Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • John Galt
    • By John Galt 9th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    • 9Posts
    • 4Thanks
    John Galt
    Barclays terminating my account without explanation
    • #1
    • 9th Apr 18, 6:21 PM
    Barclays terminating my account without explanation 9th Apr 18 at 6:21 PM
    Hi MSE
    I have been a Barclays customer for over 30 years - they've been at the centre of my finances for virtually my entire adult life. Recently I received a letter from them telling me that they are terminating my current and savings accounts and that I had 2 months to make other arrangements. They have done this without explanation - I have complained, but the situation is that they say they have reviewed my accounts and decided to close them - assessed against guidelines which they are unable to provide information on - i.e. totally opaque.

    Has anybody else experienced this recently? I am totally bemused because:
    1) My account is sufficiently in the black and has been for as long as I can remember
    2) Nothing has changed with my personal situation that I can think of that would affect the standing with my bank (no disputes, fines, CCJ's, divorce etc., etc.)
    3) My salary is paid in every month and has been for at least 12 years - I am the model of stability of good financial hygiene
    4) I do not launder money or deal in narcotics (or anything remotely close! )

    I am in discussion with my local branch and the Barclays complaints team but they are of no value.

    Any advice or insight? Guesses? Anything!!!?

    I have been able to transfer my current account across to HSBC (and they pay me 150 for doing so - thanks for that MSE)... I still have a mortgage which is linked to my (terminating) other accounts in an offset arrangement and that has 12 years to run.

    I had wondered whether my account had been hacked or my identity stolen (i.e. getting paranoid) but there does not seem to be anything to support that theory... could it be something to do with impending GDPR? Perhaps they just don't like me... I have no idea!

    Illumination/advice required please.
Page 3
    • John Galt
    • By John Galt 11th Apr 18, 10:57 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    John Galt
    If a bank staff member has the slightest suspicion of money laundering they have to report it. They cannot in any way tip off the customer. Tipping off carries a heavy prison sentence.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Err... guys... I am not laundering money and nothing in my bank statements supports any theory of criminal or inappropriate activity... for one thing, the amounts are relatively insignificant and second, the number of transactions is also relatively insignificant.

    Also, it would be a little odd if Barclays would allow everything to be transferred to another bank - intact, via switch - if there was any suspicion of crime, don't you think? That would only shift the problem elsewhere and seems unlikely. Also, they are closing my current account and savings account... but are allowing my mortgage to continue... what does that suggest?

    The mystery continues...
    Last edited by John Galt; 11-04-2018 at 11:04 PM.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 11th Apr 18, 11:14 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,667 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Thank you for your answer which is very informative.

    Just for clarity I will summarise my understanding of the process as you have described. I am also quite happy to accept your statements regarding possible prison sentences for bank staff.

    1. A bank staff member has suspicion of money laundering and reports it to the relevant department in the bank.
    2. The bank decide that there is some possible substance to the suggestion of money laundering.
    3. The bank informs the police who investigate the issue but decide that there is insufficient evidence and inform the bank of this.
    4. The bank decide to close the bank account but cannot reveal the reason for fear of possible prison time.
    5. There is insufficient evidence for the police to instigate any criminal proceedings but the bank account holder has had their account closed. They do not know why and at no point are they aware that the police have investigated them so have never had any right of reply.
    6. The justification for never giving a reason is that it would give the game away to the suspected money launderer.

    I do have one further question which is whether a bank ever decides to close an account before the police investigation is concluded?

    I would understand if you declined to answer for fear of falling foul of the AML legislation.
    Originally posted by RG2015
    Pretty much.

    I don't know the answer to your final question.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 11th Apr 18, 11:28 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,667 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    Err... guys... I am not laundering money and nothing in my bank statements supports any theory of criminal or inappropriate activity

    ...
    Originally posted by John Galt
    I never said you were. The bank may suspect it. They may not. How do you know that your account doesn't match that of one used for small scale criminal placement of laundered money though?
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 12th Apr 18, 12:00 AM
    • 1,301 Posts
    • 766 Thanks
    RG2015
    I never said you were. The bank may suspect it. They may not. How do you know that your account doesn't match that of one used for small scale criminal placement of laundered money though?
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    PeacefulWaters, I do not understand this. How exactly can one account match a different account being used for illicit purposes?

