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  • FIRST POST
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 4th Nov 18, 3:58 PM
    • 18Posts
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    mcplums
    Santander blocked my account with no explanation
    • #1
    • 4th Nov 18, 3:58 PM
    Santander blocked my account with no explanation 4th Nov 18 at 3:58 PM
    It's been two weeks. They can't tell me why it's blocked, or when it'll be unblocked.

    I'm fairly sure I know why it's blocked. I use my account for bitcoin arbitrage. I had about £800k of volume go through it in a 6 month period (never cash though). Santander sent me a letter asking me why I used the account, I was 100% honest and gave them all the details. They even had a box to tick for 'virtual currency trading'.

    If it's against the rules to do what I'm doing, then why can't they just tell me so and close my account? Why all the secrecy?

    What can I do to hurry up this process? It's really !!!!ing me off. They are holding my money, which was obtained legally and ethically, hostage.

    Is it worth submitting a complaint? Is there a period of time after which I can raise this with the Financial Ombudsmen?

    I know this is off topic, and I do not want to start a conversation on the merits of bitcoin, but it is this kind of behaviour that convinces me more than anything else that bitcoin will wipe out banks, simply because it is impossible for my bitcoins to be frozen in this way. It is hard to appreciate how angry and powerless you feel when a bank freezes your money.
    Last edited by mcplums; 11-11-2018 at 10:51 AM.
Page 2
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 5th Nov 18, 3:23 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    mcplums
    OP, did you really think Santander would ignore what you were doing ? You can decide what you like but you'll have to wait until Santander have finished their investigation.
    Originally posted by meer53
    Nah I knew it would happen eventually, it happened to my colleagues as well. It's just with them their account was just shut down. That isn't what has happened to me.

    I just rang Santander to lodge a complaint about them taking their sweet time to resolve this, they basically said that I was not able to lodge a complaint in this instance but couldn't tell me why. Lovely!
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 5th Nov 18, 3:27 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    mcplums
    Yes, but do you really think that corporates like Tesco, Sainsbury's, Amazon all the way down to your local corner shop will be using VPN's to illegally conduct their business in bitcoins?

    Therefore banks will not be 'wiped out' by the use of unregulated and unpoliced virtual currencies.
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    Oh no, of course not. If they are banned it'll be individuals holding the fort, until any ban is removed. Certainly however, any businesses with heavy involvement in bitcoins will simply move country to where they are allowed (as is currently happening with Chinese mining companies who are relocating in Europe).

    As much as I didn't intend for this thread to be a debate about bitcoin I am somewhat enjoying it
    • Comms69
    • By Comms69 5th Nov 18, 3:36 PM
    • 5,501 Posts
    • 5,614 Thanks
    Comms69
    The issue you have is that bitcoin isn't a currency you can use in everyday life (whether that happens in the future isn't really the issue) you need you bank to convert it into the currency you need.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 5th Nov 18, 4:13 PM
    • 7,999 Posts
    • 21,516 Thanks
    EachPenny
    Oh no, of course not. If they are banned it'll be individuals holding the fort, until any ban is removed. Certainly however, any businesses with heavy involvement in bitcoins will simply move country to where they are allowed (as is currently happening with Chinese mining companies who are relocating in Europe).
    Originally posted by mcplums
    That's great , but it doesn't support your hypothesis that virtual currencies will 'wipe out' the banks because it is impossible to freeze virtual currencies.

    In effect what you are saying is virtual currency will remain the preserve of geeks, speculators and crooks and never become a mainstream means of exchange which would challenge the existing banking system.

    In order to become mainstream, virtual currency will have to become something which is regulated and policed, and with that comes the ability (and expectation) that funds will be frozen if suspicious activity is detected.

    Banks 1 - Virtual Currency 0.
    "In the future, everyone will be rich for 15 minutes"
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 5th Nov 18, 6:25 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    I do KYC and AML for 100% of my customers.
    Originally posted by mcplums
    Sorry, what do you mean by your customers?
    Last edited by jonnygee2; 05-11-2018 at 6:25 PM. Reason: typo
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 5th Nov 18, 9:00 PM
    • 5,784 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    mgdavid
    OP I may have missed something here, if I have could you please point it out?
    If, as you assert, virtual currencies will wipe out the banks, how will you continue to operate - as you seem to depend on a bank at the moment, hence this thread?
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 6th Nov 18, 12:17 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    mcplums
    Sorry, what do you mean by your customers?
    Originally posted by jonnygee2
    The people I sell bitcoin to.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 6th Nov 18, 12:37 PM
    • 61,061 Posts
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    Thrugelmir
    Still doesn't warrant them holding my money hostage.
    Originally posted by mcplums
    Depends on the source of the money i.e. who your "customers" are.

    If your business is regulated by the Money Laundering Regulations you must try to identify any activity linked to money laundering or terrorist financing, for all parts of your business.

    If you know about or suspect money laundering or terrorist financing you must consider telling the National Crime Agency (NCA) by sending a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR).
    Anyone in your business must report any suspicious transaction or activity they become aware of to the nominated officer. It’s the nominated officer’s responsibility to decide whether they need to send a report or ‘disclosure’ about the incident to the NCA. They do this by making a SAR.

    The nominated officer must normally suspend the transaction if they suspect money laundering or terrorist financing. If it’s not practical - or not safe - to suspend the transaction, they should make the report as soon as possible after the transaction is completed.

