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Barclays closed my accounts

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I've been an account holder for more than five at Barclays bank.

 

About 10 days ago, I headed to my local branch in hammersmith to make a usual transfer between my own accounts as I was expecting funds to reach me.

It is when my card got rejected by the machine that I noticed something was off.

 

I headed to the counter and was told by a member of their staff that my accounts have been closed. 

Keeping in mind that I've never done anything illegal or in breach of their terms and conditions. 

So you could imagine I was unplesantly surprised and gobsmacked!

But that was only the beginning of my confusion. 

 

The lady helping me at the counter could not give me any information at ALL as to why this was happening.

She asked to come back the next day with an ID.

 

The next day, I was given the same response without further explanation and was sent home with a one-page letter explaining nothing but a vague statement stating that ' I was in breach of the terms and conditions.'

 

My confusion then led me to become extremely frustrated as I had run out of money for food for my family.

Naturally, I called a number given to me by a barclays staff and again was told that my accounts were completely shut and that they could not give me any more information or even allowed to check my balance, so I can get my funds out.

 

That same day,  I proceeded to log a complaint and was given a reference number and instructed to wait for a letter letting me know of the following steps.

I was also told that my account was under review/ investigation.  

 

Here are some of the points I would like to make:

I felt personally attacked by an institution that I've always been loyal to.

 

If my accounts are under review like they say, I should have been NOTIFIED and not SHUT DOWN.

 

I was never sent a letter through the post to notify me.

 

I still to this day have not received a letter through the post or a call to allow me to understand what I'm being investigated for. 

 

Meanwhile, I am stranded with an empty fridge and two kids who are at home suffering with me.

 

The funds I was expecting were sent back and delayed because Barclays decided to close my accounts without telling me my accounts were under review. 

 

Has anyone been treated unfairly by Barclays?

What can I do to get their attention and make them realise what they have done???

 

20200416_014138.thumb.jpg.0ffe3c5bf07ebe27623d2fa0cc393375.jpg

 

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probably suspect money laudering 

quite usual for Barclays sadly.

 

have you had unusually large sums going in/out.

 

 

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please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.

 

 

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You have probably had a CIFAS marker applied to your account. As suggested above, this would be because the bank considers that you have been involved in some sort of money laundering operation and apparently the CIFAS regulations – which are pretty opaque – entitle them to treat you peremptorily, arbitrarily and unfairly and without any explanation to you.

We have another case on this forum where Barclays close somebody's account simply because they bungled a chargeback. Barclays has admitted the error and the ombudsman service has also found that Barclays were in error and yet Barclays are still causing trouble.

I notice that you say that you have been a loyal customer of Barclays – and so you expected better treatment. Bless!
I'm sorry to say that this shows a stunning level of naïveté. To expect loyalty from any bank is really quite reckless and you place yourself in a position of endangerment – as you are now discovering. So now you are locked out of your account – no explanation. Presumably there are funds in the account – how much are we talking about?

Do you have an account with another bank that you can use at the moment?

I think the first thing you need to do is to read our customer services guide and implement the advice there. This is essential. Then you need to send the bank an SAR. This will be very difficult in the current time – but do it anyway. Get it off straight away – today.

Also contact CIFAS and see what information you can find out there. Phone Barclays and begin a formal complaint. But read our customer services guide first and also understand how to take control of your complaint which means that you must make a certain that they log what you say and not their own interpretation.

I'm afraid you better get used to the fact that you probably won't be able to see your money again for at least several months and you better start making alternative arrangements as you can. If you have a CIFAS marker against you then it will be difficult to open another account.

Finally, let's have a bit of history. My colleague as suggested in the post above that you have been receiving some unusual sums into the account – maybe large ones. Can you tell us about this. There will have been something which would have triggered this.

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My account has actually been almost inactive for the most part for the past year as I don't work. Any sums of money I do receive are very small amounts and always from the same people I've been receiving it from for years. 

