- 1 my bank account is frozen
- 1.1 How to Know If a Bank Account Is Frozen
- 1.2 Will my bank account be frozen when my residence visa is cancelled?
- 1.3 Judgment creditors can freeze your bank account, and then collect on unpaid debts from those funds.
- 1.4 How Are Creditors Able to Freeze My Account?
- 1.5 Is the Entire Account Frozen or Just Part?
- 1.6 Can I Continue to Make Deposits?
- 1.7 What If My Paychecks Are Electronically Deposited?
- 1.8 Special Rules for Social Security Deposits
- 1.9 Bartfields Forensic Accountants Ltd
- 1.10 What about the Banking Ombudsman?
- 1.11 How often are bank accounts frozen?
- 1.12 What is the legal basis for this?
- 1.13 How long will the account be frozen?
- 1.14 What happens after the account is unfrozen?
- 1.15 Can the customer claim damages against the bank?
my bank account is frozen
How to Know If a Bank Account Is Frozen
Oftentimes, the first clue you get that your bank account has been frozen is when your debit card fails you at the cash register. Although you might expect your bank to alert you, banks are not legally bound to notify you prior to placing a freeze on your bank account. The only reason that your bank would freeze your account is if a creditor or a debt collector has obtained a legal judgment against you. Freezing account funds is a commonly used tactic to encourage debtors to make payments toward their debt.
Call your bank to learn what agency or creditor has received a judgment to freeze your account. Ask as many questions regarding the issue as possible, including the name and contact information of the attorney representing the creditor. If you haven't received a notice of judgment in the mail yet, request that the bank sends it immediately.
Stop any direct deposits to the account in question and cash your paychecks elsewhere, as you can still make deposits but you cannot make any withdrawals. Pay bills with cash or money orders until the matter has been reconciled.
Determine how to release your frozen bank account. If you have a debt that's gone through past-due collections and you cannot repay the debt in full, creditors will sometimes work out a payment plan as long as you're proactive. Remember to ask for proof of payment. If you believe a judgment has been made in error, contact the attorney representing the creditor and provide proof of payment.
Will my bank account be frozen when my residence visa is cancelled?
Who is entitled to receive an employee's End of Service Gratuity in the event of his death?
February 3, 2018
Updated: February 3, 2018 04:59 PM
My residence visa in the UAE has been cancelled. I am a British national with a British passport. I do not have any loans or credit card debts outstanding in the UAE but have some money saved at a local branch of a major bank. Will my bank account be frozen, or can I leave the cash in it? NK, Abu Dhabi
When a bank finds out that someone has received a final payment, or that their visa has been cancelled, the automatic reaction of the bank will be to freeze the accounts. If, however, a person has no debts, the account should be unfrozen quite quickly, but the bank may put a lock on further use of a credit card if they are aware that there will be no income to support any borrowing. As it can take a few days to unfreeze an account, if NK thinks that the account will be frozen, even for a few days, it would be wise to withdraw funds to tide him over.
I am writing to you about the UAE’s new Clearance Certificate and police verification requirements. I am an Indian passport holder and have been working in the UAE since August 2014. It has been three and a half year years now and I am moving to a new job. I was required to travel back to my home country to get my medical and new visa entry stamp as part of the new process, and will be here for another week before coming back to Dubai. Please advise if getting a clearance certificate from Dubai Police for the last three and a half years will be sufficient for me to submit for clearance certificate, or do I have to get a report for the one and a half years from India as well as the time in Dubai, making the full five years, in order to get my new work visa? RA, India
With effect from 4th February, anyone who is applying for a new work visa, whether already in the UAE or a new arrival, will be asked to provide a ‘good conduct and behaviour certificate’ covering the previous five years. If therefore, as in this case, someone has been in the current country for fewer than five years, they will have to obtain a second certificate, or more, to cover the full period of five years.
This applies to all expats seeking employment visas, with GCC nationals, tourists, students and sponsored family members being exempt.
Obtaining a certificate in the UAE is a straightforward process and individuals should apply to the police in the emirate of their residency. The process will vary is other countries but for India, applications can be made online via the Ministry of External Affairs’ Consular, Passport and Visa Division.
Read more from Keren Bobker:
One of our employees was taken very ill a few weeks ago and has now sadly passed away. He had been with the company for nearly five years so in addition to some salary that is payable, there is obviously an entitlement to the End of Service Gratuity. We have never had to deal with a situation like this before and are unsure how we pay what is due or what else we have to do. ES, Dubai
My condolences for your loss. In this scenario, the employer must still cancel a visa as even in the event of death, a visa is never automatically cancelled, nor does employment legally cease. Article 114 of Labour Law states, ‘the employment contract shall not be terminated with the death of the employee, unless the subject of the contract is related to the person thereof. However, the employment contract shall be terminated with the death or complete disability of the worker and such by virtue of a medical certificate approved by the competent health authorities in the State.’ The employer should arrange for the employment visa to be formally cancelled in order to avoid possible issues for the company when applying for visas in the future.
With respect to the End of Service Gratuity, this is briefly mentioned in Article 136 of UAE Labour Law which states, ‘in the event of the worker's death, his end of service gratuity shall be paid to the beneficiaries thereof’. The employer will usually pay the proceeds to any nominated beneficiary and it is smart practice for all employers to obtain a signed beneficiary nomination declaration from their employees to avoid any potential issues or complication regarding the intended recipients. Any salary that is also due, as well as days of annual leave accrued but not taken, should be paid in the same way. If no instructions are recorded and there are no known beneficiaries, or a valid will is not in place, the proceeds should be distributed in accordance with Sharia law per the standard provisions in the UAE.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience.
Contact her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only
Judgment creditors can freeze your bank account, and then collect on unpaid debts from those funds.
When your bank account is frozen, you can’t use your money, outstanding checks will not clear, and you may be responsible for bank charges as a result. When creditors freeze your account, it's also called a bank levy, attachment, or garnishment.
Read on to find out what a frozen bank account is and how it happens.
A frozen bank account is an account that has been suspended and cannot be used to withdraw money, pay checks, make transfers, or fund your bill pay services.
Generally, an account is frozen because you owe someone money. Your account could be frozen if you have unpaid judgments against you, or if you owe taxes or child support.
How Are Creditors Able to Freeze My Account?
Most creditors will need to get a judgment against you before they are able to freeze your bank account. Once they have a judgment against you, if you have not taken steps to pay the judgment or agreed to a payment schedule for satisfying the judgment, the judgment creditor can request that the court issue an order that directs the bank to freeze your account. These orders are often called garnishments or attachments.
Certain creditors can freeze your account without first getting a judgment. Federal or state authorities can issue their own attachment documents and send them to your bank to freeze your accounts for unpaid obligations such as taxes or child support.
Is the Entire Account Frozen or Just Part?
In most states, the bank can freeze up to two times the amount that is set out in the garnishment or attachment order. If this exceeds the amount in your account, your entire account will be frozen. If it does not, it will only be partially frozen.
