Problem with virgin money savings account (warning to potential customers)

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
107 replies 33.5K views
SarahD92SarahD92 Forumite
29 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Savings & Investments
Hi there

I am having some serious problems with my virgin money savings account, so I'm creating this thread as a warning to anyone considering banking with them, and also to seek some advice.

I have put all my life savings in my virgin money savings account, I have been banking with for around six months, everything was fine, until I tried to log in to check my balance, only to realise that my account has been restricted. Upon calling them, I was informed that they have sent me some letters to ask for more information, 6 letters to be exact, but I have never received any of them. So they have gone ahead and restricted my account, because I had not responded to the letters that clearly were not sent, it's not possible for 6 letters to get lost in the post.

They're asking for some very confidential information, such as copy of passport and bank statements, payslips, driving license, utility bills, and etc. Obviously, I am not comfortable to give them access to all of that confidential information, so I asked them to close my account and transfer all my savings to the account that it came from. They're refusing to do that, so I'm looking for some help with this situation, have any of you ever experienced something similar? Can they refuse to return my money to my bank account??

Warning to potential customers: Over the past 10 years, I have more or less experienced banking with many of the banking institutions, my experience with Virgin Money has been so much worse than the other banks, I would urge everyone considering banking with them to read some of their reviews online, I wish I had done that.

Many thanks in advance
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Replies

  • economiceconomic
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    you should have closed the account ages ago if you had this problem for ten years.

    i would complain to the financial ombudesman about this but you should raise the complaint to virgin first. if they dont have an adequate complaints procedure (all banks should) then go to financial ombudesman about this (try have everything in writing with virgin).

    i dont trust any bank but there are more reliable ones then others. ive been banking with nationwide and they have relatively been good with a few hiccups with mortgages.

    i opened an account with barclays recently and found their customer service to be the worst i ever experienced. it is seriosly so bad (go check out their reviews online - it says it all). i want nothing to do with barclays and i urge everyone reading this to stay away from them unless you want a lot of hassle for simple services.

    personally i wouldnt trust any bank with large savings (best to have it invested). and certainly not banks like barclays or virgin based on what you have experienced.
  • SarahD92SarahD92 Forumite
    29 Posts
    I have been with Virgin Money for only 6 months, they are really awful. I'm so worried about my savings now, will file a complaint with as per your advice.

    By the way, maybe you should create a thread about your experience with Barclays as well, it may help some poor soul by preventing them from opening an account with them, and also Barclays might come across your post and make some improvements...
  • Sceptic001Sceptic001 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Sounds like Virgin are having trouble verifying your identity (which you will compound by refusing to supply copies of ID they have requested).

    And there is clearly a problem with your address if you have not received six letters. Have you moved recently? Are you on the electoral register?

    Hardly surprising they are refusing to release your money until they can establish they are sending it to the right person.
  • bowlhead99bowlhead99 Forumite
    12.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Post of the Month
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    SarahD92 wrote: »
    I have been banking with for around six months, everything was fine
    Over the past 10 years, I have more or less experienced banking with many of the banking institutions, my experience with Virgin Money has been so much worse than the other banks
    Well, "so much worse" seems over-egging it because you literally said that everything was fine before your dissatisfaction from this one issue. :)
    They're asking for some very confidential information, such as copy of passport and bank statements, payslips, driving license, utility bills, and etc. Obviously, I am not comfortable to give them access to all of that confidential information, so I asked them to close my account and transfer all my savings to the account that it came from. They're refusing to do that, so I'm looking for some help with this situation, have any of you ever experienced something similar?
    Unfortunately you will find that if you deposit your entire life savings into a bank without giving them relevant identity documentation to prove who you are (passport/driver license for your personal details such as name and photo and date of birth ; a utility bill or similar for proof of address) - and perhaps telling them what your source of wealth was if it's a massive amount - then they are free to chase you for that information/evidence to satisfy their regulatory responsibilities to 'know their customer'. Such regulations have tightened up in the last decade and Virgin as a 'challenger bank' can't afford to ignore the rules.