The only thing I could say is that I share an address with someone but that has nothing to do with me. Do u think Barclays would prosecute me by associating my account to the address I am living at? That still doesn't make any sense and simply incompetent. 

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Incidentally, if you want to speed things up, you can make your SAR on the phone. Of course you will have to get through to Barclays and you will have to find the appropriate combination of selections on their phone in order to be put through to somebody instead of having to be told that due to the virus they can't take any calls.

Then you will have to hope that you deal with somebody who has paid attention to their staff development and who understands that they are allowed to take SAR request by phone – and if they say it's not possible then I'm afraid that you will have to do very politely argue with them and eventually tell them to go and check with a senior person. Eventually they should come back and tell you that yes, you can do it on the phone. After that, you will have to dictate your SAR to them very carefully. Get them to read it back to you. Don't hesitate to correct them when you find that they have left things out or they have shortcutted. Make sure they have your email address so they can send you a confirmation that the SAR has been received. And of course you will have recorded the entire call, won't you.

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There are no funds in the account as of now as the money I was meant to receive got suspended and never reached my account.

I also do not have any other accounts? 

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I don't know what you mean by asking if Barclays will prosecute you. What for?

In what way is this address association likely to impact on the integrity of your account? Is the person you are sharing the address with involved in suspicious transactions? Have they used your account? Have you made payments to them? Have they received payments from you?
Is this person simply a house share partner or a partner partner?
 

 

You had better set about trying to open another account elsewhere – but don't be surprised if it is a very difficult thing to do. You certainly need to be very straight dealing because if you try to disguise the fact that you have had an account closed down, you can be certain that any bank you apply to will discover this and this will automatically turn them against you.

One of our site team @fkofilee regularly suggests an online bank called Monzo. I don't know anything about it maybe this is a bank that is a bit less fussy. You could check it out.

Meanwhile, follow the suggestions I made in my first post on this thread


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I would like to add my experience to this thread as it may help out somewhat.

 

In December of 2018 our business account with Barclays was suspended just before Christmas with all our staff wages due on the 20th in time for Christmas.

 

I spent the better part of the day in the branch where they refused to say anything about what was going on.  Later on I learned the following:

 

1. If a bank, or a bank employee even, has a suspicion of money laundering or similar they are obliged to report it to the National Crime Agency.

 

2. If they do not report it and it was later found that criminal activity was taking place then the Bank can be held liable so this is arse covering by the bank.

 

3. Once they report to the NCA they cannot tell you , the account holder, that they have done so as they will be found liable for tipping you off that an investigation into you was under way. So the lack of any explanation is arse covering by the bank (again).  (Perversely this very lack of notification is the clearest sign this is what has happened and is a great tip off to the potential money launderer that he is under suspicion!).

 

4. Once the NCA is notified of the suspicious transactions they have a certain amount of time (it is something like ten working days) to notify the bank of whether they are interested in investigating the case.  Something like 10% are of interest which means the other 90% are of no interest.  The NCA will ignore these and once the initial period is over the bank is allowed to release the account.

 

5. If the NCA is interested in further investigation they have another period of time (something like a calendar month) to investigate after which if nothing comes of it then the account is once more released.

 

In my case we took court action to try and get the funds released but it was difficult over the holiday period.  We got one hearing which the bank failed to show up for and they subsequently released our account in January at the conclusion of the ten working day term.  As we had taken court action they deemed the relationship had broken down and gave us 30 days to move our account.

 

I strongly suspect that you are caught in this situation.  They, or probably some stupid computer algorithm has identified a transaction in your account as suspicious, they have notified the NCA to cover their arse and refused to tell you they have done so to cover their arse again.  Is your account closed or just suspended?

 

In any case you cannot use the Barclays account right now and you almost certainly wont want to use them in the future.