Can I Continue to Make Deposits?
You can probably make deposits into the account, but you could be risking that the new deposits are frozen as well. If the amount in the account at the time it was frozen was less than two times the amount set out in the garnishment or attachment order, the new deposits will likely be frozen.
What If My Paychecks Are Electronically Deposited?
If your entire account is frozen, you will need to stop the direct deposits so that you can be sure you will have access to your money. If the bank accepts the deposit, it may be frozen along with the other money in the account.
It is unlikely that you will receive any advance notice. The bank is required to notify you when it receives the attachment but the account will be frozen by the time you receive the notice.
The notice that you receive should set out your rights to object to the attachment and may identify exemptions which would allow the funds to be released to you. The notice should provide the deadlines for you to object or challenge the attachment and identify the creditor and the case in which the attachment has been issued.
In most cases, to challenge the attachment, you will need to file papers with the court telling the judge why you don’t believe the attachment is appropriate.
If you owe the money that the creditor is trying to collect through the attachment, your options are limited. You can contact the creditor or the creditor’s lawyer to see if they will release the attachment. If they won’t, you need to take further action.
Claim exemptions. You can have funds which are exempt from attachment under state law released from the freeze by filing a paper with the court identifying the specific exemption you are claiming and identifying the funds that qualify for the exemption.
You will need to request a court hearing where you can attend and ask the court to lift the attachment as to the funds you are claiming as exempt. Common exemptions which might apply to the frozen funds are wages, child support, retirement funds, and social security. Exemptions vary by state so you will need to check the law in your area.
(To learn more, see our articles on Property Exemptions.)
Set up a payment plan. Some creditors, particularly government entities, will release the attachment if you set up a payment plan and begin to repay the debt. Contact the creditor to see if it will work with you.
Special Rules for Social Security Deposits
The Treasury Department has rules in place which require the bank to review any account subject to an attachment. If the bank determines that the funds in the account result from direct deposits of social security, it cannot freeze any direct deposits of social security benefits within the two preceding months.
However, if your social security deposits are mixed in with other deposits in the same account or if you have accumulated more than two months of security deposits, not all of the funds in the account will be automatically safe from the attachment.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The information on this page applies to accounts that have been frozen because of private debts like credit cards, medical bills, and bank loans. If you have child support debt, or if you owe money to the government for taxes or a student loan, different rules apply.
**Exempt Income Protection Act**
A New York State law called the Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) protects bank accounts that contain subsistence funds such as government benefits, pensions, and some earned income. EIPA prevents creditors and debt collectors from freezing these accounts to pay private debts, like credit cards.
Under EIPA, your bank account cannot be frozen if the balance is less than:
- $2,750* – if your account contains directly deposited exempt benefits, including Social Security, SSI, Veterans benefits, disability, pensions, child support, spousal maintenance, workers compensation, unemployment insurance, Public Assistance, Railroad Retirement benefits, and Black Lung benefits;
*$2,625 for people sued between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2015, and $2,500 for people sued before April 1, 2012.
** This amount is based on the $13/hour NYS minimum wage for “NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more),” effective 12/31/17, as listed on the NYS Department of Labor’s website. This amount may vary depending on the specific NYS minimum wage applicable to your location and employer.
NOTE: If your bank contains certain directly-deposited federal benefits, such as Social Security, SSI, or Veterans benefits, you may qualify for a greater amount of protection under a federal rule that protects certain federal benefits from being frozen. See here for more information.
If you think your bank is not complying with EIPA or the federal rule, call the NYC Financial Justice Hotline at (212) 925-4929 for assistance.
What is a frozen bank account?
A frozen bank account is a bank account that you cannot access because a creditor has placed a restraint on it. When your bank account is frozen, you can put money into it, but you can’t take money out.
Why is my bank account frozen?
A frozen bank account is a sure sign that a creditor or debt collector has obtained a court judgment against you (or your joint account holder, if you have a joint bank account). A creditor or debt collector cannot freeze your bank account unless it has a judgment. Judgment creditors freeze people’s bank accounts as a way of pressuring people to make payments.
Why does my frozen bank account have a very large negative balance?
A judgment creditor typically puts a hold on your bank account for twice the amount of the judgment against you. This hold shows up on your bank account as a negative balance. You do not actually owe all of this money to the judgment creditor. Rather, the amount you owe is the amount of the judgment.
Does my bank have to give me notice before freezing my account?
No. Unfortunately, the law provides that when the bank receives a restraining notice, it must freeze your account immediately, before notifying you. That is why most people discover that their account is frozen when they try to use their ATM cards and they suddenly do not work.
Does a judgment creditor have to give me notice before freezing my account?
A judgment creditor does not have to give you specific notice before freezing your bank account. However, a creditor or debt collector is required to notify you (1) that it has filed a lawsuit against you; and (2) that it has obtained a judgment against you. If your first notice of the court case is a frozen bank account, you have not received proper notice under the law.
Do I need a lawyer to unfreeze my bank account?
No. Thousands of New Yorkers have successfully obtained release of their bank accounts without a lawyer.
How do I unfreeze my bank account?
The best way to unfreeze your bank account is to erase the judgment against you. This is called “vacating” the judgment. Once the judgment is vacated, your account will be released automatically. A creditor or debt collector has no right to freeze your account without a judgment. For step by step instructions, see Vacating a Default Judgment.
Can I negotiate a settlement to get my bank account released without going to court?
If your bank account contains exempt benefits such as Social Security, you do not need to negotiate a settlement in order the lift the lien. See below for more information.
If your bank account contains recent wages or nonexempt funds, it is probably in your best interest to go to court. Most of our clients find that they can negotiate a much better deal in court than they can outside of court. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you go to court and vacate the default judgment, if at all possible. There are many good reasons to try to vacate the judgment. In New York State, unpaid judgments are collectible for up to 20 years. Having an unpaid judgment exposes you to repeated efforts to freeze your bank account and/or garnish your wages. Judgments also appear on your credit report, where they affect your ability to get loans, employment, and housing. In most cases, you need to have the judgment vacated in order to clear it from your credit report. Therefore, for your own protection, you are almost always better off getting the judgment vacated instead of settling outside of court.
What if my frozen bank account contains only funds that are exempt from debt collection, like Social Security?
If all the funds in your bank account are exempt from debt collection, a judgment creditor has no right to hold onto the account, and must release it immediately, even if it has a judgment against you. To obtain release of your account, you need to call the judgment creditor’s attorney (you can get the attorney’s contact information from your bank). Notify the attorney that all the funds in your bank account are exempt from debt collection and demand an immediate release of your account. The attorney may ask you to fax or mail proof of your exempt income. You can send up to three months of bank statements as proof (feel free to redact your bank statements to protect your privacy – the attorney only needs to see deposits, not purchases). Please be aware that the judgment creditor’s attorney may delay and make excuses to avoid releasing your exempt funds. If you have any trouble at all, you should follow our instructions to vacate the default judgment. In general, even when you have exempt funds, you are better off vacating the judgment if at all possible.
