Barclaycard account closed immediately, concerned about consequences i.e. CIFAS marker [Merged]

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  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 5:16PM
    Hoenir said:
    Nothing to do with committing fraud. Simply misuse of the facility. As you said manufactured spend.  They no longer want your custom. Straight forward business decision., 
    It's not that simple. 'Misuse of facility' is one of CIFAS markers. The name is very ambiguous, but the actual meaning is something like 'opening an account with intent to use it for fraud'.
    Indeed, there was no any fraud in this case and no justification for such a marker, but one can expect anything from banks' Pinkertons. "Innocent until proven guilty" principle doesn't exist for them.

    ETA: BC T&C say:
    Unless we are closing your account for one of the reasons below, we’ll give you at least two months’ written notice.
    We may close your account and require immediate repayment of your total outstanding balance for the
    reasons below:
    • If we reasonably believe that you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously
    • If you have acted fraudulently
    • If the Home Office tells us that you have become a ‘disqualified person’ due to your immigration status
    • If you become bankrupt (or enter into a voluntary arrangement with your creditors) or if we believe this is
    likely to happen
    • If you die (in this case, we may ask your estate to make the repayment)

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,841 Forumite
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 4:47PM

    By using Curve and Barclaycard, I was topping up my savings accounts and it was being charged via Curve to Barclaycard. As the savings accounts were easy access, it's therefore feasible to deposit, earn the Avios on that spend and then withdraw, essentially recycling that money. 

    I don't imagine Barclaycard love this as it's manufactured spend and this isn't how they'd want their customers to use the card, plus as this allows a very large amount of Avios to be earned, that has a hard cost to them.

    They contacted me about 6 weeks ago to ask the purpose of some transactions, I explained these were savings platforms and I move around frequently. About 4 weeks later (2 weeks ago), they immediately cancelled my card and sent a letter with very little info in just to say my account has been cancelled. They don't want to discuss on the phone and whilst I'm not sure that 'a business decision' is the exact reason, it's what call centre staff have mentioned.

    Unless I have missed something, you have set out exactly what you were doing that Barclaycard will not like.  Then you are querying that closing the account for 'a business decision' is not the full reason.

    Would Occam's Razor not suggest that the 'business decision' by Barclaycard was to close your account to stop you doing what they don't like and has a hard cost to the business?
  • Nasqueron
    Nasqueron Posts: 8,752 Forumite
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    Saying that, fraud is illegal so you'd think they'd have to be utterly convinced I was breaking the law here. Again I'd find that very surprising. I just don't know the ins and outs, and how easy it is for them to place a marker 'just in case' with zero consideration for the repercussions for me.

    When would they apply a marker if they did so and wouldn't my other lenders have been notified by now?
    There's a difference between the bank passing on fraud on a big level or something like acting as a money mule where you might get a fraud marker but the bank are acting by the books and may not do anything more than shut your accounts if they feel you weren't part of the fraud directly but were a willing victim 
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,841 Forumite
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    grumbler said:

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
    The OP may have done the first of those two "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" by the frequent recycling of the same funds via Curve and savings accounts to generate high points rewards.
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 5:25PM
    grumbler said:

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
    The OP may have done the first of those two "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" by the frequent recycling of the same funds via Curve and savings accounts to generate high points rewards.
    I'm curious, what exactly parts of the T&C the OP has broken?
    The only remotely relevant bit I see is
    You can use your card to make transactions such as cash withdrawals, purchases, balance or money transfers and any other use that we allow, including using another service provider to make an online payment on your behalf, with your permission.

  • grumbler said:
    Hoenir said:
    Nothing to do with committing fraud. Simply misuse of the facility. As you said manufactured spend.  They no longer want your custom. Straight forward business decision., 
    It's not that simple. 'Misuse of facility' is one of CIFAS markers. The name is very ambiguous, but the actual meaning is something like 'opening an account with intent to use it for fraud'.
    Indeed, there was no any fraud in this case and no justification for such a marker, but one can expect anything from banks' Pinkertons. "Innocent until proven guilty" principle doesn't exist for them.

    ETA: BC T&C say:
    Unless we are closing your account for one of the reasons below, we’ll give you at least two months’ written notice.
    We may close your account and require immediate repayment of your total outstanding balance for the
    reasons below:
    • If we reasonably believe that you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously
    • If you have acted fraudulently
    • If the Home Office tells us that you have become a ‘disqualified person’ due to your immigration status
    • If you become bankrupt (or enter into a voluntary arrangement with your creditors) or if we believe this is
    likely to happen
    • If you die (in this case, we may ask your estate to make the repayment)

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
    Exactly and this is why I'm concerned. If I've broken the agreement regularly, although there's nothing in the terms to suggest recycled or manufactured spend is prohibited, then I will get over it. I am concerned that it's the 2nd point, they think I may have acted fraudulently, just as they probably don't understand what I'm doing and it looks odd.

    The ONLY term I know has been broken is related to Avios earned over the credit limit. Firstly, it says (term 4.2) "You won’t be able to earn Avios on:

    any purchases made over your credit limit'

    This point is confusing as you can't spend over your credit limit anyway. However, you can pay off your card mid cycle and continue to earn Avios up to 4x your total credit limit (i.e. if your limit is £20k, you can pay it off 4 times over and earn Avios on £80k of spend per statement period). This was a new limit introduced from June 2023, as previously you could (in theory) pay off your card within cycle many more times and still earn Avios. The term introduced in June was:

    4.7 There are limits on the value of Avios you can receive in a statement period. You can earn up to four times your credit limit in Avios in any statement period. This doesn’t include promotional offers.

    I can't post links on this forum yet but google 'avios-reward-rules-june-2023.pdf' to see these terms.

