved in possibly funding terrorists or at least have people there who do so.

The banks do, to a certain extent have their hands tied by the state, although as I said it is difficult to advise without greater detail.

Countries that I know are in the news are Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria obviously .

 

I hope you get it sorted

Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Hi fletch70

thank you for your message.

The country in question is Myanmar - used to be called Burma.

I am in fact, Burmese but have lived in UK for over 30 years.

i have had my account with the Halifax for over 20 years

my point is i notified the Halifax that

a. i was visiting Myanmar

b. i gave explicit dates for my stay there

c. asked if it were OK to use my debit card there

to which i was told everything was OK, i could use my debt card there.

thats the thing.

 

I am now trying to find out more information from the Halifax - which is really hard as they are not telling me anything.

i am going to have to ask for a subject access request and hope they provide a reason

i am hoping that some one on CAG may be able to advise me on what steps i can take.

 

thank you

wrecked.

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Hi

I am sorry if I sounded accusative, not my intention. I do know that the banks are frequently tied by regulation but I also suspect that when something falls into a grey area they err on the side of caution so as not to have to justify themselves to the authorities .

 

I am sorry I can not be of more help and hope you get it sorted

Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

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Hi fletch70

Thank you for your message. its perfectly fine. i did not take offence at all.

I am meeting with my branch tomorrow but they claim they do not know why my account was closed as it was a "central decision"

I am serving them with a SAR and hopefully i will learn something some time in the future. But for the short term it would appear

there is absolutely nothing i can do.

thank you

Wrecked

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Hi

well i went to see the Halifax and they were most UNHELPFUL. its like i have leprosy,

their Head office emailed the branch saying

a. they are not giving any reasons for closing my accounts

b. they gave a 60 day notice in october (which i did not receive)

c. i will never get my accounts back again

d. but i can appeal and they may consider my appeal but i must declare

1. what i want to use the account for

2. substantiate any receipts and payments

and if they are happy with my explanations and appeal they may open new account for me.

 

i have always conducted my banking with care and respect. But i have never been rich and the cash flow hs never been tens of thousands

but the money trickle in and trickle out like any body elses account.

 

a few years ago, i suffered a serious break down and had issues - when i joined CAG and i was able to sort these out with the help of various members of the CAG

and in the last year or so, things had improved for me and i was actually getting a small income from a couple of companies and these have been paid directly into my account.

I also employed a couple of Indian contractors and paid them out of my account. but its nothing major. Perhaps thats the issue???

 

is there any help and advice any one from CG can give me as to what action i can now take with the Halifax. ?

or should i just forget about it?

 

I am trying to open another bank account but its not so easy as i do not have a brilliant credit history. i have already been turned down by a bank.

 

thank you

Wrecked

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Hi

 

oh - i forgot to mention that when i asked the young manager if i may have a copy of the text of the email(which he had printed out in front of him on a blank piece of paper)

he went and asked the branch manager and my request as denied. he wrote down 3 points from the email text for me on a blank piece of paper.

 

i am going to submit a Subject Access Request and see what i can find out from this.

 

thank you

wrecked.

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Pretty much all banks will allow you to open a basic bank account with DD and debit card facilities. Nationwide is probably one of the better ones to approach.

 

Check your credit file for anything spurious, fraud markers or such like. im not suggesting you have done anything wrong but will influence a banks decision.

 

maybe also send a SAR to halifax and see what comes back

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Most accounts can be applied for online so its not so much an issue where the branches are anymore unless you like using a branch.

 

i have a santander and a halifax acc, santander is nowhere near me but i can use the post office counter if i need to

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Hi Martin,

thanks so much for your message. i have applied to Santander and my application was rejected as there is not much history and i am not on the electoral register

this is why its not so easy for me to open an account. I have appealed this on the basis that they made a mistake with my address - they took the address of the company i work for.

I also told them that i can show them copies of 3 months statements from Halifax account if required and i am told that they will let me know on Tuesday.

 

In the meantime, i am trying the post office.

 

I shall deal with Halifax after receipt of their reply to my SAR

 

thank you again

Best/Wrecked

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Get yrself added to the register where you live now

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EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

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