What if my frozen bank account contains some funds that are exempt and some funds that are NOT exempt?
This situation is also known as “having comingled funds.” In this scenario, your exempt funds are still exempt from collection, even though they are mixed with other, non-exempt funds. However, even though your funds are still exempt, it is often difficult to persuade a debt collector to release your account. Rather than argue with the debt collector on the phone, we advise you to go to court and vacate the default judgment as soon as possible in order to obtain the fastest release of your account.
Can a judgment creditor actually take money from my bank account?
Yes. A creditor or debt collector can hire a New York City Marshal to levy funds from your account.
How long will a judgment creditor wait before seizing my funds?
There is no set time limit. Some judgment creditors try to seize funds right away, and others never actually take funds at all. Most judgment creditors will wait at least a few weeks before attempting to levy your bank account.
If a debt collector levies my bank account, can I get my money back?
Yes. You should go to court and try to vacate the default judgment. As part of this process, you can ask the court to order the creditor or debt collector to return your funds.
What if I have a joint bank account?
The first step is to determine why the joint bank account is frozen. Usually, there is a judgment against one, but not both, joint account holders. Telephone the attorney for the judgment creditor and ask for information about the case, including the court, the index number, and the name of the defendant(s).
If there is a judgment against you, you can obtain release of the account by following the steps to vacate the default judgment. If the account contains only exempt income (for example, your mother’s pension or your child’s SSI), you should also telephone the attorney to obtain release of the exempt funds, as described above.
If your account is frozen because of a judgment against someone else, it is best for the other person to vacate the default judgment, if at all possible. If this proves to be impossible, you also have the right to file court papers to obtain release of your account.
Under Banking Law 678 , if you can prove that you added the other person to your account for convenience only , your entire account will be released. You must prove that you did not intend to give the joint account holder the right to own half of the money in the account. You can show that the joint account is for your convenience only by demonstrating that you are the only person who used the account, that the other person did not have an ATM card or withdrawal privileges, or by providing other information that tends to show that the account actually belongs to you alone. You can also ask your bank to write a letter stating that the joint account was for purposes of convienence only.
If you cannot prove that the joint account is for convenience only, then you can recover half of the money that is in the account. Under Banking Law 675, the judgment creditor cannot have more than half the money in the account unless it proves that the money belongs to the other person, and not to you. This is because the law presumes that half the money in the account belongs to you and half belongs to the other person.
Helpful Links and Resources
LawHelp/NY: attorney referrals and information for pro se litigants
New York City Civil Court: information about representing yourself in court, including contact information and court forms
eCourts: information about cases filed in New York courts
Laws of New York: complete text of New York laws
Disclaimer: This site provides general information for consumers and links to other sources of information. This site does not provide legal advice, which you can only get from an attorney. New Economy Project has no control over the information on linked sites.
Copyright ©2007 by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, Inc.
Bartfields Forensic Accountants Ltd
From time to time I am contacted by people who have found their bank account frozen by the bank without warning or explanation. Perhaps the account holder discovers this when he attempts to use a debit card, draw cash from an ATM, use online banking, or visit his bank to pay money in or take it out.
What should the customer do and what can he expect to happen?
The first thing to do is to contact the bank and ask for an explanation. The bank might be rather evasive in response – perhaps referring to ‘technical difficulties’ – or the bank may refer the customer to a specialist department (such as the fraud department) – or the bank may hand over a pre-printed leaflet about money laundering. But the bank are unlikely to provide a full explanation about what is happening or when the account will be unfrozen.
If the bank won’t tell the account holder what is going on the likelihood is that someone at the bank has flagged up the account for possible ‘money laundering’. In other words someone at the bank (or the bank’s computer system) has noted what appears to be unusual activity on the account which might be connected to proceeds of some sort of crime.
If that is the case then it may be helpful if the customer very swiftly supplies to the bank further information, explanations and, if possible, documentary evidence in support of an innocent explanation for any unusual recent transactions.
Also, if there is a particularly urgent need to have the account unfrozen – for example where the account is a business account and it is necessary to pay employees’ wages or a supplier almost immediately – tell the bank about the urgency.
The bank will not disclose which transactions have triggered their action or what suspicions they have, so the customer will be left guessing how he can best put the bank’s mind at rest.
But that further information needs to be supplied as quickly as possible, preferably the same day – delaying for a couple of days will probably be too long.
What is happening inside the bank is probably that the customer’s account (or accounts) will have been referred to the bank’s anti-money laundering or anti-fraud department for consideration of whether a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) should be made to the National Crime Agency (NCA) by the bank’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO).
If the MLRO decides that there is a valid basis for a suspicion of money laundering (which is very widely defined) then an SAR will promptly be submitted to the NCA. The SAR will ask the NCA to give consent for the bank to unfreeze the account. Once that SAR is submitted matters will be largely out of the bank’s control – which means that nothing is likely to be achieved after that time by the customer supplying further information, or making a complaint, to the bank.
But the bank will not normally tell the customer whether it has made an SAR or when the SAR was submitted.
Once the bank has submitted an SAR to the NCA the account will remain frozen until either the NCA have replied to the bank authorising the bank to unfreeze the account, or the ‘notice period’ has elapsed without the bank receiving any response at all from the NCA.
The ‘notice period’ is seven working days starting from the day after the bank submits the SAR to the NCA. So, for example, if the bank submitted an SAR on Thursday 9 June 2016 the ‘notice period’ would end on Monday 20 June.
In practice however the NCA aim to respond to these consent requests before the end of the ‘notice period’. If the NCA are told by the bank that there is a particular urgency they will attempt to respond particularly swiftly (which is one of the reasons the customer should tell the bank if there is a particularly urgent need to have the account unfrozen).
If the NCA require further time to consider the matter they will respond to the bank by refusing consent. Once that happens the account will remain frozen until the ‘moratorium period’ expires. The ‘moratorium period’ is 31 days starting with the day on which the bank receives refusal of consent from the NCA.
So, for example, if the bank receives refusal of consent on Thursday 16 June 2016 the last day of the ‘moratorium period’ will be Saturday 16 July. The account should then be unfrozen on the next working day.
[UPDATE: The Criminal Finances Act 2017 included legislation which allows a court to extend the ‘moratorium period’ by up to a further six months (an additional 186 days). This is now in force.]
During the ‘moratorium period’ the NCA will continue to consider the position and may at any time give the bank consent to unfreeze the account.
If the NCA do not give consent then the bank should unfreeze the account once the ‘moratorium period’ has expired unless in the meantime the authorities have obtained a ‘restraint order’ from a Crown Court judge.
If a ‘restraint order’ has been obtained from a Crown Court judge then copies of that order are served promptly on the bank and on the customer (and perhaps also on others, such as the Land Registry). A ‘restraint order’ will normally freeze all the assets of the customer indefinitely. There is more information about ‘restraint orders’ HERE.
