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Santander withholding my money - suspected fraud - now offering to return it if I keep quiet!


bradybunch
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They are basically suggesting that they would be prepared to talk to you about some way out of this problem.

I'm even more certain that they haven't complied with the requirements under the proceeds of crime act. If they had then they would have stated it straight away. It is a pivotal point in your claim and they should have addressed it.

I have a sense that you are in a strong position and I will try to draft up a response to this letter.

In the meantime, what is the state of play in terms of any deadlines et cetera?

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Did you send the letter which I drafted at the beginning of October – to the court and also to the bank?

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6 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

i have a sense that you are in a strong position

 

1000% correct.

  • Haha 1

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

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

They are basically suggesting that they would be prepared to talk to you about some way out of this problem.

I'm even more certain that they haven't complied with the requirements under the proceeds of crime act. If they had then they would have stated it straight away. It is a pivotal point in your claim and they should have addressed it.

I have a sense that you are in a strong position and I will try to draft up a response to this letter.

In the meantime, what is the state of play in terms of any deadlines et cetera?

I need to pay the court fees before 1st  December

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Well if I were you I would go ahead and pay the fees now. Assuming that you win you will get them back and it will be a sign to Santander that you are up for it.
Paying the fees will send an important message to them that you are prepared to go the distance.

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During the private/confidential mediation talks, did they say that there was a criminal investigation ongoing or criminal court process ongoing ?

 

 

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Quote


Dear XXX

Thank you for your message of the XXX date

I notice that you say that you have not admitted any of the points which I have made in my amended particulars of claim.
However we both know that that is far away from saying that you have denied any of them.

I think my letter of the XXX date says it all.

I'm quite certain that you aren't prepared to sign a statement of truth that you have complied with the Proceeds of Crime Act and when the matter goes to hearing, I shall specifically put you to proof on that point and I'm sure the judge and I shall be very curious to hear your answer.
Come out right now and say that you have done it, the date on which you did it and evidence that you have done it and I may consider my position.
If you won't do that then frankly you are causing unnecessary inconvenience to me and to the court.

I see that there is quite a lot in the press at the moment about banks being so concerned about money laundering that they are making arbitrary and irrational decisions in respect of innocent customers.
I'm totally in favour of preventing money laundering but I would have expected that a bank – certainly my bank anyway – to exercise judgement and there is no evidence that you have exercised judgement in my case.
I'm paying the court fee and as far as I'm concerned we will be going to trial.

Your letter seems to suggest that you might have something to say and in that case I think you had better go ahead and say it instead of wasting everyone's time.

Yours sincerely

 

 

Please will you comment on the above draft. In particular can you confirm my recollection that a staff member did disagree with the decision and that they say that they were unable to find that particular discussion. What was the name of that staff member?

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I've introduced a small amendment

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Waiting for a response to this. I have a sense that the bank is on the back foot about this and you need to react very quickly and assertively in order to keep them there.
They can easily interpret some kind of delay as an indication of uncertainty which they might try to exploit

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Well I certainly wouldn't disclose to the bank that one of their own staff had advised me to sue his employers.

But on the other hand, I seem to remember somewhere in the disclosure is that they actually said that there was some staff member who had disagreed with their decision. And in that disclosure they gave that person's name. So they know that much about it – what was that person's name.

 

How much are the fees which must be paid?

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Sorry, I just looked through the thread and I think that I must be confusing it with another thread – maybe involving Tesco's. In that thread, an SAR disclosure revealed that one senior person have disagreed with the decision to close that person's account and to withhold money but when we asked for further details, Tesco's were mysteriously unable to provide the details and said that they were lost.
Yeah right!

 

I've modified my suggested letter to remove the reference to that incident – but it shows that you need to doublecheck where I am writing carefully because partly that this thread has been going on quite a long time but also because I'm dealing with many other cases and we don't have any resources or admin et cetera, I can get things wrong quite easily.

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By the way, what is the name of the person who is writing you these letters?

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??????

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  • 3 weeks later...

