HELP! Bank account has been closed

:eek: Despite attempts to work with our bank (0f 6 years I might add!) they closed down our account without so much as a letter or phone call to say it was definate :mad:

They had threatened to take away our overdraft and we tried to setup a payment plan which we had been told we had no reason to believe wouldn't be accepted. They also said the account would be shut down by the 13th. Well on Wednesday the 16th I found out it had closed when I went to buy some milk, tried to take a tenner out of the account and it kept my card :(

We now have my husbands wages and 2 lots of my wages (I am self employeed and get payments from about 20 different companies most by BACS) waiting plus I have a cheque I now cannot cash. They tried to take our tax credit which went in a day early but I think my mental breakdown and floods of tears on the phone to the branch made them realise how horribly unprofessional they had been and the guy authorised me to take out most of the tax credit money so that we can actually eat and have bus fares til we can sort this out.

What really makes me angry is that they have been sitting on this decision for nearly 2 weeks! AND they only sent out the letter to tell us on the day they pulled the account :mad: :mad: :mad: If they had called us as promised to tell us that they couldn't accept (or hey, maybe try to come to another agreement) we could have sorted this out before the payments hit, I feel like they're trying to squeeze out a few more pennies by stealth.

The thing is, and I've explained this to them umpteen times, I am self employed, I HAVE to use my bank account as part of many of my jobs as I am required to make purchases that are to be reimbursed. Some of the jobs require specifically that I use my debit card. So basically they are shooting themselves in the foot by doing this because they have now cut off my ability to work so that we can pay them back!

So, now that I'm done ranting what I desperately need to know is how I can quickly get a new bank account with a debit card. I am not expecting an overdraft and don't want one after all of this as we genuinely have been trying to live within our means. I only went self employed in November and it has been very tight financially but I am now seeing my efforts being rewarded so this is just the worst timing ever! It's my understanding that it is very difficult to get a bank account if you have poor credit so what do we do?

The suggestion has been made to get an account with the Post Office, does anyone know if there are any serious restrictions on these kind of accounts? Will I receive a debit card? Is it a Solo card where you have no overdraft and it has to be checked to make sure it has gone through? Is that what I would receive and are they widely accepted now (they didn't used to be)

If anyone has any tips whatsoever I would greatly appreciate it. I need to get all this sorted pronto as we have people already trying to get their paws on my husbands pay which was supposed to be in today :( Also any pointers on how to quickly sort out getting BACS payments rerouted to a new account and direct debits setup again please do tell...

Thank you very much in advance
founder of Frugal Genius UK (Yahoo Groups)


  • is to go to the branch in person and actually see a real live person.

    I'm not sure whether they would reinstate the bank account but at least you can get the full facts of what is happening to the various credits that should be made into the account.

    As for needing the account for your self employed business - would it not be better to have a separate account from your personal account? I think this is where going to see the bank in person would pay dividends.

    If you do decide to go to the bank I think it would be a good idea to have some sort of plan to pay back any overdraft you have with them - I'm assuming that this is the reason that the bank have taken the action that they have....even if its £25 per month then so long as they can see you are making inroads to solving your problem then they should be responsiv
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  • HOLsale
    HOLsale Posts: 1,231 Forumite
    Thank you for your reply.

    There are two problems with that approach unfortunately. First of all the branch we are registered with is on the Isle of Skye, we now live in Edinburgh. The people on Skye have helped us out of a few scrapes in the past but it was made quite clear to us that this is now in the hands of the company as a whole and no longer a branch decision.

    I don't actually run a business, I am self employed and do work on a contract basis. I would prefer to have a seperate account but have not been able to do this yet as we simply don't have the funds. I have had a massive outlay and I am only now starting to be repaid for a lot of it (It takes a long time to get established in this business) They are quite aware of this situation and I have already laid out all expected payments for this month and next but appearantly the board that has the final decision doesn't care even though I would be adding more than twice what has been received in the last few months and this amount would be increasing.

    I've had a look at the Post Office account and that is definately a no go, it's worthless! No direct debits and no cheques (HOW do you pay your bills?) No debit card nothing!

    I'm thinking perhaps the Co-Op would be good. They have a very good ethical stance and they also don't charge fees if you accidentally have a direct debit refused so that would be a benefit, not that I'm planning on it but life happens sometimes when you aren't expecting it too.

    Does anyone have any experience getting an account with them?
    founder of Frugal Genius UK (Yahoo Groups)
  • HOLsale wrote:
    I'm thinking perhaps the Co-Op would be good. They have a very good ethical stance and they also don't charge fees if you accidentally have a direct debit refused so that would be a benefit, not that I'm planning on it but life happens sometimes when you aren't expecting it too.


    whats the policy here? cant find any info on their website to that effect

  • Becles
    Becles Posts: 13,163
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic

    I think I might know you from elsewhere? I had the same avatar in a place where I think you may visit!