A customer who is served with a copy of a Crown Court ‘restraint order’ should seek advice from a solicitor experienced in such matters immediately.
The bank ‘s customer will not know whether the bank has submitted an SAR to the NCA, when the SAR was submitted, or what response has been received from the NCA, if any.
Because of this the customer will not know when the ‘notice period’ or the ‘moratorium period’ are due to expire.
Aside from very swiftly providing additional information and documents and telling the bank about any particularly urgent need to have the account unfrozen, as already mentioned, the customer will be able to do little more than check with the bank every day whether his account has been unfrozen.
What about the Banking Ombudsman?
In my experience the Banking Ombudsman does not intervene where the bank has a suspicion of money laundering and is acting in accordance with its Terms and Conditions.
How often are bank accounts frozen?
Figures published by the NCA indicate that they receive approximately 8,000 consent requests each year from banks, building societies and similar institutions.
The NCA on average respond to these consent requests in five working days – and give consent in about 90% of cases. In about a further 5% of cases they give consent during the moratorium period.
However even where consent is granted the bank’s customer may become the subject of an investigation by the authorities (such as the police, HM Revenue and Customs or the Single Fraud Investigation Service).
What is the legal basis for this?
Most of the relevant law is to be found in Part 7, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – particularly in s335 and s340.
A case concerning the freezing of a bank account when a suspicious activity report had been filed with the NCA by the bank was considered by the Court of Appeal in London in the case of The National Crime Agency v N & Royal Bank of Scotland plc  EWCA Civ 253 (07 April 2017). The court concluded that it would only very rarely be appropriate for the court to interfere with the temporary freezing of a bank account where a report had been made to the NCA.
How long will the account be frozen?
In the majority of cases the account should be unfrozen within about two weeks. In a minority of cases the account will be frozen for up to about six weeks, perhaps slightly longer.
[UPDATE: The Criminal Finances Act 2017 included legislation which allows a court to extend the ‘moratorium period’ by up to a further six months (an additional 186 days) which means that an account can be frozen for up to about 32 weeks without a ‘restraint order’. This is now in force.]
Where a ‘restraint order’ is obtained the account will remain frozen after that.
What happens after the account is unfrozen?
After the account is unfrozen the bank’s relationship with the customer may return to normal or the bank may write to the customer asking him to close his account (or accounts) within 60 days and move to another bank.
The bank may not give any reason for requiring the customer to close his account.
Can the customer claim damages against the bank?
I am not aware of any cases in which bank customers have successfully claimed damages against their bank in relation to an account which has been frozen because of a reasonable suspicion of money laundering (even where, on investigation, no ‘money laundering’ was discovered).
Our contact details are here.
(Note: This article applies to matters arising under the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in England and Wales. Appropriate professional advice should be sought in each individual case.)
It should be noted that a lot of banks have changed their T&C’s stating that they will NOT be liable for losses caused by this OR any other account frozen activities (say for example where the bank has a software error, your account is frozen and then magically, it’s working again the following week without a reason from the bank).
This can have a big effect in relation to mortgage/loan payments with external entities (i.e. other banks) where their terms and conditions penalize the borrower harshly if they miss a payment. A clear example of this is with Mortgage Express customers with mortgages managed by UKAR – one missed payment and the mortgage is lost.
My friends account has been frozen now for almost eight years without explanation. They are allowed £60 every week to live on! How can this be possible?
Your friend should speak to his solicitor. No doubt he is subject to a ‘Restraint Order’ made in the Crown Court. As mentioned in the article a restraint order continues indefinitely.
However it is possible to apply to the Crown Court to have a restraint order cancelled (lawyers say “discharged”) or amended – for example to increase the amount the subject is allowed to withdraw each week or to limit the restraint order to only certain assets.
If your friend has not yet been charged with or convicted of any offence then he will have particularly strong grounds to have the restraint order discharged.
There is more on restraint orders HERE.
I have been given 60 days to move my business accounts. The letter states ‘this is our final decision’ My completely legitimate business that maintains impeccable paper trail documentation moves large amounts of funds in and out of the accounts. Very little of this is cash but despite this it appears we are subject of an SAR with NO recourse to a defence. I experienced this before, about 8 years ago when Barclays withdrew over £120,000 with no notice and told me all banking with them, business and private, was terminated with immediate effect. It cost me around £10,000 in legal fees to get the business funds back and I had to move to a different bank with whom I have had zero problems since until today. My problem is that I now do not know which bank(s) will now consider my business. Are there any recommendations or lists of banks that are sympathetic to businesses that are fully legitimate but who have fallen foul of the SAR system? Any help would be appreciated by email. Thanks
If you have been given 60 days to close your accounts, but your accounts have not been frozen, then I do not think you are the subject of a Suspicious Activity Report. It sounds as if the bank consider you to represent a higher than normal cost of monitoring & you are (from their point of view) not worth the trouble.
I can only suggest you approach other banks & hope for the best.
My partner’s bank account has been frozen for over 6 months but he has not been served with a restraining order he has been interviewed by the NCA due to them investigating him for money laundering just wondered how the bank is still able to freeze his account without him having a restraining order
I suggest your partner speaks to a solicitor who can write to the bank on his behalf.
We have a solicitor but I was just wondering if you Have a restraining order on you if you would defiantly be notified after 6 months of your account being frozen
If the Crown Court has issued a restraint order the persons subject to the order (such as your partner) should be notified almost immediately – within three working days at most.
Hello David my accounts with NatWest have been frozen since last Wednesday. I have tried all approaches to contact with branches, customer service, fraud team but no one could explain for me at all, does it mean they are highly likely doing a money laundring investigation on me? My cousin did transfer a lot of money to my account as she needed me to pay university tuition and accommodation for her before she comes to the UK ( she doesn’t speak English well so I needed to sort things out for her). Then my account just got frozen after 3 days she did a transfer to me. My accounts have been frozen for 4 workings now, my question is if I should pay for a lawyer now or it’s better to wait until the Notice Period and Moratorium Period expire?
Thanks very much David!
It is likely that your account has been reported within the bank due to a suspicion of money laundering. Was the money received from an account outside the UK? If so, it may take longer for enquiries to be completed & the account to be unfrozen.
I do not think a lawyer could achieve anything for you at this time.
If you have not already done so, please explain to the bank the reason for the transfer & the legitimate source of the money. After you have done that you just have to wait for a while.
Hello David, all the money I received was from the UK not outside of the UK. My cousin transferred to me and asked me to do things for her. She was in the U.K. and with NatWest Bank too.
I called NatWest costumer service again and they still couldn’t tell me anything. What would you suggest me to do?
Many Thanks again!
Have you told NatWest who paid the money into your account (your cousin), why she paid it to you and what you intended to do with it?
