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


bradybunch
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Okay thanks.

I really want to know whether their letter was sent to you headed "without prejudice".

Also I'd like you to comment on the proposed letter that I've drafted above please. We really need your engagement and comments on this.

 

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Thank you.

I'm going to amend the letter above.

Please let me know if you are happy with it and you are going to send it to them.

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I have now added some sentences to the letter which includes a recommendation to them that they pay you out your money immediately because clearly they have no basis for holding it.

I've also told them that the whole thing will go before the judge and that their without prejudice cover doesn't apply.

Unless they come up with a real surprise such as evidence that they did report it to the NCA, then I think that they have lost control of this completely.

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Well done. It's good that you are standing your ground.

This does mean that you will have to go ahead and pay the court fee for the next stage. This is important that you do not miss this deadline because otherwise they will decide that you really don't have the bottle to go ahead.

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

Rough draft of letter to the National Crime Agency

 

Quote

Dear Sir/Mdm

 

 

Santander bank is failing to notify the NCA about suspected fraudulent activity
Santander reference number XXX. County court claim number XXX



I am a customer of Santander bank.  The bank is withholding my money.

On XXX date, I found that the bank had withheld £XXX apparently on the basis that they suspected that the money was the proceeds of crime.
For a period of about two years the bank has continued to withhold my money and given no explanation and in general refuses to communicate with me.
I understand that any bank that suspects that funds are associated with crime have a duty under the Proceeds of Crime Act to withhold the funds and to report the matter to the NCA within about seven days.

It would seem that Santander bank has not done this and yet they have refused me access to my own money precisely on the grounds that they believe that the funds are the proceeds of crime.

I have started legal action against Santander for breach of statutory duty. I have attached a copy of my particulars of claim for your attention. (Appendix 1)
You will notice that one of my allegations is that Santander has not notified the NCA as required by statute.

I have also attached a copy of the Santander defence and you will notice that they have not addressed this critical allegation at all. They have not admitted it – they have not denied it.
They have made absolutely no comment. (Appendix 2)


As this is a pivotal allegation in my legal action against the bank, it is extraordinary that they have not addressed this point at all and my only conclusion is that I am correct and that they have breached their statutory duty by not notifying yourselves that they suspect that I am banking money which I have obtained to criminal activity.

Most recently I have received a letter from Santander in which they are attempting to bring an end to the proceedings against them but only if I keep the matter quiet.

The letter offers to return all of my money to me but on conditions of confidentiality. I am attaching a copy of the Santander message to this letter. (Appendix 3)

I have refused Santander and I am enclosing a copy of my response with this letter. (Appendix 4)

In my response I make it quite clear that if Santander are offering to return my money to me and yet they suspect that the money is the result of crime, then they are acting illegally and are themselves complicit in the crime.

If on the other hand they do not suspect me of fraud then clearly there is no basis for withholding my money at all and they are holding onto the money unlawfully on the pretext that they believe that I have obtained the money as a result of fraudulent transactions.

There is no other interpretation and they cannot have it both ways.

I think this is an important matter. I think it has extremely wide implications – and particularly because I cannot imagine for a moment that I am the only person who has been treated in this casual and unlawful way by the bank.
Clearly Santander bank seem to think that their ordinary customers will not question the actions of the bank. I can only imagine that there must be hundreds of other people similarly affected. I'm not sufficiently paranoid to imagine that the bank is simply decided to have a go at me.

I am giving you this information because I think it is important that you know and also because I'm hoping that you will be able to intervene on my behalf – although I have already indicated to Santander that I am happy to go to court and have this matter properly exposed by an independent judge and a judgement which I will then make public.

I have to say that it is correct that Santander have committed this breach of statutory duty, then it is difficult to see how they can repair the breach.

I would be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this letter and attachments. If you have any questions then please don't hesitate to let me know.

Yours faithfully

 

I'm proposing this letter on the basis that Santander don't respond to you within seven days.

I don't know if you have sent your letter to Santander yet. Maybe you could tell us.

On day eight after having sent your letter to Santander then I think this letter above should be sent to the National Crime Agency.

You will see that it should be accompanied by four documents.

I would suggest that you write clearly my hand at the top of each document what it is.