    John, Apologies for using your thread to examine these issues. You have my sympathy for all that has happened to you. Perhaps once you are absolved Barclays will apologise to you. I say this also because I believe in the presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise.
    Last edited by RG2015; 12-04-2018 at 12:23 AM.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 12th Apr 18, 1:54 AM
    • 5,648 Posts
    • 4,974 Thanks
    mgdavid
    PeacefulWaters, I do not understand this. How exactly can one account match a different account being used for illicit purposes?
    ........
    Originally posted by RG2015
    The number, size and frequency of transactions?
    Seems obvious to me. Remember, these things are done by scanning & analysis software, not human beings.
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 12th Apr 18, 6:54 AM
    • 1,301 Posts
    • 766 Thanks
    RG2015
    The number, size and frequency of transactions?
    Seems obvious to me. Remember, these things are done by scanning & analysis software, not human beings.
    Originally posted by mgdavid
    The OP has said that his account had an insignificant number of transactions for insignificant amounts.

    If your comment was general you maybe should have mentioned that it does not appear to have been the cause in this particular case.

    Or are you saying that their criteria may match the usage described by the OP? If that is true, God help us all!
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 12th Apr 18, 9:20 AM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,667 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    The OP has said that his account had an insignificant number of transactions for insignificant amounts.

    If your comment was general you maybe should have mentioned that it does not appear to have been the cause in this particular case.

    Or are you saying that their criteria may match the usage described by the OP? If that is true, God help us all!
    Originally posted by RG2015
    My best guess is that this is a somewhat warped profit and loss decision by Barclays based on an offset mortgage where savings balances exceed the debt.

    But the transaction patterns where money laundering occurs can vary between big and small amounts, multiple daily ins and outs and minimal to virtually no activity for extended periods. I'm not going to ask the OP to supply a bank statement for an opinion. But none of us know what the OP's transactions look like (generic statements of nothing standing out mean little) so assuming he's all clear is a leap of faith.

    When I use the word "matching" that doesn't mean exactly. Too many variables to play with.

    Maybe Barclays have had genuine money laundering issues with offset mortgages.
    • RG2015
    • By RG2015 12th Apr 18, 10:11 AM
    • 1,301 Posts
    • 766 Thanks
    RG2015
    PeacefulWaters,

    Thank you for your latest response. It is helping me to build up a picture of this whole issue, both in general and specifically in this case.

    More importantly, I hope that it is helping @JohnGalt to make some sense of this whole affair.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 12th Apr 18, 10:24 AM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,667 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    PeacefulWaters,

    Thank you for your latest response. It is helping me to build up a picture of this whole issue, both in general and specifically in this case.
    Originally posted by RG2015
    No worries. I just wish I could make statements with absolute certainty.

    More importantly, I hope that it is helping @JohnGalt to make some sense of this whole affair.
    I'd be surprised if an innocent man (my assumption) could ever quite come to terms with it.

    I'd be getting new accounts set up elsewhere now and considering repaying the mortgage in full.
    • John Galt
    • By John Galt 12th Apr 18, 6:04 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    John Galt
    No worries. I just wish I could make statements with absolute certainty.

    I'd be surprised if an innocent man (my assumption) could ever quite come to terms with it.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I have a wry smile on my face because earlier in this thread I was pulled up because of the user name I chose (John Galt - a character hero from a famous book about ideals relatng to capatilism/communism)... I had considered 'Honest John' but decided not to as that might suggest the opposite... but for the record I am (honest) - thanks for giving me the benefit of any doubt.

    I'd be getting new accounts set up elsewhere now and considering repaying the mortgage in full.
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    I did this with my current account immediately it was confirmed as genuine - and HSBC rewarded me for doing so.

    Today I visited the bank again - in the process of asking for a redemption figure it turns out that I have another 'Mortgage Current Account' that I was unaware of and this is allowed to remain. I have transferred monies across so my offset mortgage can continue being serviced whilst I figure my next move. Hence any thoughts of not making money from my offset account can be discounted (because that situation remains available).

    Throughout this whole process the bank staff have been as perplexed as me - they can see my account transactions and (to the extent they have inspected them) can see no wrong doing. Although the decision is above their paygrade they've supported me quite admirably... just wish I could make sense of the decision (that's all I have asked for - to remove the uncertainty/ambiguity/anxiety).
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

141Posts Today

1,463Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Ta ta... for now. This August, as I try and do every few yrs, I'm lucky enough to be taking a sabbatical. No work,? https://t.co/Xx4R3eLhFG

  • RT @lethalbrignull: @MartinSLewis I've been sitting here for a good while trying to decide my answer to this, feeling grateful for living i?

  • Early days but currently it's exactly 50 50 in liberality v democracy, with younger people more liberal, older more? https://t.co/YwJr4izuIj

  • Follow Martin