CRANE ON THE CASE: Nationwide has frozen my bank account... for...
CRANE ON THE CASE: Nationwide has frozen my bank account... for being too charitable

CRANE ON THE CASE: Nationwide has frozen my bank account... for being too charitable

CRANE ON THE CASE: Nationwide has frozen my bank account... for being too charitable Nationwide blocked our reader's current account, with no explanation at first But when I dug into the details, there was a surprising reason behind the freeze Have you been wronged by a firm? Email By Crane on the Case Published: 06:00 BST, 17 August 2023 | Updated: 06:00 BST, 17 August 2023 e-mail View comments I have endured a lot of panic since last Thursday when Nationwide unexpectedly blocked my current account. It is my only bank account. I have no money for food or transport. On the day it happened, I had to borrow money to get home from work. I contacted the bank for answers, but it informed me that I would have to wait until the following Thursday to hear back about an investigation. This morning, I contacted Nationwide again, urgently requesting a small transfer of £10 to my new bank account. No good deed goes unpunished: Our reader's charity work led to his bank account being flagged as a fraud risk This would enable me to purchase a return bus ticket to reach the nearest Nationwide branch. I hoped that by visiting a branch in person, I might have a chance to access my locked funds. Shockingly, my plea was met with denial, even though the £10 represents less than 0.005% of the total amount. I don't know why the account was frozen, but I recently received some money as an inheritance and think that perhaps has something to do with it. I provided proof of where this payment had come from, but it didn't seem to help. I understand the need for security at Nationwide but I think this is really unjustified. J.W, Stirling RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Revealed: Banks shut 1,000 accounts a day CRANE ON THE CASE: My vulnerable in-laws got 'debanked' by... SALLY SORTS IT: Help! My friend lost £180,000 to bitcoin... NatWest and Nationwide cut fixed mortgage rates again as... Share this article Share Helen Crane of This is Money replies: I was sorry to hear that the finance industry's fervour for 'debanking' has claimed yet another victim. As I have written before, having a bank account is an essential service in this day and age - and it's not right that so many innocent people are having theirs ripped away . And like most of the others, you couldn't get your bank - or in this case building society - to give you a proper explanation. You were at work - about 100 miles away from where you live - when you discovered that a block had been placed on your account, and had to borrow cash from someone just to get yourself home. CRANE ON THE CASE Our weekly column sees This is Money consumer expert Helen Crane tackle reader problems and shine the light on companies doing both good and bad. Want her to investigate a problem, or do you want to praise a firm for going that extra mile? Get in touch: Often in these cases, people are simply sent a letter telling them the bank 'no longer wishes to provide them with banking services' and told to await a cheque with their balance on. But fortunately - although I'm sure you didn't feel very fortunate at the time - your account wasn't closed for good, only frozen. You were promised a call from a fraud specialist within a week of your account being closed, but this didn't happen until later after I had got involved. Seven days is too long to go without a bank account anyway, but making you wait even longer is unacceptable in my opinion. By this point, you were running out of food. You were told by Nationwide that, if you wanted to withdraw any money while you waited, you needed to go to the nearest branch with a form of ID. That was a problem, as you live in a rural area and didn't have any money to get there. You resorted to begging Nationwide to allow you access to £10 for a bus ticket, and when that wasn't possible you made a complaint. In the meantime, you opened a current account with another bank, but as it was the end of the month you couldn't arrange for your salary to be paid into it in time. Strapped for cash: Our reader was left with no money for transport or even food when his current account was frozen After you had been without your bank account for five days, you contacted me and I got on to Nationwide to ask what was taking so long - and whether it would give you some money to live on in the meantime. In the course of doing so, I uncovered a surprising reason for what had happened. It turned out that you had raised suspicions by doing too much charity work. You volunteer for the charity the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks. You had made an agreement with your local branch of Sainsbury's to donate food to the charity. You would order the food online using your debit card every few days, and then the store would reimburse you. How this appeared on your bank account was that, in June and July 2023 there were more than 80 transactions to Sainsbury’s. Each was for £46.00 or £46.50, followed by refunds for amounts of £60.00 or £60.50. Whilst there is a difference in the amounts paid compared to the refunded amounts, this is due to an agreement between you and Sainsbury's which I won't go in to here. Once you were able to speak to Nationwide's fraud team and explain this, it said it was happy with the clarification and removed the block on your account. It has also agreed to pay you £50 compensation. They do say that no good deed goes unpunished, and in total, you were left without a bank account for 11 days. Helping out: J.W's purchases of food from Sainsbury's were intended for a food bank A Nationwide spokesperson said: 'Due to a high volume of unusual payments on our customer’s account, we placed a block on his debit card and online banking as a precaution while we investigated the issue. 