Barclays denies Bitterwallet reader's right to existence
Yesterday we told you about avid Bitterwallet reader Bryan and the unexplained account he had with Betfair, despite having never used the site. In that particular instance, Betfair emailed Bryan to notify him about unspent winnings, then again to explain it was all a big misunderstanding and he should never have received an email in the first place. Data privacy issues ahoy!
The post prompted fellow Bitterwallet reader Martin (no less avid a reader than Bryan, it must be said) to contact the British Bankers' Association and asked them to search for accounts open in his name. Martin provided his details including his full name and two middle names. He expected the answer at least reveal the accounts he operated with Barclays - a current account, a savings account and 2 ISAs. Instead, the BBA replied to Martin less than twelve hours later, and had found... none whatsoever:
Following extensive investigations carried out on your behalf, we regret to advise you that, Barclays have not found an account in the name of [NAME] plus any other names (maiden name etc) which you have quoted.
If you are dissatisfied with the way the bank has dealt with your claim you have the right to appeal through the bank's internal complaints procedure (leaflets are available from the bank's branches). If your appeal is unsuccessful you have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, South Quay Plaza, 183 Marsh Wall London E14 9SR telephone 0845 080 1800 website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
How thorough was the BBA search to completely miss four bank accounts registered under a specific (and quite possibly unique) name? We have since informed Martin of his lack of existence, and emptied the two ISA accounts with the personal details he passed on to us. It's what he would have wanted.