So it would be –

appendix 1 – particulars of claim
appendix 2 – Santander defence
appendix 3 – Santander message to me dated XXX

appendix 4 – my response to Santander's message of date XXX
 

 

I would suggest that you write the identity of the document at the top of each document by hand and in red might be a good idea.

 

Idea is to make sure that your letter and the appendices are easily navigable by whoever reads it at the National Crime Agency.
Of course there is a strong possibility that the NCA might simply say that they don't receive letters like this from individuals – but at least the gesture is important and we can tell the court that you have done this.
I think this will flag up to everybody that you are squeakyclean

Have a look at the above letter and let us have your comments. We can consider that it is work in progress and of course things might change.

It's highly likely that your letter to Santander will draw a response within your seven days – but if it isn't the response that we want then I think this letter should be sent off to the National crime agency immediately.
 

I think it would be a good idea to start printing off the necessary documents and get them ready now.

Also have them ready as digital files to send off to the NCA by email.

 

National Crime Agency
Proceeds of Crime Centre
Units 1 - 6 Citadel Place,
Tinworth Street,
London SE11 5EF

 

Email:  [email protected]

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I understand that the response to Santander has now been sent. I also understand that the court fee for the next stage is about to be paid.

This means that Santander will know that we are prepared to stand our ground in the face of their disgusting treatment.

I recall somewhere in this thread that you made a subject access request which revealed that at least one member of the Santander staff disagreed that the money should be withheld.
Are you able to point us pleased to that information on this thread? I think that is going to be extremely useful.

I also recall that when you requested data relating to that Santander staff member and his concerns at the way that your account was being handled, Santander came back and said that the information could not be found.
Please could you point us to the place on this thread where we can find that again.

Of course I certainly don't believe that the information can't be found. I think Santander are trying to protect themselves – in exactly the same way that they are trying to protect themselves by offering you your own money back but on conditions that you keep it hush-hush.

Also, not on this thread I've discovered information that makes me sense that there could be an element of racial profiling here.
I take this very seriously and we will be raising this concern with Santander and also the National Crime Agency – and also the court.

If I'm correct that racial profiling has come into this decision to withhold your money then of course one would expect it to be referred to among Santander's files – but once again, I'd be surprised if those references ever saw the light of day. Still, we will leave a judge to draw their own conclusions

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Hello BankFodder,

 

Thank you for the support. I dont have it in writing from any employee of the bank that the money should not be withheld, although one of the bank clerks told me quite early on to go to court and challenge the seizure as the bank is wont to behave like this.

 

I have paid the court fees and will proceed with the letter to the NCA if i dont hear from the bank by the end of the week.

 

thanks

BB

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Thanks, in that case I'm confusing your case with someone else's. 

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Where are we on this please?

Presumably you haven't heard anything from Santander. What date did you send them the last letter?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for coming back.

I have to say that I was worried because I thought that maybe you had been knobbled by Santander.

If they do, make you an offer then you can be certain that any offer they make you will be less than it's worth.

Have you heard anything from the court yet? I suppose it's unlikely that you will hear anything further until next month.

Please do try and keep us a little bit updated more than you do.

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello BankFodder/ Team,

 

Happy New Year to you. I have recently received an offer to pay  court/filing fees, original amount, and £100 goodwill gesture from the bank and I am inclined to take it if they can improve on the compensation. 

 

 

 

" WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS & SUBJECT TO CONTRACT

 

 

Please confirm whether you accept the above terms by midday on Friday 7 January 2021.  If we do not hear from you, the bank will have no option but to incur the costs of counsel for the hearing and, if the hearing proceeds, reserves its right to refer to this email when any question of costs is considered"

 

 

The bank claimed to have sent a cheque to me for £4321.7 but I haven't received anything yet from them. what do you advise please.

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Stand your ground. This is the typical kind of nasty threatening letter that we expect from them. They are trying to frighten you in respect of costs and this is the normal way.

They aren't even offering you interest on your money which they have been unlawfully withholding from you.

Once again, they are not offering your your own money back even though they believe that it is the proceeds of crime. If they really believe that it is the proceeds of crime then hanging onto your money is illegal. If they don't believe it's the proceeds of crime then hanging on to it is unlawful because it is your money.

Frankly I think that this is worth much more money. I'm talking possibly thousands. It seems to me pretty clear that they haven't complied with the proceeds of crime act and also they are treating you unfairly contrary to BCOBS which are statutory regulations made by the FCA.

