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Barclays make a hash of new account for my Mum and won't give her a cheque book, any ideas why as I'm flummoxed!??!


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My 82 year old mum hasn't been too well recently and her local Nat West Branch has closed down and the new one is a nightmare for parking and she doesn't walk too well.

 

She also got caught out by a phone holiday spoof to the tune of a few hundred quid and became paranoid about the company knowing her account details so we decided that maybe a change to a new bank was a good option.

 

Barclays is my and my sisters bank as well and as difficult as it is to talk about if something happens to mum before it happens to me we theorised that if we are all at the same bank things would be easier to deal with, but it has all become a bit of a disaster!!

 

We had a meeting with an advisor who looked into it and after doing her bit on computer stated that mum qualified for a basic account which would not include an overdraft or the option to loan.

 

To be fair mum has plenty of money in her account and gets very good pension and investment returns so the need for an overdraft or loan is highly unlikely as her balance stays pretty much the same each month and it's far higher than my balance is!!!

 

The one thing the advisor forgot to mention though was that mum wouldn't get a cheque book and I wouldn't have know that anyway being a Barclays Current Account holder since I was in my teens!!

 

This was only brought to our attention over a week later when I rang Barclays to ask because mum mentioned she hadn't received one, which we obviously thought was the norm, but was told that she couldn't get a cheque book for a basic account.

 

We then went back for a meeting because this was baffling.

It then became clear that mum had been declined a current account (hence the basic) but the reason for why she has been declined is unclear and apparently the advisors do not get told the reason so obviously the customer cannot argue against it.

 

The advisor to be fair did apologise profusely for not explaining clearly and for forgetting to mention the cheque book and said the reason could be something to do with a credit score.

 

I've however checked mums credit score on Experian and it was 999.

She has no debts, mortgage paid off years ago, no loans taken out for years if ever as far as I know, plenty of cash in the account and has never had an issue getting credit cards, of which she pays off in full...… Could this be the problem?!

 

The annoyance is that mum relies on her cheque book and is in a muddle and is having to either get me to send cheques for her or she has to withdraw large amounts of cash.

 

The bank suggested waiting a couple of months and when they have seen how the account is managed and that Barclaycards have been paid off etc then they can reapply for a current account.

 

If it is still declined then the only option is to go back to Nat West who have already said she can have a current account with cheque book like she did before, but it will obviously be a pain switching once again and I suspect all of the Direct Debit companies will be baffled as to what is happening!!

 

Barclays have also made a mess up with statements as well with mum not receiving one statement in the two months since the account opened so I am chasing up that as well

 

mum called Barclays Head Office last week and the guy on the phone couldn't understand why she hadn't been given a cheque book so we will wait and see if he gets any joy, although I would say probably not!!!

 

So any ideas as to why this happens?

Especially as I as an 18 years old got a current account without an issue and with probably no job at the time albeit 35 odd years ago!!

 

It seems bizarre especially as they hide the reason.

I am wondering in part if it's because she is a retired widow so upon first check they may not have known what monthly income she would be receiving but they would have seen from the account surely?

 

Help massively appreciated.

Edited by dx100uk
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The use of cheques is declining as more and more people switch to using credit/debit cards and online transactions. Banks incur considerable costs in processing cheques, and would probably like to do away with them altogether. That said, I'm surprised that your mother was only offered a basic account. Perhaps worth pinning down the branch manager and demanding an explanation ?

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Thanks Mr P.

Yep I only send the odd one these days myself but older people still use them and mum prefers to use them for things like her freezer man, gardener, paper bill etc.

 

Ironically only one of them now brings a card reader with them so they are a bit behind the times as well. To be honest with all the potential s.c.a.m.s. about I am relieved mum doesn't use the Internet and Internet Banking.

 

The older people will inherit the earth though when the internet and mobile phones blow up as they still use cash, paper and pencil!!!

 

It's getting to speak to the manager that will be the issue as it's all machines now, although I might call Head Office themselves although they probably won't speak to me as I am not the "account holder".

 

That annoys me as well, to talk about mums account I need Power of Attorney (which we have for future possibilities) but I don't want to do that now as it takes some of mums independence away. They need something a little lighter so you can talk about things like statements or cheque books!!!!!!

 

Can your credit history be "too good" ie if you haven't been in debt you have no history of paying it off?!

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It's getting to speak to the manager that will be the issue as it's all machines now, although I might call Head Office themselves although they probably won't speak to me as I am not the "account holder". That annoys me as well, to talk about mums account I need Power of Attorney (which we have for future possibilities) but I don't want to do that now as it takes some of mums independence away. They need something a little lighter so you can talk about things like statements or cheque books!!!!!!

 

If you get your mother to set up what they call a "third party mandate", you will be able to discuss the account with (almost) anyone at the bank. I had one set up on my mother's accounts which also gave me the authority to sign her cheques amongst other things. Your mother would probably need to go into the local branch to set it up and sign the paperwork, but it does not mean giving up her independence as she can revoke the mandate at any time.

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Probably down to no line of running credit on her file

 

Co-op do a cheque book account still

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