He David I did try to exlain to the bank but basically they just don’t talk to me. They wouldn’t tell me anything and listen to me and I never received any letters too. I have not paid for a solicitor yet, I cannot do anything apart from thinking to find a solicitor. Did you say I may need to wait longer? Does it mean it may take longer than notice period and moratorium period?
Don’t ask them anything – just tell them what you want to tell them (your explanation). Type it in a letter & get an extra copy. Take both copies into the bank & ask them to sign & stamp the copy (while you wait there) & give it back to you as confirmation they have received it.
After you have done that all you can do is wait. You do not know when the bank submitted a report to the NCA. The initial period of seven working days starts with the first working day after that report is submitted by the bank.
Check every day to see if your account has been unfrozen.
thank you very much for your help. I did bring a letter to the branch. They would not take it. I think I will have to just wait? I submitted a complaint letter to NatWest and got a reply from them today. They still said they are not obliged to tell me anything. If I’m not happy with this I can make a complaint to FOS. Should I do that? Hopefully I can sort it out soon. I’m so frustrated at the moment.
I do not think a complaint to the FOS will achieve anything. The FOS will simply tell you that the bank are acting in accordance with the terms & conditions which apply to your account.
On 26th August 2016 bank Natwest froze my partners account with money it. We had kept some money on a side to extend our house while we were waiting for the planning permission to be granted. Soon we started the work and made first payment to the builders this happened. Since than we have been calling them but they keep saying call us next Friday. Shall we get in touch with a solicitor now or still wait? We do not even know which transaction they have doubts about so we could give them any sort of explanation.
Many thanks David…
I would expect that within the next 7 days or so one of three things will happen. (1) The bank might unfreeze your account, probably with no explanation, and everything would simply return to normal. (2) The bank might unfreeze your account & then write to you giving you 60 days notice to withdraw your money & close your account with them, probably with little or no explanation. (3) You may receive a copy of a Crown Court order which will freeze your bank accounts, and probably your other assets, until further notice.
If you receive a copy of a Crown Court order you should see a solicitor about it as it is possible to apply to the court to have the order relaxed or removed. It is possible that your accounts will remain frozen for months, or even years.
If none of these three things have happened then I would suggest you see a solicitor in a week’s time.
Great article, really helped me understand what is happening to my account.
My bank account has been frozen for about two days now, you talk about unusual activity as a possible reason for an account to be frozen, in my case my account has probably been frozen down to unusual activities.
In order for me to challenge the bank regarding this how far do I go back with regards to unusual activity? my father transferred me £4000 a year ago do rustle about looking for these documents? or is it the £1000 I put into my account last week that has been flagged up as ”unusual activity” or was it the $700CAD I spent on my card last month whilst visiting Canada?
I hope you can help me understand how far back (or not so far back) I need to go in order to prove my ”unusual activity” to the bank.
It is more likely to be monies deposited in your account in the last few weeks which has concerned the bank.
My three accounts have been frozen since 16th Oct. I have called the bank nod went to the branch, and I have been told to provide several documents. Basically they are suspecting one large transacation from China, which is my fund for my university and living in the U.K., and another seven transacations done by a rigistered converting company in the U.K. I paid them Chinese money from my Chinese bank account and they gave me sterling back, but they did it by putting the cash to my accounts by seven transacations. I have provided the confirmatation letter from the company claiming that they did the seven transacations. However they required further documents, such as the bank letter from my mom showing the resource of the money from my Chinese bank and also another letter from the company which needs to show all the details of the business between me and the converting company, such as date, exchange rate, and an explanation why they did it by cash instead of online transacations. I’m running out of my money and I’m worried because I do not think the bank will be satisfied by the letter from the company again. Also the company would be reluctant to provide so many details in case they get into trouble. WhT do you think I should do at this stage? I have not received any letter from the bank as well.
I think the only thing to do is to provide the bank with as much documentary information as you can.
My account has been frozen since the 9th November without any explanation from the bank. i contact them everyday and they say there is a technical issue with my account.
i have no access to my salary and payments cannot leave or enter my account.
its been 3 weeks now do you advice that i contact a solicitor?
I do not think that a solicitor will be able to do anything useful for you. Presumably the bank have a suspicion of money laundering and have made a report to the National Crime Agency. The bank will not unfreeze your account until either the time limit for a freeze expires (which is typically about 6 or 7 weeks from when the account was frozen) or the NCA give consent for the account to be unfrozen.
There is nothing useful you can do now except check every day to see if the bank account has been unfrozen. If the bank ask you for any information do supply it immediately – but they probably won’t ask.
My Dad was the Company Director and he died a few months ago. I took over as Director, but stupidly carried on using the bank account as the business needed the OD that was in place. Bank recently froze account after finding out, but knowing they were going to do it I transferred the credit balance to my own account. Personal account got frozen but this has now been sorted but £3500 was paid into company account (effectively my salary) a week after it got frozen. Bank keeps fobbing me off saying they will email me with what I need to take into branch in order to be a signatory but then not sending the email (said they’ve sent it but checked spam and its definitely not there) Ive also given them company email address. Not sure what to do next.
If the bank account was in the name of the company & you were appointed a director of the company then there is nothing wrong in continuing to use the company account for company purposes. I do not understand why the bank froze the accounts.
Are you saying that £3,500 has gone missing from the company bank account?
My business bank account was frozen because of my client. I was not notified of this activity before or after the account was frozen. My client and I made an agreement that I would assist her with academic research, writing and editing of her dissertation. She paid a first deposit in two separate installments (50% of overall project fee) and I commenced on her project. After I made 75% of her work, I submitted to her and she had to pay the second 50% in order for me to complete and submit to her. She made the last payment. When I left my city for another city for a few days, I forgot my company cellphone on a charger back in my office. I explained this to her in an email. But when she could not find me on my cellphone, she went to the bank to ask that my account be frozen because she “suspected fraud”. She never engaged me on email, even if she knew she could find me easily there.
The bank froze my business bank account and has never notified me of the situation surrounding the freezing before or after they froze it. I was shocked when I tried to withdraw funds to find this is impossible. When I went into the nearest branch, they asked if I knew XXX XXX (name of my client) I explained I knew her and that I was doing work for her. The consultant said my client requested the freezing because of non-rendering of service despite the fact that I submitted at least 75% of the work promised to her (about 90 pages out of a total of 125). I explained this but the bank could not help me.
I then got in touch with the bank’s fraud department to explain the situation. The fraud consultant asked me to call her from the nearest branch. I promised to get there within 30 minutes. When i got there I saw the branch manager and explained. The manager made a call to the number on which I reached the fraud consultant, but the phone just rang unanswered for more than 7 times.
I got in touch with the client and asked her to remove the hold on my account. She allegedly went to the bank and they ordered her to make another affidavit to state reasons why she wanted the hold removed. She said she made the affidavit and presented it. But the account was not unfrozen nevertheless. I called the fraud department again and spoke to the consultant who placed the hold on my account. She said she received no affidavit from my client except the one stating why they must place the account on hold. I explained my client emailed me her second affidavit stating reasons why they have to remove the hold. The consultant asked me to email her the affidavit. I did and the account was unfrozen, after 6 days of headache and inconvenience.