    If they haven't accepted your cash pending those checks, then you or they could just discontinue the relationship and you are free to walk away. However, as they do have your cash, they don't want to participate in money-laundering by giving it all back nice and clean if you refuse to let them have the basic identification documents they requested.

    So, if you are genuinely looking for advice and are 'so worried about my savings', certainly the easiest thing to do is give them the documents they have requested. As a regulated banking institution they are not going to take your money and run off with it, and neither are they going to take your personal identity documents and publish them to all and sundry.

    Feel free to complain *after* you have got your money back, having followed their account terms and conditions which no doubt state that customers may be requested to provide suitable proof of identity as part of the account opening process and accounts may be blocked if customers refuse to participate in the process.
  • SarahD92SarahD92 Forumite
    29 Posts
    @Sceptic001
    The problem is that I haven't moved houses, so at least one of their letters should have reached, mind you I still receive their promotional letter & emails at least once a month, so i really don't believe that they have sent me any letters.

    Regarding your other point, I asked them to simply return it to the source account which is my personal account, so they're not paying to some random bank account but the one I nominate when applying to for their account.

    I have no problem providing one form of ID, but the other documents they're asking for is another matter, it is simply too much, just imagine someone in the bank gets access to all those documents.
  • bowlhead99bowlhead99 Forumite
    12.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Post of the Month
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    SarahD92 wrote: »

    I have no problem providing one form of ID, but the other documents they're asking for is another matter
    Two forms of ID is pretty standard. One proving that you are Sarah D and the other proving you are the Sarah D who lives where you say you live.
    it is simply too much, just imagine someone in the bank gets access to all those documents.
    In the ideal world you would like to live in, financial institutions should accept zero documents or just one document to open an account in your name.

    So, the fact that an employee could get multiple documents is not any particular problem... because you think it will not be a problem to go around creating accounts in your name with just zero documents or just one document anyway.

    Despite it seeming like a big drama, it is pretty normal really. Banks can implement whatever processes they see fit, to ensure they have properly identified their customers and are dealing with the types of customers they want (within reason) in terms of the risks of having that customer as a customer.
  • SarahD92SarahD92 Forumite
    29 Posts
    @bowlhead99
    1. They claim to have sent me 6 letters, not one have been delivered, however, all their promotional letters and emails have been delivered just fine.
    2. Restricted my access to my savings, even though I informed them of the fact that their letters have not been delivered.
    3. Won't return my money my UK nominated account, from which I have paid money into my Virgin Money savings account.
    4. They didn't bother to call my mobile number or email me to discuss this matter before restricting my account.

    I really don't think that I'm over-egging it, bear in mind my savings were with a different bank account before sending it to the virgin money account, so I'm quite familiar with the banking processes.

    I really think that they should be asking for these documents before taking people's money, and then restricting their account. This is just poor, and unprofessional service from them that no one should go through.
  • tibawotibawo Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Had to post that I have just closed my account with Virgin. Due to mislaying my account number I emailed asking if one could be sent via post to the registered account address. Answer was' no' but call and our 'helpful team' will sort it. I called but was told i was mistaken no-ne with my details had an account with them but if i write they would look into it!


    Account now closed.
    After years of debt and living on the breadline feeling nothing but negative about myself, I am finally feeling that 2019 might be the year I actually get positive about it!
  • SarahD92SarahD92 Forumite
    29 Posts
    @bowlhead99
    They're not just asking for two forms of ID, they also want bank statements, pay slips, and god knows what else they'll ask for once they receive these.

    My main issues with Virgin Money is as follows:

    1. Their dishonesty in saying that they have sent letters to me, which is obviously a lie, when have 6 letters sent on different occasions all been lost!
    2. Takings my savings and reaping the benefits of possessing it, then restricting my account and asking for various docs. Why not ask for docs, and intrusive questions before opening the account, or before allowing deposits.
    3. Refusing to return my savings to the account that it was paid from.

    I don't think that paying customers should be so badly treated ever....
  • Gambler101Gambler101 Forumite
    580 Posts
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    Can you repeat it again please.
    The instructions on the box said 'Requires Windows 7 or better'. So I installed LINUX :D:D
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