Barclays denies Bitterwallet reader's right to existence

27 January 2010

Bitterwallet - Lost AccountsYesterday 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.

TOPICS:   Banking

7 comments

  • jp
    I did exactly the same and got nil responses for three accounts (two barclays and one woolwich) which I know existed and had some cash in - only £40 odd each. Woolwich at least waited over night, Barclays responded within hours.
  • jiva
    ah. well, I have barclays accounts and I thought the search is only for dormant items so therefore in my case I know it would bring back nothing. I still ran a check though..... and it brought back nothing. Let alone that Barclays closed my ISA when I asked for half to be transferred in November. I'm still sorting that one out now.
  • Rob B.
    Doesn't this only find dormant accounts? So...yeah, it wouldn't find one if you use them...
  • unnamed
    Good heavens, they've denied a "Bitterwallet reader", rather than a Barclays customer? Top notch investigate journalism on show here, Carl Bernstien and Bob Woodward are waiting to get in touch as we speak.
  • Blair H.
    Hi, thanks for the interesting read.
  • Kevin K.
    Nice, Your will be the Leadin the world!!
  • mbugua
    HI MAN, HI MAN, Let us go to Africa and listen to my story with Barclays bank. I will explain my story mathematically. Perhaps there are people with a similar story. We will do some mathematics with figures. The local currency is called the shilling. So you take 800,000 shillings Barclays loan and you get less that amount because there is negotiation fee. They will be deducting 24000 from your salary every month and you pay them faithfully for 30 months when you get tired of debt and you want to clear the loan. Now for the 30 months therefore you have paid 30*24000=720,000---not far from the initial 800,000 amount that you took from them as a loan. But then, you ask for your loan balance and it read you still owe them 500,000 which means your principal has come down by only 300,000 and they have taken an interest of 420,000 from you and this is already more than half of the money they originally gave you. Well you say fine—all you want is to get the hell out of debt and you run to them with 500,000 to clear your loan but wait---not so fast, they are not done with you. You will get a penalty for paying earlier than the many years you would have continued paying them interest and this penalty is nine month interest---I mean you have cleared their loan and they still have to take 9 month interest yet you will not be owing them anything during these nine months. Well this interest amount to about 92,000 and well you want the hell to get out of debt so you pay. Simplified mathematics: You took------------------800,000 but got slightly less because of negotiation fee. 30 month payment-------720,000(already deducted from your salary) + 92000(penalty) +500,000(the remaining balance) Total paid in 30 month= 1,312,000 And had you not cleared earlier, the figure would have gone up. Moral of the story: get the hell from these people and let them keep their money and advice as many people as possible so that when they are taking a loan, however nice the talking initially is, let them know what awaits them. Currently, I am struggling to close the account because I am asking myself whether there is any reason why one fine day we may not wake up and find there is a nine month fee for closing an account. I have not been able to do so because I am being told there is a technical hitch. In the meantime while I have not closed my account because of a technical hitch which I have not made, they continue to charge me account maintenance fee even when I no longer want their account. The only way we can help others so that when one takes a loan he/she can know all that is at stake is to take the mathematics I have presented here and send it to as many of ones friends via e-mail as possible and ask them to forward it to their friends too and the cycle continue until the information gets as many people as possible. And that way we will have an informed citizenly

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