David, I want to know if I can sue my bank for this inconvenience and for improperly placing a hold on my business bank account. Why did the bank take my client’s claims for truth without contacting me for verification or at least for notifying me that my bank was placed on hold due to any of the reasons they stated? I want to know if they acted improperly and on what ground I can sue them.
You need to discuss with a solicitor (I am an accountant) whether you can sue the bank. As mentioned in the article, I am not aware of any cases in which a bank has been successfully sued where there is a genuine suspicion of ‘money laundering’ and the bank has adhered to its terms and conditions.
I requested a large cash withdrawal from my bank. They said at the time they did not have the funds available and would likely have them around 4 days later. I woke up the day before they were due to have them to find my account had been frozen.
I went into the branch to find out why, they said they were awaiting on authorisation to proceed with the withdrawal (I believe this was just to keep me waiting longer about the fact they were looking into my account). I trade on behalf of clients and had large investments come in recently and after I thought the bank may have been suspicious and blocked my account I went down with a rake of transaction history and authorisation (with signatures) from investors for these purposes and had the bank stamp them. I only have a select number of investors around 4 currently and have funds coming in from the US and Australia.
It has now been around 2 weeks since I provided documentation (without them asking) and I still have no update from the bank. It is the only bank account I have with any significant money in it and I am finding these times hard providing for my partner and two kids. How long will my account remain frozen for and what may be generally happening here?
Update, bank have said I can make a withdrawal next week and have scheduled a time to come in. However my account remains frozen and they said they will unfreeze it and everything after the withdrawal, which I found strange. The bank said they are finished looking into my account..
I have a personal multi currency account with Nat West Jersey.
They froze the account on 19 th December, but I did not find out about it until 16 th Jan. I called the bank, they asked me about some large deposits 27K and 47 K Euro. I explained what they were for.
They said my account would be unblocked the next day
It wasn’t they called me to ask for passport copy
I said ok no problem – some of the money was from work in Iran, they asked me a lot of questions about this. Especially if I had “Utalized any of my own funds in Iran. I had not I was working for a German company and got paid from a German company and they paid all my in country expenses. I think the Ziran thing has made things much more complicated. Now they want a copy of my passport certified by a lawyer who they can and will contact to verify and they also want original copies of utility bills. Now I am abroad on business and cannot easily supply this stuff. However they did ask me for all this stuff about 2 years ago. They have asked me by email am I using my account for business. It is not a business account.
After reading your posts I think I had better tell them I am. I mean it’s obvious and they never cared before. I have loads of money in there and I need access to it. All my bills are paid from the accounts including my mortgage, also with Nat West.
Compared with some posts I have read the bank are being helpful, I have had an account with them for over 20 years.
Hi David, my account has been frozen for 3months with no explanation from Santander after £5000 was deposited and a transfer of 2K. I have provided all evidence including the account statement of the transfer attached with drivers license of the sender all in the UK but still no explanation no court order nothing. In the midst of the this, my international scholarship fund of £2400 was paid into the frozen account and again, I got letters from my sponsors, Telex copy for the transaction and still it is frozen.
On the 3rd of Jan, with no prior notice, I was informed that my account was closed and a written letter from the bank that they are no longer convienient with me being their customer. I should go to the bank and return my card and make arrangement to retrieve my funds £9400. Upon getting there my card was destroyed and I was asked to return home and in 7 – 10 working days they will post me my cheque. After the period no cheque and I called and was instructed to go the bank with prof of Id to collect my funds. On getting to the bank, they told me they call the security team and no such info and they will write to me in due course with no time frame.
I told them my student Visa expires in 10days and I need my money to buy ticket for me and my family out of the country. After I called the team that ask me to go the bank and they spoke with the branch officials, my ID was scanned and I was how I would like to collect my money. I told them a transfer but to my surprise after 10mins they came back and said they are sorry they have to decline my request based on instructions and they will contact me. My Visa expires on the 30th of Jan 2017, I don’t have a dime to remove my belongings, I owe money and relied on the bank information that they will post my funds in 7 – 10 working days and now they have given me no clear date or information.
I believe if investigations not concluded my account will not be closed. How can they close my account after freezing it for 3months, destroy my card and refuse to me give my money. I have not been served with any court order nor invited for questioning, yet I have provided evidence of all the source of the money.
My blood pressure is high, my Daughter has Sickle cell how can I return back to Africa with no money. I have read so many reviews and my case is different. Please I need an advice thanks.
After your advice. I have had my bank accounts put on 60 day notice. I have tried going through the account closure team and got no where and awaiting a final response. I don’t believe any Fraud on account and my credit report is clean. I have been with bank a number of years but was interested if you heard of cases that they may just shut the account as it is used quite heavily. I have a few BTL with mortgages/rent going in and out etc and wonder if they think commercially this may seem a lot. Really finding it very strange as nothing suspicious on account or ever flagged.
Normally the bank’s standard terms and conditions will allow them to close the account on 60 days notice.
Hi my bank account has been frozen by natwest for a week now.no explanation and my life has been put on hold because of this.i have been borrowing money to keep going and its put such a massive strain on me. How are they allowed to do such a thing something needs to be done and rules need to be changed.
Ive had a deposit of my father to help buy my first home and they think im money laundering.
I have had to notified my mortgage company which is nationwide and i might not get a mortgage because of all this. I am an innocent man thats done nothing wrong they have the cheek to tell me my direct debits have bounced and charging me for them as well.there are ppl worse off than me i know but the way they treat you as a customer is disgraceful and they put so much strain on your life and im at rock bottom at present and if i dont get the mortgage because of this it will have ruined my life and they should not be allowed to be this.
My account has just been frozen as well. Same story as most of the people above. My mother’s account was frozen last year for 4 months causing the woman a lot of stress and financial distress.
To make matters worse, they refuse to honour a standing order for my rent! Do these people expect me to be homeless?
I am going into the bank today with evidence of the deposits in my account however, I will also refuse to leave until they do something about my rent and restoring my account. I will go in there with a selfie stick recording everything and if I am lucky, they will get the police to remove me after which I will forward the story to news agencies and tarnish their image (let other customers see how the bank could treat them).
We can’t let them get away with this BS! I will let you know how it goes…
Both of my UK accounts with HSBC and Natwest have been frozen recently without explanation which certainly has caused a lot of distress. Putting that aside, I am also changing jobs at the moment and interviewing with a few companies, will this ongoing investigation and frozen account affect my credit check and my employment credit/background check, and tarnish my employment prospect? Please help.
Have you received any Court order or communication from the police or other investigating authority?