    What about a basic bank account? These are aimed at people who have had problems with credit in the past. You get a cash card, can use BACS deposits, and use standing orders/direct debits. Some give you an Electron card too, which is like a debit card except you can only buy things in person with it, so no mail order/internet shopping with it.

    Ideally try the banks that you are allowed to use the Post Office so you get easy access to free cash withdrawls over the counter.

    Hope things work out for you
    Becs xx
    Here I go again on my own....
  • doelani
    doelani Posts: 2,576
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Any Bacs payments that annot go into your closed account will be returned to oroginator, this normally takes 3 working days. You need to contact them though as a lot of them may not notice this money going back into their bank accounts as it is all done automaticall and they will recieve no notification it has happened. Do you really need a debit card? You could open something like a Nationwide Flex Account in a branch, it offers standing orders, direct debitss, bill payments, unline banking and if youo need a cheque you can request one through their internet banking.If credit problems you may only get a cash card.
    TOTAL 44 weeks lose. 6st 9.5lb :T
  • Curry_Queen
    Curry_Queen Posts: 5,589
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Becles wrote:
    Some give you an Electron card too, which is like a debit card except you can only buy things in person with it, so no mail order/internet shopping with it.

    Visa Electron can be used for online/telephone shopping just like any other card. There are still a few places that won't accept it though (i.e. Tesco, Iceland, Argos) as they use a different merchandising system to everyone else (Natwest Streamline I think) but it's always worth trying it under the Visa debit option, even if they don't display the Electron sign, as it often works this way.
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
    It is that what you do, good or bad,
    will come back to you three times as strong!

  • Becles
    Becles Posts: 13,163
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    Ooops - sorry for the duff info :o

    Maybe it's something to do with how quickly they process the transaction?

    Like if I placed an order today with for a grocery delivery on Thursday, my card wouldn't be charged till they packed the shopping on Thursday. In the mean time I could have cleared out the account so there was no money in for Tesco.

    However if you were buying something where the card was instantly debited, it would be removed from your account so the retailer would get their money.
    Here I go again on my own....
  • deedee_3
    deedee_3 Posts: 891 Forumite
    We have the Halifax Easycash account because of credit problems. It works well for us. We have all the normal services including online banking. A cheque book but no card and an Electron Debit card. Thet do charge if you go over, £30.But havn't been too bad with us.

    Maybe you could post up your budget on here and see if any one can see if there is anywhere you can make savings. It's always amazing what fresh eyes can pick up.

    I would also recomend talking to the National Debtline and CCCS, there are links on here somewhere. Also possible your local CAB.

    Hope you manage to get things sorted.
    Namaste DeeDee x
  • System
    System Posts: 178,068
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post
    Community Admin
    Hi, I have a bank account with the bank of scotland. It's called easycash and has a visa electron, which really is accepted almost everywhere these days. I also have a cheque book with it, can use the account for standing orders and direct debits etc, get my tax credits paid into it.

    The account isn't credit checked, as you dont get an overdraft or anything with it, so should be easy to open for you.

    Hope this helps.

    just realised this account is probably the same as deedee from the previous post as halifax and bos are now one...
  • HOLsale
    HOLsale Posts: 1,231 Forumite
    Thank you to everyone for your replies, knowing I'm in capable hands (of people who are in the same boat) makes me feel much less stressed.

    I definately have to have a debit card but don't need a cheque book as I never use them anyway. Electron/Solo would do I guess as long as I can also use them online as I sometimes have to do transactions online for one of the companies I work with.

    Does anyone know how Paypal work with Electron/Solo and are these considered ok for Ebay accounts? I've been doing fairly well on my Ebay sales but will now have to change my bank details if I'm to get anymore cash paid into a bank account.

    Becles, yes I know who you are, long time no see! Hope you are well too, sorry to hear about problems :-(

    National Debt or CCCS are our next port of call. We're going to gather up all our debts (I think I feel a panic attack coming on just thinking of this, I need a triple dose of my Prozac right now let me tell you) and then we'll set up an appointment with them. We actually tried this once before before we moved but they said we didn't have enough money coming in to make a payment arrangement plan at that time. We have slightly more coming in now but at this point we think that we may wind up claiming bankruptcy which I am loathe to do but in the end it may have to happen.

    Curry_Queen, can you please explain in more details about the Visa/Electron thing. Do you mean that if I am ordering something online and I do not see anything for Electron if I select Visa debit it may still go through? Also are Electron/Solo the same thing like Switch/Maestro?
    founder of Frugal Genius UK (Yahoo Groups)
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