Switching Bank Accounts
in Praise, vent & warnings
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I used a bank switching service to move from Barclays to Santander a few years back (following a recommendation on Moneysaving expert) and thought the Barclays account had been fully closed. However, it wasn't and a direct debit was left open and Barclays kept this going for approx 3 yrs before closing the account down, but not before they racked up 1.5K interest on this 'defaulted' account. They claim they sent me letters and called me to let me know - I didn't receive any letters as I moved house (post was re-directed), and changed mobile no. The first I heard about it was when a debt collection agency sent me a demanding letter to my new address. (Seems like they had no problem in locating this). I then contacted both banks and they initially blamed each other saying it looked like only a 'partial' and not a full switch was done and it was basically my fault for not checking. (Why would I, when I had been told it had been closed?) I took this to the ombudsman and Barclays only allowed him to check into certain areas and said that the records were 'too far back' to prove if it was a full or partial switch (very convenient). I also queried why they had not simply just emailed me too. However, the ombudsman sided with Barclays and said they didn't need to email me. (Surely if they had no response by post or phone then this was the next logical step). This has taken over a year to resolve and I had to chase up the ombudsman on several occasions as I hadn't heard anything since the Covid outbreak, so very disappointed that despite my efforts and stress, I am no further forward. This is now affecting my credit rating as Barclays has listed this as a 'default' on my account and this is likely to affect my re-mortgage application. I have not had any further contact from either Barclays or the omudsman, so not sure as to what to do next. This has affected my health during an already stressful time and now I don't know who else to turn to - please can someone advise.
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If you switch you should always make sure that the old account has been closed (I have always been notified in writing about this) and also check that the direct debits on your new account are as expected (on my latest switch I noticed a strange direct debit which I had to manually delete).
The fact that you moved house, changed phone number etc. etc. is not the banks problem. If you have already been to the ombudsman then I am not sure there is much more you can do, but maybe someone more knowledgeable can advise otherwise.