Chase bank got my account frozen for no reason and they keep lying to me like they are going to send me a check through FEDEX so what is the problem I have been patience like they told me for 10- days what is going on I need to know
We are based in the United Kingdom. I believe you are based in the USA. We are not familiar with the law & banking practices in the USA, sorry. Seek local advice.
We sold a commercial property and the money from the sale went to my solicitors bank account. Since December HSBC has frozen her bank account (with my money in it as well as other clients) it has been 3 months now. I desperately need the funds , My solicitor does not know what to do or say to me…
I have an offer on a house agreed and I don’t want to start the conveyancing process if I’m not sure I have the deposit money readily available…
What are the best steps for us to take to pursue this matter swiftly?
You need to speak to a (different) solicitor about this.
Your solicitor may be under investigation by the police or the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.
The likelihood is that you will eventually get your money back – but this could take months.
My business bank account was frozen by Lloyds on 22/03/2017. There was a payment made on 17/03/2017 to the account and money was taken out by bank on 22/03/2017. I got no clue of what this payment is, who paid it to my business account. I don’t get payments from individuals in my business account. Now the bank has a block on my account and none of my direct debits or credit card receipts will be allowed into my account. They are not helpful either. I explained to them that i dont know who made the payment and i got no clue of the money. My calls kept transferred from one department to another and when i visited the branch they said they cant tell anything at the moment. I am not sure what has happened. Some one has paid into my account and the bank has refunded it to them and froze my account. Not sure how many days they are going to block the account. Can you please advise what should be done?
The best thing to do at this early stage is keep talking to the bank & keep checking to see if the account has been ‘unfrozen’.
My account has been frozen with Lloyds since the 28th February 2017.
I opened an account with them back in November 2016 and transferred my savings of 10k into the bank account.
I have contacted the bank on numerous accounts and all I told is that its frozen due to a processing error and there is no time scale on when it will be dealt with. I have made a complaint and its not getting me anywhere. I have not been issued with a restraint order and I also do not have any debt.
Please can you advise what you think I can do or what you think is happening as I need access to my funds to feed my son
I do not believe that the account has been frozen for several weeks because of “a processing error”.
I think your account will have been the subject of a Suspicious Activity Report to the National Crime Agency. As you know from the article there is an initial period of up to 7 working days and a further period of up to 31 calendar days (known as the moratorium period) after that.
I believe you are now in the moratorium period. Sadly, if you have already provided the bank with a full explanation of any unusual activity on your account, there is little you can do except check every day if the account has been unfrozen.
If you are served with a restraint order you should seek advice from a solicitor without delay.
My metro isa account has been frozen for 4weeks with no explanation given to me…only thing the bank will tell me is somebody from the relevant department will be in contact when I can use my account…after many long phone calls with the bank they told me then that I would receive a letter when I can use the account…I have banked with NatWest for 9 years and have my wages and direct debits with them,,was only using metro for savings so it was harder for me to spend as I like the casinos,, over the period of April to April I paid in £15000 in cash in total,,over various deposits…from various different incomes…and the sale of a car..then 4 weeks ago needed £7000 which I rang in advance for and was able to collect….since then my account has been frozen…I’m guessing they have done a SAR report….what would you recommend I do to resolve this matter and get my remaining funds from these people? Thanks
I expect the matter has been reported to the National Crime Agency, which means that the bank cannot now unfreeze your account unless either (a) the NCA give consent to the bank or (b) the moratorium period expires (which may not be for about another 2 or 3 weeks).
Check with the bank every day to see if the account has been unfrozen. If you receive a ‘restraint order’ take advice from a solicitor without delay.
I found out today that my account has been frozen, I have not had any unusual activity on the account or big sums of money deposited. Neither have i transferred large sums of money, so i am a little confused as to why this has happened. I bank with TSB and when i call them they are unable to provide me with any specifics just that i will receive a call back tomorrow by 8pm. I am very worried about this, all i ever receive each month is my wages which is from a PLC and maybe a bit of money from my dad which he transfers from his account to mine. All the money is traceable and from verified sources. I was wondering whether you can give anymore insight on this situation?
I wondered whether this could all be a mistake on the banks part? I never really have more than £2500 go into my account each month.
I look forward to hearing from you.
It is sad reading all the comments here and I honestly feel gutted knowing that the banks can basically get away with holding our money without any explanation. My question to you is whether the UK laws you have explained above apply to the Isle of Man? I received a notice of account termination on 7th April and was asked to provide alternative bank details so that they could transfer the balance. I did this on 10th April but since then no updates or communication from the bank. I keep calling the bank but the customer care isn’t really helpful.
My case is that I am running small travel agency and one of my customer he has complaint to his bank Santander that we took his money fraudulently or either he said he don’t know how our company took his payment? My company account is with Natwest and they froze my account but after few days by providing them all the proof, my bank has unfrozen my account, but from that date Santander bank has put my account on black list or fraudulent as anyone Santander’s customer want to transfer money into my companies account, Santander bank stop transaction and tell customers that this company is fraudulent or something, it’s over a year and I am losing my customers as I have contacted Santander through phone and they said speak to your own bank, even wrote them but no reply and my own bank is quiet as well. Even though all other bank transactions are normal.
Now I have wrote to ombudsman and they wrote to Santander Bank and now I got letter from Santander that they are going to investigate now and will get back to me in 4 weeks and now tomorrow 4 weeks are going to finish and still waiting? Can I sue them as I am losing business because of irresponsible behaviour of Santander Bank?
I bank with Natwest and just 2 days ago Natwest froze both of my personal accounts. I put in a cash deposit of almost £7k back in Feb2017 when they applied a ‘referral marker’ on my account. They then did nothing about it and they advised me that I hadn’t verified where the funds had come from eventhough I did verify it with the staff in branch. 2 months later they have now applied an ‘No Operations marker’ on my account and have taken details of where the money came from and why etc. Iv given them all this detail and I havent heard anything back. Are they investigating me for any wrongdoing? I’ve handed in my debit card and i still have my business account open and active with them. Please advise as I am getting very worried.
Also, the reason why they applied the ‘No Operations Marker’ was perhaps because I was trying to pay £4k into an offshore business account as part of a business investment. Many people have paid into this account and there hasn’t ever been any issues with them and this account is legimate.
My partners account has been frozen for over 2 years. No explanation, no access. In that time we’ve fallen pregnant, had child and he’s now 20 months old. We have no idea why this has happened. He naturally changed banks, the same has happened on this one too and this has been about a year. Again no notice, explanation, access. However they will randomly allow some payment transfers out of it, small amounts and it’s completely at their mercy as to whether they decide to allow it.
He’s clearly been singled out for some reason but we have no idea why. There’s definitely no money laundering going on! We have no idea who to turn to. The ombudsmen haven’t done anything. There have been countless meetings with no outcome. Phone calls always receive a “the manager will call you back” and needless to say they don’t. We’re at our wits end, we desperately need the money in these accounts. Any suggestions welcome.