    I breached this limit twice to my knowledge. However, Barclaycard still awarded Avios for 100% of spend so even though they have this term, it wasn't enforced. 

    Now it may be easy to assume this is why they cancelled the card immediately, as I broke this term twice. Even though it's not a rule they enforce. However, the concern remains that they just labelled the whole thing as 'fraud' and I will have a CIFAS marker.
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 22 December 2023 at 6:24PM
    grumbler said:
    Hoenir said:
    Nothing to do with committing fraud. Simply misuse of the facility. As you said manufactured spend.  They no longer want your custom. Straight forward business decision., 
    It's not that simple. 'Misuse of facility' is one of CIFAS markers. The name is very ambiguous, but the actual meaning is something like 'opening an account with intent to use it for fraud'.
    Indeed, there was no any fraud in this case and no justification for such a marker, but one can expect anything from banks' Pinkertons. "Innocent until proven guilty" principle doesn't exist for them.

    ETA: BC T&C say:
    Unless we are closing your account for one of the reasons below, we’ll give you at least two months’ written notice.
    We may close your account and require immediate repayment of your total outstanding balance for the
    reasons below:
    • If we reasonably believe that you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously
    • If you have acted fraudulently
    • If the Home Office tells us that you have become a ‘disqualified person’ due to your immigration status
    • If you become bankrupt (or enter into a voluntary arrangement with your creditors) or if we believe this is
    likely to happen
    • If you die (in this case, we may ask your estate to make the repayment)

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
    ... "You won’t be able to earn Avios on:

    any purchases made over your credit limit'

    This point is confusing as you can't spend over your credit limit anyway.

    In fact, you can. That's why 'over the limit' fee exists.
    4.7 There are limits on the value of Avios you can receive in a statement period. You can earn up to four times your credit limit in Avios in any statement period. ....I breached this limit twice to my knowledge. However, Barclaycard still awarded Avios for 100% of spend so even though they have this term, it wasn't enforced.
    You breached the limit, not the T&C. They awarded points that they shouldn't have awarded. It's their fault, not yours.

    That said, Avios points is sort of promotion. Many years of matched betting (in the past) taught me not to abuse any promotions far too blatantly.
  • I am by no means an expert in this field but I do believe you will not incur a CIFA's or anything of the sort. What you have done is effectively abuse the fair use policy as far as the Avios points are concerned and as such, Barclaycard have decided they no longer wish to do business with you. I would doubt that they will submit anything more than just an 'account closure' notice to your Credit Reports.

    You are lucky that it was just Barclaycard as Curve may well have stepped in and requested Source of Funds and acted accordingly (closure of their facility) too.

    I would just put this down to experience and move on......
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  • I am by no means an expert in this field but I do believe you will not incur a CIFA's or anything of the sort. What you have done is effectively abuse the fair use policy as far as the Avios points are concerned and as such, Barclaycard have decided they no longer wish to do business with you. I would doubt that they will submit anything more than just an 'account closure' notice to your Credit Reports.

    You are lucky that it was just Barclaycard as Curve may well have stepped in and requested Source of Funds and acted accordingly (closure of their facility) too.

    I would just put this down to experience and move on......
    Thanks. Curve have got in touch a few times and paused my spending until I answer some questions but they essentially just indicate that the card should be used for everyday spending not just the spends to financial institutions which they've flagged. Their wording is almost obviously suggesting that it's OK with them, just don't use the card exclusively for manufactured spending. Curve literally offer a 'fronted' option which is specifically for manufactured spending on your credit card so out of all parties involved in the chain, they care the least. They will shut you down eventually though.
  • grumbler said:
    grumbler said:
    Hoenir said:
    Nothing to do with committing fraud. Simply misuse of the facility. As you said manufactured spend.  They no longer want your custom. Straight forward business decision., 
    It's not that simple. 'Misuse of facility' is one of CIFAS markers. The name is very ambiguous, but the actual meaning is something like 'opening an account with intent to use it for fraud'.
    Indeed, there was no any fraud in this case and no justification for such a marker, but one can expect anything from banks' Pinkertons. "Innocent until proven guilty" principle doesn't exist for them.

    ETA: BC T&C say:
    Unless we are closing your account for one of the reasons below, we’ll give you at least two months’ written notice.
    We may close your account and require immediate repayment of your total outstanding balance for the
    reasons below:
    • If we reasonably believe that you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously
    • If you have acted fraudulently
    • If the Home Office tells us that you have become a ‘disqualified person’ due to your immigration status
    • If you become bankrupt (or enter into a voluntary arrangement with your creditors) or if we believe this is
    likely to happen
    • If you die (in this case, we may ask your estate to make the repayment)

    By closing the account without a notice they obviously imply that either "you’ve broken this agreement regularly or seriously" or "you have acted fraudulently". Neither is true, but they don't care.
    ... "You won’t be able to earn Avios on:

    any purchases made over your credit limit'

    This point is confusing as you can't spend over your credit limit anyway.

    In fact, you can. That's why 'over the limit' fee exists.
    4.7 There are limits on the value of Avios you can receive in a statement period. You can earn up to four times your credit limit in Avios in any statement period. ....I breached this limit twice to my knowledge. However, Barclaycard still awarded Avios for 100% of spend so even though they have this term, it wasn't enforced.
    You breached the limit, not the T&C. They awarded points that they shouldn't have awarded. It's their fault, not yours.

    That said, Avios points is sort of promotion. Many years of matched betting (in the past) taught me not to abuse any promotions far too blatantly.
    Ah OK, makes sense re the limit. I've just accidentally breached the limit before and the card is declined so I don't even know how to go over.

    Interestingly I was also massively into matched betting. I guess I just can't help pushing a promotion a bit far...but within the law!
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