This thread seems to have gone very quiet all of a sudden. Any update please?

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

This thread seems to have gone very quiet all of a sudden. Any update please?

Hi BankFodder,

 

I have just returned from my travels today. I havent sent the other letter. will do so ASAP and provide updates.

 

Thanks for your support

 

 

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Great. Thanks.

I'm relieved because I was starting to think that the bank had nobbled you!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for this.

The first thing to be say is that this means that you are winning. It is pretty well unheard of in my experience for the bank to give way and finally return the money.
The fact that they have done this under the threat of a judgement for breach of statutory duty indicates even more that they are worried about their position.

Nowhere have they indicated that they have complied with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Act and informed the National crime agency. I don't believe they have and this is a very serious breach of statutory duty.
Not only that it is a very serious breach of the FCA BCOBS regulations in that they are required to treat you fairly. Treating you fairly in this case means that they must comply with the rest of their statutory duties.

It appears that they really haven't done this at all and that they have acted in an arbitrary way in disregard of the law and that they are hoping to get away with it.

I find myself wondering how many other hundreds of people have been treated in exactly the same way – and you are probably the first ever to have stood up to them and to get them worried.

I think I've already indicated that a press contact of mine in the Sunday Times would be very interested in this story. He has already run stories about the very poor standards applied by banks when deciding that their customers are involved in some fraudulent behaviour.

The first thing to say about the letter which you have received is that they are trying to apply conditions to releasing your own money. It's your money and there should be no conditions and my suggestion is that you object to this.

Secondly, not only are they threatening to continue to withhold your own money – but also they are saying that if they release it to you you will simply have the net figure without any kind of interest or compensation.

It's clear that while they have had your money, they have invested it and earn money on it. They have probably been lending it out at between 16% and 20% and although the usual rate of interest is 8%, it seems to me that justice can only be served by repaying you your money plus the commercial rate of interest – at a compound rate. Normally the 8% is calculated at simple.

Thirdly, they are not offering to pay you any compensation and clearly they are hoping to get away with it without any kind of sanction or not even a slap on the wrist.

 

Fourthly, they had the nerve to impose a seven day deadline. Don't worry about their deadline. It's a load of huff and puff. This is all part of their bluff game designed to intimidate you. At the end of seven days – what? Are they then going to insist on going to court?

 

If they really believe that they had done everything correctly and that the money was fraudulent, then they would not offer it to you back under any circumstances. It would be illegal for them to do so.

You can be certain that these people do not want to go to court. In fact they probably wish they had never started.

 

Finally, they want the matter to be kept confidential – and I can't say I blame them. I would be ashamed if people knew that I had treated somebody else in this way and I'm sure they are worried about reputational damage.

I'm also sure that there are extremely worried about what will happen if you get a judgement against them for breach of statutory duty. It will have to be reported to the FCA. It will have to be reported to the NCA. And of course it should be reported to the newspapers because people need to know what is going on.

If you want, you can simply accept their proposal – get your money back, give them confidentiality – and that's the end of the matter.
However, you have no idea how this will impact on your record in the future. I imagine that they will bar you from ever opening an account with them again.
– But at least you will have your money and you can get on with your life.

However, if you want you can stand your ground and make it clear to them that you are going to be mucked around and treated like this and that you are prepared to go to court if they won't make a proper offer.

I understand that you need to pay a court fee of about £350 in the next seven days. I expect that the bank is making this offer now hoping to dissuade you from spending any more money and hoping that you will back down.

If you have the money to proceed then I would suggest very strongly that it will be a very serious sign of strength that you tell the bank that you're not interested in that you are paying the fee for the next stage of the court process.

If the bank knows that you've called their bluff on this and that you have been prepared to invest further money in moving this legal action forward, then they will start to reflect and I can perfectly well imagine that they will make you another more interesting offer – once again on conditions of confidentiality.
Without seeing any further offer, I'm already suggesting that you will probably be best off turning it down.

In any event, I would remind you going back several months that I already predicted that the bank would make you confidential offer – and that has happened.