Just to add. In all this time we haven’t received any official letter from ANYONE to notify or explain.
Last Tuesday I tried to do a overseas payment from my Santander account
For a invoice in Amsterdam.i could not do it online so I attempted it via telesales….
It’s a business account and soon as that had happened I have not been able
To draw any funds out.funds wil go in.nothing comes out though.again same story as most.nobody talks to me….I have been getting regular payments from my Chinese merchant account every week anything from 6k-12k a week but that has been going on for ages so I do not understand why they would suddenly flag it
I had exactly the same happened to me two days ago with Santander after an overseas transfer to USA, can you please let me know what happened with you?
Hi, I tried to withdraw money but was declined on my NatWest account. I called them and they advised a letter had been sent and I should go to the branch with I.D. So I did. Sat there for an hour and told they can’t give me any information and I cannot take any funds out of my account. My balance is largely my salary. It’s a current account used for bills. I can justify every penny credited and every debit. Yet they won’t give me any information or access. No letter has been sent…that was a lie too. Confirmed during my visit to the branch.
Please help, any advice appreciated. I work in the financial sector(not banking) so I understand fraud issues etc. This is ridiculous as the account is so transparent.
At this stage all you can do is provide the bank with documents and explanations regarding any recent unusual transactions and hope that the account is unfrozen soon.
Just to update…my account became active n I was given 60 days notice of closure. No qns were asked just got told they didn’t want me as a customer. I still have not been given any explanation of this situation from NatWest.
Tried to use my debit card today to discover our joint account has been frozen ( I used it yesterday). It’s a joint account with relatively few transactions we are both retired. I have a semi dormant company account which has not been active since around September as I ceased trading in July. Last Friday along awaited corporation tax rebate arrived £1690 . As I could now close 5he account and the company I transferred £1680 to our joint account ( as advised by my accountant who app,ied for the refund some months ago)
Both personal and company account is frozen. We have no other funds my wife’s pension is being paid in tomorrow 28th and we need access to these funds to eat ! I have not been asked for any documentation just told by a very unhelpful staff member that I had to wait 10 day’s. Anything I can do ?
Do tell the bank that it is urgent that this gets sorted as you need to have money for shopping etc.
If you have not already done so, provide the bank with a full explanation of recent transactions (with copies of supporting documents if you can).
Keep checking to see if your account has been unfrozen.
Basically on the 5th of may a direct debit was set up in my bank on my NatWest student account and l reported it when l got an alert that it went over my student overdraft. I called the bank then they cancelled the transaction. I asked them to send me a new card and they told me that there was no point in doing that so l went online via lost and stolen to order a new card. In this time they cancelled my card 12 hours later.
Two days later they froze my account as a whole and then I called the bank to ask what was happening and they simply referred me to the closure team. So after this I called the company where the person set a direct debit and they confirmed that the name under my details wasn’t my name and the person was not based in the area that l live. They then proceeded to tell me that the bank can call the company to get the details of the person so l called the bank to tell them this and they simply took this down and placed it on their complaints team.
But if my bank gets closed l have no other accounts I’m a student who recovers their student loan, my parents pay money into that account and I receive my pay check from my job all from that account. It’s put me in such a difficult position
On the 5th of May 2017 l reported that there was a transaction which was made as a direct debit on my account it made my account go over the agreed overdraft. This transaction which was listed was a car insurance company called Privilege car insurance. Lucky for me the bank was able to send me a notification that the account had gone over the agreed over draft so l immediately called Natwest to explain that this transaction was not made by me. This call was made roughly between 07:30- 08:00 am in the morning. Proceeding from the call the man then told me that he stopped the direct debit from my account which was comforting and that the money would return back into my account the next day. In the call l then enquired to order a new card, with this request the man said that there was no point in ordering another card as the person who set the direct debit up had used the same information which was my sort code and account number. l then asked if l can report this to the fraud team of which l did and they told me that no action was needed as the man had already stopped the direct debit and that it wouldn’t affect me at all.
On the 6th of May 2017 my account was back to it normal self and the direct debit was removed from my account l felt so much better and continued with my day but l still felt uncertain about my card being the same so l went online and ordered a new card through the lost and stolen section. This then alerted me that the card for my current account would be deactivated within 12 hours. l proceeded to use my card as l had 12 hours till it got deactivated and went to Mcdonalds where l bought a meal for roughly �2 something along those lines, this was the final time using this card. I started to use my savings builder card to withdraw money as my transactions can be shown on the system. On the 8th of May upon making my way to my exam l tried to withdraw money out of my savings builder, this is when my card got retained within the machine. l was stunned as to why this would have happened. l then proceeded to check my mobile banking app where it came up with the message ‘sorry, but we can’t find your customer details please try and login to Online Banking via our website to resolve the issue’. At this moment of time l was not able to do anything as l had an exam to attend. After my exam at 1600 l then tried to login to my online banking through the website. This was when l got the message which told me that my account was disabled and that l should contact someone. As soon as l got this message l then proceeded to call the bank once again only to be told that they couldn’t find my account and that there was a flag on my account and that l should contact a number which was 03453039016. l tried to call the number that the bank had provided me with and it started talking about bank closure team and l was so confused as to why l would be directed to this team. Unfortunately the team wasn’t available as it was out of office times for them so l waited till this morning.
On the 8th of May 2017 in the morning exactly at 0900 am l called the closure team and they informed me that my account was flagged and that they regretted to tell me this but they had to close my bank account. All of this was too much of a shock as l had done nothing wrong towards the bank. The woman simple told me that there was not much information that she could disclose and that there was nothing more she can do for me and that l should look under section 7.1 for the terms and conditions of Natwest.
l looked under the terms and conditions and found out that the bank is able to close my bank if they believe the account was being used for illegal purposes which has never happened before, false information of which any information which was given to the bank was all correct and l have records of this and making staff feel abused. All three of these points didn’t apply to me so this really got me confused. So l took it into my consideration to do my own investigation. The only reason l could think for these problems to happen would have to do with the transaction which took place in my account from privilege car insurance. So l simply called them and asked them to check if my account was on the database for their company and the man who l spoke to called James told me that my account details were registered into their database but it turned out that my name was not registered on the database and the person was not based in portsmouth where l live. James then simply told me to tell the bank that they can call the company to verify this information as they have also reported it to their fraud team. They said that they are only able to disclose the name of the person who has used my account details to the bank and not me.
l then went on to call the closure team once more to explain to them the information that l had gathered and the woman who talked to me in the morning was the same person l talked to in the afternoon. She simply took down the information which l already explained and said she was going to file an appeal to look into what l had said.
If a business account has been frozen. Can the business close the account to have their funds withdrawn from the bank? Can formally asking to close the account trigger some sort of delay in which the bank has to formally proceed with closing the account ?
Our account has been frozen for two weeks now with no explanation from the bank but we suspect it has to do with the fact that we do regular transfers to China, Central America and Taiwan since we are a trading company.