 

You need to open another account so you can function financially.  I suggest the quickest way to do this is to use one of the new on-line services such as Starling, Tide, Monesse etc.   I strongly recommend Starling as they have a great app, an easy and swift on-boarding process, cash deposits at any post office (so for example I can deposit at ten o'clock at night in my local village coop!).    Business accounts also available.

 

You will probably 90% certain have access to your funds again within ten working days of the suspension and almost 100% certain to have them back after a month or so if the NCA takes an interest in you.  Once you have these funds back you will need somewhere to put them before you give Barclays a colossal middle finger.

 

I have found out that Barclays are berks, bastards and other B words.

 

I certainly would concur with Bankfodder that being loyal to any bank and/or to expect loyalty from them is akin to a cow being loyal to the farmer, you will get milked until you are no good to them and sent for slaughter if it is convenient for the herdsman.

 

Given the time frames I have outlined above any complaints you make to the Ombudsman or elsewhere will not play out before your funds are made available to you again but it might be worth starting one in case you can get something out of it.

 

I have around six or seven bank accounts on the go so I will never have my balls on the table with any of them again.

 

By the way you are the innocent in this, it is the Dickheads at Bastarlys at fault and don't be scared of them.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

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I'm trying to rack my brains as to what suitable other B words there might be.

I would disagree with the above poster about leaving Barclays. If you take them on and you win – then I'm always a great believer in staying with them so that they know that they have a persistent troublemaker as a customer. No point in going to another bank which will just treat you the same way eventually.

In terms of the above poster @comebackjimmy, why didn't you come here and tell us about this and we would have helped you bring an action against Barclays for unfair treatment. I expect you still could do it.


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Monzo and Starling maybe options or another bank - But you may find that your accounts with them would be closed too if you are Money Laundering as they also abide by AML.

For people like me or other users who been given CIFAS that arent AML based CIFAS Markers (They is a Sub-Cat below the Cat 4 etc markers) we are okay. 

 

But for people like you  - You will find it very hard to get back onto the board. You need to contact CIFAS and find out what they hold on you. 


 

We could do with some help from you.

 

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**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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Thanks for the comment Bankfodder.

 

We got to the point of getting a second Hearing to restore our account before it was automatically restored.

 

We then had a very threatening letter from their Solicitors seeking costs if we pursued them. 

They wanted us to formally discontinue the case which we refused to do. 

This did not put us off but the needs of the business took too much time and it drifted off.

 

Having said that we got more time just now!

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Why don't you start a new thread and post up the story – even if it is too late to help – there may be lessons that people can learn.

Also, I think we would love to see the threatening letter.


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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

Why don't you start a new thread and post up the story – even if it is too late to help – there may be lessons that people can learn.

Also, I think we would love to see the threatening letter.

OK will do. 

 

I will link to it here when done.

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@comebackjimmy

I really appreciate you for sharing your story with me. This morning I received a letter from Barclays in response to the complaint I logged last week and it is as dissatisfying as ever! I am still confused as to who will be able to hold these people accountable. Yes, my account is completely closed and Barclays is still 'unable to provide me with information on the guidelines used'. They have also sent me a leaflet on how to take my complaint further with the help of the Ombudsman service which I have started already. I will be opening up a new account with another but I refuse to stop until I get a valid and satisfying reason. I might be speaking from emotion but it has really broken me. I will still pursue them as I was treated unfairly.

 

20200417_132637.jpg

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OP - Stop ignoring the advice given to you. 

Ignore Barclays for now. Customer Service Drones cant help.

 

Go to CIFAS... Find out what they have on you by doing a DSAR request.


 

We could do with some help from you.

 

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

 

**Fko-Filee**

Receptaculum Ignis

 

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If you have access to a CRA report system using one of the free services, they will tell you if there are any CIFAS markers.

 

If not, then contact CIFAS as suggested.

 

Act quickly to find an alternative a/c if you need one as Barclays are not likely to help you for the next few weeks, even if you make a successful complaint. They will say nothing, as is their right if using the Anti Money Laundering Regs.


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