'The block was removed as soon as our customer was able to clarify the reason for the transactions. We apologise to our customer for the delay in reviewing his account and will be offering him £50 compensation.' I do need to give Nationwide some credit for explaining what the issue was - in the end. Too often, banks are tight-lipped, even after someone has been proven not to have done anything wrong - and that is immensely frustrating for them. I fully understand that banks and building societies need to be vigilant when it comes to potential fraud. For every person who writes to me because they have been 'debanked,' there is another who has fallen victim to a nasty scam where a criminal has taken money from their bank account. But I think it is taking too long to get things sorted when issues are flagged. If the fraud team had called you on day one, you might have had your account back within hours - rather than struggling to get by for 11 days. CRANE ON THE CASE Does pension credit mix-up mean my wife overpaid care fees? I sold a caravan to Royale Resorts, where's my money? My vulnerable in-laws got 'debanked' by HSBC My K-pop obsessed mum racked up hundreds on Spotify UPS charged me an extra £441 to post my boat sail My case was broken on Ryanair flight and I can't get money back Enterprise charged me £982 for damage to Nissan Micra rental car I was switched to Ovo and now my bills are mind-boggling Scammer bagged an iPhone 14 using MY O2 account A Chinese firm registered its business at MY home address I sold my laptop online but buyer claimed I never sent it Evri delivered my son EMPTY BOX instead of Christmas present Where is inheritance we were promised by 'heir hunters' I'm locked out of my BA account, have I lost my 650,000 Avios? A scammer bought £3,000 flights using MY card We booked 'superior' cruise cabin but got one next to engine My 13-year-old was scammed via Paypal. It says he owes £4,500 I sent £2,000 of my late wife's savings with wrong account number Ovo billed me £33,000 for a month of energy use in my two-bed flat Eon left a leak after it fitted my new boiler and the ceiling fell in My camera doesn't work and I can't contact online dealer I am terminally ill but can't cash my Scottish Widows pension Most shocking CRANE ON THE CASE horror stories from 2022 I was sent a shoddy mobility scooter... but Amazon says it's fine My son was stranded in Australia in 2020 - I'm still waiting for... Home Office rejected my visa, when will I get NHS payment back? Investec won't renew my 93-year-old mum's savings with no ID... or... I built my own house and HMRC should refund VAT - where is it? We booked our holiday for the right dates... but the wrong year I've been waiting three years to get refund for Thomas Cook holiday TalkTalk sold me an internet phone line that doesn't work Barclays says it's closing my accounts and I have no idea why I spent £1,200 on hotels and trains when Blablacar bus was late Holiday Extras won't pay out for trip after our son's death My ex racked up £30k in Dart Charge PCNs due to mental health My bills went bananas after I had a smart meter installed My Cork flight was cancelled and Aer Lingus no longer flies Why won't BA pay for my lost laptop and jewellery? I parked in more than one marked bay - can Premier Park fine me? My son got chickenpox before our holiday... can we get a refund? Our Tui wedding was booked where same-sex marriage isn't legal Why won't Ovo let me pay after it didn't bill me for nine months? Northern Provident went under, where is my £10k Isa cash? I moved out of my damp home but British Gas wants £5k in bills My Macbook won't turn on, why won't John Lewis fix it? Bulb wants to charge me £2k for energy I used four years ago A fraudster hacked my email and went on a £6k credit card spree I'm owed a £164 tax refund after Covid cancelled my holiday My son turned 18 - why can't he access his Child Trust Fund? My son spent £1,000 on iPad games... will Apple refund me? My BA flight and car hire has dropped by £500 - can I rebook? Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next Read more: mailto: helen.crane@this... Share or comment on this article: CRANE ON THE CASE: Nationwide has frozen my bank account... for being too charitable e-mail Add comment Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence. Comments 0 Share what you think No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards. Add your comment Enter your comment By posting your comment you agree to our house rules . Submit Comment Clear Close Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline? Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual. No Yes Close Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline? Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook. You can choose on each post whether you would like it to be posted to Facebook. Your details from Facebook will be used to provide you with tailored content, marketing and ads in line with our Privacy Policy . More top stories

Източник на новината


DailyMail UK

Open original