    The NCA receives and analyses SARs and uses them to identify the proceeds of crime. It counters money laundering and terrorism by passing on important information to law enforcement agencies so they can take action.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 6th Nov 18, 12:47 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    mcplums
    Guys I'd like to draw a line under the questions about bitcoin that are unrelated to my Santander issue. Trust me, there is nothing I enjoy more than debating the merits of bitcoin but this is not the right thread for it. If anyone wants to continue discussing with me please send a private message or start a new thread on the subject, I will happily join you there!
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 6th Nov 18, 12:50 PM
    • 18 Posts
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    mcplums
    Depends on the source of the money i.e. who your "customers" are.
    Originally posted by Thrugelmir
    Oh yes I 100% agree with you here. And I can't blame Santander really- they have no way of knowing I'm following the rules (that you referenced) and are just being prudent. However what I would like is for them to actually find out if I'm following the rules by asking me questions instead of just blocking my access.
    • mgdavid
    • By mgdavid 6th Nov 18, 1:39 PM
    • 5,784 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    mgdavid
    ..... . find out if I'm following the rules by asking me questions instead of just blocking my access.
    Originally posted by mcplums

    I think the bank will be looking for a more substantial source of information than just relying on what you might tell them. They will be doing background checks, audits and traces, all of which take time.


    While you are waiting could you answer post #26 please?
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
    • BooJewels
    • By BooJewels 6th Nov 18, 2:21 PM
    • 341 Posts
    • 242 Thanks
    BooJewels
    Oh yes I 100% agree with you here. And I can't blame Santander really- they have no way of knowing I'm following the rules (that you referenced) and are just being prudent. However what I would like is for them to actually find out if I'm following the rules by asking me questions instead of just blocking my access.
    Originally posted by mcplums
    It sounds like there's certainly one Santander rule that you're not following. Page 6 of their T&C as a general term that applies to all current accounts:

    You must not use the account for business purposes.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 6th Nov 18, 2:35 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    You must not use the account for business purposes.
    Investing personal money for profits is not necessarily a business activity.

    @OP Santander can keep your money frozen for as long as it needs to. There's no point in complaining, they have no duty to release it. Most of these incidents will take 3 - 6 weeks, but there's a (slim) chance it could be several months.

    I would take this as a lesson. The business you are engaged in is very risky. I don't know what you do in terms of AML checks but it is almost impossible for a single trader to be able to do these fully and properly. The risk of you inadvertently laundering someones money is high, and if it happens you will be in a lot of trouble. Also, sometimes people complain to banks that they didn't receive the bitcoin they were promised etc, causing accounts to be frozen (this may have happened to you?).
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 6th Nov 18, 2:43 PM
    • 61,061 Posts
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    Thrugelmir
    Investing personal money for profits is not necessarily a business activity.
    Originally posted by jonnygee2
    Trading with customers isn't personal speculation. At these levels. "£800k of volume go through it in a 6 month period". Bound to be a thorough investigation.
    Last edited by Thrugelmir; 06-11-2018 at 2:45 PM.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 6th Nov 18, 2:47 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    Trading with customers isn't personal speculation
    My understanding is that the OP is simply buying bitcoin with his own and then selling it on at a higher price to people he calls 'customers'? In which case they aren't really 'customers' and it is personal speculation.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 6th Nov 18, 3:00 PM
    • 61,061 Posts
    • 54,273 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    My understanding is that the OP is simply buying bitcoin with his own and then selling it on at a higher price to people he calls 'customers'? In which case they aren't really 'customers' and it is personal speculation.
    Originally posted by jonnygee2
    Then you need to read the thread properly.

    As the OP has already said.

    I do KYC and AML for 100% of my customers.
    Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 6th Nov 18, 3:29 PM
    • 451 Posts
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    jonnygee2
    Well, if you had read the thread you'd realise I've already read that comment ;-)

    But just because the OP said the word 'customers' or is doing KYC / AML checks doesn't actually mean its a business. I think the OP is a bit confused but is actually just investing personal money in stuff.

    Also, this discussion is a bit off topic because if the investigation was just the terms and conditions of the account, they wouldn't have suspended access.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 6th Nov 18, 7:10 PM
    • 9,322 Posts
    • 13,586 Thanks
    meer53
    Nah I knew it would happen eventually, it happened to my colleagues as well. It's just with them their account was just shut down. That isn't what has happened to me.

    I just rang Santander to lodge a complaint about them taking their sweet time to resolve this, they basically said that I was not able to lodge a complaint in this instance but couldn't tell me why. Lovely!
    Originally posted by mcplums
    Which screams money laundering checks are being made.
    • jonnygee2
    • By jonnygee2 6th Nov 18, 9:54 PM
    • 451 Posts
    • 445 Thanks
    jonnygee2
    They were actually wrong about the complaint - he still has the right to make a complaint and they still have to deal with the complaint in the appropriate way.

    In fact, the OP could make a complaint about them rejecting his request to make a complaint and it it would almost certainly be successful if it went to FOS. But it wouldn't get him much other than maybe £50 compensation. It certainly wouldn't have any impact on the release of the funds.
    • mcplums
    • By mcplums 10th Nov 18, 12:35 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    mcplums
    I think the bank will be looking for a more substantial source of information than just relying on what you might tell them. They will be doing background checks, audits and traces, all of which take time.


    While you are waiting could you answer post #26 please?
    Originally posted by mgdavid
    Sure, and I guess the point is it isn't worth their time doing any of that when they can just shut me down. It's not like they're making much money from me, I don't have a credit card or overdraft or anything. I will reply to #26 now
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