I'm not saying that I'm always going to be right here – but I think that now basically the bank have pretty well admitted that they need to pay you your money, there is no chance of you losing it. You will get your money and it really is just a question of how much else you will get in addition.

If you'd like to continue then let me know and I will suggest a draft response to them.

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I've asked you to send a copy of the original to our admin email address please

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I still don't have the copy of the original which I asked for. This is unhelpful because I don't think that I can complete a letter without having sight of it.

Was the letter sent without prejudice?

Here's a completed draft. of a few ideas

 

Quote

Dear XXX


Reference Number XXX


Thank you for your letter dated XXX Offering to return my money to me on certain conditions.

The answer is No.

To be clear, you have been unlawfully withholding my money for about two years on the pretext that you believe that the money is associated with some fraudulent enterprise.

Now you say that you are prepared to release the money as long as I agree to certain conditions which effectively protect your reputation and minimise your losses at my expense.

If you still believe that the money is associated with some fraudulent enterprise, then your offer to return it to me under any conditions is clearly unlawful.
By offering to return it to me and demanding certain conditions be met, you are trying to make me complicit in your unlawful proposal.

On the other hand, if you are not acting unlawfully, then that must mean that you do not believe that the money is associated with a fraudulent enterprise and in which case you have a clear duty to return it to me immediately.
Not only that, you had a clear duty to return it to be a long time ago and your failure to do so is at the very least a breach of the rules relating to the retention of funds in these circumstances and also a breach of the FCA regulations which require that you treat customers fairly.

 

It is still clear from the way that you have handled your defence that you have breached the rules under the Proceeds of Crime Act by not reporting the matter to the NCA.

 

Of course I shall be raising all the above points to the judge at our eventual hearing.

Had you complied with the statutory requirement then I have no doubt that you would have confirmed this in your defence but it is significant that your defence doesn't even refer to this matter despite the fact that I have alleged it in my particulars of claim.

 

Whatever is not denied it is accepted.

You have set me a seven day deadline to accept your offer. I'm going to say now, don't imagine that you are in a position to set deadlines for me or anyone else on this matter.

I'm informing you now that I'm about to pay the fee required for the next stage of the County Court process and I have every intention of going to court.

I'm also giving you notice that in seven days I shall refer this matter to the National Crime Agency myself and provide them with all the correspondence and data which I have relating to it because I think that they should be concerned about what is happening here.
I can scarcely imagine that I just happened to be the only victim of your casual and arbitrary and bullying approach to ordinary customers.
 

Clearly there are some very serious wider issues here and a wider interest in.
 

I suggest that the way forward for you is to mitigate your position as quickly as possible by paying over to me unconditionally the money which belongs to me and which you are unlawfully holding.

 

After that there may be some room for discussion but that is a matter for you.

Also I'm putting your notice that your "without prejudice" cover for your letter does not apply here to the extent that your letter will be shown to the judge as evidence that either you know that you are holding the money unlawfully or else you have illegally offered to refund me my money on conditions – despite the fact that you still believe that it is associated with fraudulent transactions.

If you have any comments to make then you had better hurry up but I am not prepared to agree to conditions of confidentiality under any circumstances.

Yours sincerely

 

Edited by BankFodder
Additional sentences added – first of December 17.17
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I think it is clear that Santander are dealing with this money illegally.

As I pointed out the letter, if they really think that it is associated with fraud then it must be completely unlawful for them to hand it back under any circumstances.

The only basis on which it would be lawful for them to hand it back is if they do not believe that the money is associated with fraud. In that case, withholding the money and proposing only to give it back conditionally – and also when they are under threat of court action is also completely unlawful.

There is no doubt that Santander won't want to go to court on this. It's extremely serious and as I've pointed out in the letter, this must be the way that they are dealing with the retained funds of hundreds of their customers.

I think that we are on the verge of unearthing a real scandal.

I'm quite certain that Santander will be prepared to pay quite a lot of money to make this problem go away

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  • BankFodder changed the title to Santander withholding my money - suspected fraud - now offering to return it if I keep quiet!

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