If you really accept £100 which doesn't even add up to a little bit of the interest that you would be entitled to, then you are selling yourself very cheaply and they will walk away having won.

Think about this carefully. They have refused to deal with the issue of the proceeds of crime act and you can be certain that if they had complied they would have said so in their initial defence.

They are now trying to get out of it without putting their hands up to the mess they have created.

The extract you have posted above says that you are required to accept certain terms and conditions – but you haven't told us what they are.

Why don't you tell us everything that they've asked

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Hi Bank Fodder,

 

The have offered to return the money seized initially . We are due in court on the 11th of Jan and if this can be avoided then I am fine. I calculated interest using Compound Interest spreadsheet I found on here and it came to about £1.3k @ 18.9%, if they can up their comp I think that would be a good offer. 

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I still think that would be a bad offer.

What is the appearance on the 11th about?

I'm going to say now that your reluctance to engage regularly and to respond to my messages is not helping you at all. I don't understand why you don't engage.

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Do I now understand that they have returned the money to you?

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Well it's up to you. If you want I can propose a draft letter right now.

I think you are entitled to an answer in respect of your allegation that they haven't complied with the proceeds of crime act.

Let me know scratch that let us know if you want to cave in on this or if you want to stand up to them and then I will draft a letter.

You still haven't told us what the hearing on the 11th is. I think you should tell us. Also going to say again that you are in helping yourself by failing to engage properly

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The hearing is a "Face to Face hearing" of the claim. 

 

I am looking to put this behind me and move on. They have proposed to refund the full amount seized, pay court fees and include some comp. If we can come to an agreement on what is fair comp then I am OK to close this chapter and move on. 

 

I am juggling a few things at the moment hence the reason for delays in me responding but I have been committed to this from the outset. 

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Well in my view fair compensation would be about £5000 - – and maybe more.

Not only do need to be compensated for the loss of your money, you also need to be compensated because now they will refuse to open the bank account in your name in the future. You need to know whether this has impacted your credit file.

They have had the use of your money for a long time and they would have lent it out at maybe 20% per annum. So even if they reimburse you and give you their paltry £100, they are still quids in.

I can see that you want to put it behind you – but actually they are the people who really want to put it behind them and I can imagine that they wish they had never got involved and been found out in the way they have.

My proposed letter to them would be

Quote

Dear Sir/Mdm

Reference number XXX – Not without prejudice - to be disclosed to the court

Thank you for your letter of XXX date.

 

Firstly your letter suggests that you have already sent me a cheque for my money. However nothing has been received so I can only imagine that once again your systems are in chaos.

Secondly, your offer of £100 apparently to compensate me for having to do without my money and having to chase you in this way for such a long time is derisory and the answer is no.

My offer to you is this – you are about to instruct a barrister.

If your barrister will write to me on his or her headed notepaper and confirm that you have complied with the Proceeds of Crime Act by informing the National Crime Agency then I would assume that although you did comply, you now understand that my money is completely legitimate as I have always claimed.
You will then return my money to me and I will withdraw my claim, bear the costs incurred so far and that will be the end of the matter.

If however your barrister is not prepared to say to me that you have complied with the Proceeds of Crime Act, then I expect that it is because that your barrister will be unable also to tell a judge that you have complied with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

In that case, despite your without prejudice offer, I'm sure the judge will be completely on my side and I expect to gain a judgement against you.
I expect you will then be obliged to disclose the judgement to the National Crime Agency and also to the FCA – but if you don't do that then you can be sure that I will do it for you.

For the avoidance of doubt, this offer to you is not without prejudice. I intend to put the entire offer before the judge and the judge can ask his or her own questions as to why you were not prepared in your defence to refer to my original allegation that you had breached your statutory duty by not informing the National crime agency and why you are now attempting to intimidate me by threats of costs in an attempt to avoid the matter being subject to a proper and transparent scrutiny.

If you really have complied with your duties and if you really have had a legitimate reason for hang onto my money then my offer should pose no problem to you and you will benefit by bringing the matter to an end and also saving a small amount of money in costs.

You have until the trial of the matter on the 11th to make your decision.
After that it will be in the hands of the judge.

Believe me

Signed



 

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