Caroline Barr, a member of the Financial Services Panel, said of the Bentley case: “The bank is acting as if the account owner is suspected. She may act as if she had no duty of care to that client because she does not have one. Critics say these rules are enforced by “overzealous” banks. The consumer panel of financial services, which reports to city Watchdog as a whole, requires that customers be treated more equitably in these circumstances (see right). It is worrying that a sign of fraud was so easily placed on an account before being properly examined, as well as the way the banking giant treated a vulnerable customer. A Barclays customer with acute anxiety and depression is devastated after the banking giant closed its three accounts without explanation or warning. A young entrepreneur is one of the youngest clients who are told that his bank no longer wants his business without making a statement. It says: “We can close an account (and stop providing services and terminate this agreement) by setting a deadline of at least two months. Banks are not required to explain their actions to their customers. Often, through closed verification procedures, clients never discover the crime they may have committed.
We also reported a retired pilot, a 49-year-old NatWest client, who closed his accounts without explanation. “Customer explanations may be limited because the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 imposes clear obligations on banks not to “hijack” a customer because an investigation could be opened. What is more telling is that a Barclays spokesperson told Telegraph Money: “We don`t comment on individual customer cases. As soon as we are alerted to suspicious account activities or are controlled by transaction profiling, we investigate the circumstances, and if we are satisfied that the account is being used to steal the proceeds of crime, we act as quickly as possible to close the account. Mr. Bentley`s case appears to be part of an upward trend, where customers are suddenly “licensed” by their banks and are quickly invited to do business elsewhere. In a third of the cases, the FOS found it in favor of the customer. “However, we can terminate this agreement immediately or in a less formal manner (by stopping service delivery and closing your account) if we reasonably believe you have breached the terms of the agreement or if we have reasonable reason to believe that you have done one of the following things, which you cannot do. In that letter, which was seen by This is Money and simply signed, “The Barclays team,” as the bank stated in Section 11 of its retail agreement.