Barclays Account Frozen

Old Nov 1st 2021, 11:36 pm
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Default Barclays Account Frozen

My other half, a Barclays Bank customer, has just come off the phone with Barclays. They told her that her bank account has been frozen. Apparently, some policy that states you have to be a UK resident to hold a bank account. Also concerning is that they wouldn’t/ couldn’t give her any information at all about her account as Barclay’s staff couldn’t access it either. Their only solution was to tell her she needs to go into a Barclays branch in UK.

Something doesn’t seem right to me. Her address is listed as the Philippines and has been for a number of years; Barclays have even sent correspondence to our PH address. If it's a new policy, one would expect to be informed in advance; if it's already an existing policy, then surely a letter informing her to make new arrangements for standing orders etc and withdrawal of funds prior to closing her account would have been in order. Very concerning and unclear if this is just Barclays or if other UK banks intend to follow suit.

Before I take the matter up with the UK banking ombudsman, any other Barclays account holders come across this and were you able to resolve it?
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Years ago I had my Barclays account closed because I had not used it for a couple of years. I only had about £20 in it so I asked them to transfer it to my linked bank, refused as they said it had been closed and there was no access to it. All seemingly achieved without any formal communication with me. I now go through the process of opening an account with them once or twice a year, without the final approval just to ensure that they work very hard and at a very low hourly rate until I think I have got my £20 back.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 2:56 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

I hear what you say but not quite the same here; my wife’s account has always been active with funds coming in every month and NI Class 3 contributions going out every month.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 3:44 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

It's all to do with new banking laws, a number of UK banks have had to stop non resident accounts, it started with Brexit.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 4:03 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

If it’s to do with new banking laws since Brexit, I’d have thought that as UK banks all fall under the same regulatory authorities umbrella i.e. Bank of England, Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, rules such as closing non resident accounts would apply to all banks. No such problem with Lloyds (at least not yet). If you're right, then it's very worrying.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 4:33 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

From what I can gather, the policy of closing non-resident accounts seems to be targeted at British Expats living in the EU only. Nothing to indicate that it includes other countries. Just came across the following articles:

https://www.theguardian.com/money/20...count-closures

https://www.internationalinvestment....count-closures

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/12...ount-closures/

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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 4:14 pm
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Originally Posted by Feidlimid
I hear what you say but not quite the same here; my wife’s account has always been active with funds coming in every month and NI Class 3 contributions going out every month.
As a non resident you can always open a GBP bank account with Transferwise ( think it is just called Wise now ), You get a UK bank sort code and account number and it accepts pension payments wages etc and you can transfer when ever you like ( best rate day ). You do not get any interest on funds in the account. I am sure there are other companies around that give the same or similar service.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Thanks Stokkevn, that’s worth having a look at. I do all my transfers from UK using Wise and I’ve been very impressed with them. As soon as they receive funds from my bank, it often arrives in the Ph in a matter of minutes. I do recall them sending me some info a while back about opening a bank account but paid little notice to it. Not sure if they can set up direct debits etc so we’d miss that. Likewise, can they cater for online shopping? I need to have another look at their website and if needs must, then so be it.

In the meantime, after mikelincs comments re Brexit, I’ve done further research and my findings are that the ‘passporting’ arrangements that came about as a result of Brexit may be the root cause of the problem. I also think there’s a chance that the system or someone at Barclays has mistakenly presumed that because my wife doesn’t have a UK address, she was included in the list of expats living in the EU. So, first port of call is for me to call Barclays again on my wife’s behalf, ask to speak to a supervisor and establish what the status is with her account, why it’s happened and take it from there.
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Old Nov 2nd 2021, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Just to follow up on Wise accounts. As you already use Wise then you already have an account number and sort code. Just check on the account page.
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Old Nov 3rd 2021, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

The Skipton BS wrote to me that they had frozen my account a couple of weeks ago. They told me to write to them asking to close the account and give another account where they could send the money! I already had Wise set up as a transfer account but they said that might not be satisfactory. In that case they would send a cheque that I would not be able to pay in anywhere.
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Old Nov 3rd 2021, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Originally Posted by Feidlimid
So, first port of call is for me to call Barclays again on my wife’s behalf, ask to speak to a supervisor and establish what the status is with her account, why it’s happened and take it from there.
Unless you're a joint account holder, they won't speak to you about it, they'll only discuss the account with your wife.
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Old Nov 3rd 2021, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Unless you're a joint account holder, they won't speak to you about it, they'll only discuss the account with your wife.
Just have her sitting next to you when you phone them up, I did that when I phoned up about my wife's NI contributions and her pension, the guy was OK with it but he did say that he will ask my wife the questions and she could say that I would reply, took a little bit longer but all went well.
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Old Nov 3rd 2021, 3:15 am
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

Originally Posted by Feidlimid
Thanks Stokkevn, that’s worth having a look at. I do all my transfers from UK using Wise and I’ve been very impressed with them. As soon as they receive funds from my bank, it often arrives in the Ph in a matter of minutes. I do recall them sending me some info a while back about opening a bank account but paid little notice to it. Not sure if they can set up direct debits etc so we’d miss that. Likewise, can they cater for online shopping? I need to have another look at their website and if needs must, then so be it.

In the meantime, after mikelincs comments re Brexit, I’ve done further research and my findings are that the ‘passporting’ arrangements that came about as a result of Brexit may be the root cause of the problem. I also think there’s a chance that the system or someone at Barclays has mistakenly presumed that because my wife doesn’t have a UK address, she was included in the list of expats living in the EU. So, first port of call is for me to call Barclays again on my wife’s behalf, ask to speak to a supervisor and establish what the status is with her account, why it’s happened and take it from there.
I think you may struggle with them regarding direct debits etc. Have not fully investigated but I think once the money goes into the account you have to transfer it, albeit to an account that your direct debit would have sent it to.
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Old Nov 10th 2021, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Barclays Account Frozen

There is hopefully a difference in treatment of British passport holders and others, which would explain the post Brexit changes as EU nationals had to be treated the same as Brits when we were in the EU. Doubtless, the authorities don't like normal people taking their money out of the country but can't easily stop them due to the current government's mantra for free trade and international finance but this is mostly helpful to big companies rather than normal people. I'm still in the UK, the feel I get is we are supposed to be locked into the country, post Brexit, and endure cartel-like pricing on most things, with rip-off taxes that are usually wasted at both local and national level - the only democratic choice an even more prolific party.
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Old Nov 12th 2021, 3:12 am
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Default Barclays Account Blocked

Managed to get through to the call centre, my wife told them she was calling from Ph and after the usual security checks, I was able to speak on her behalf. According to Barclays, her account is blocked, not frozen; sounds the same thing to me. As her account is blocked, her telephone banking is also blocked. Staff couldn’t view her account either so they were unable to tell us what the problem is. Great system! I explained that the Barclays verification code sent by SMS, which one needs to log in to your account, had recently been taking 10 mins to arrive instead of 2 mins. This meant that after 5 mins, the log-in time elapsed and the system instructed my wife to commence the log-in procedure again.

The rep advised that I just call in to a local Barclays Bank in UK to get it solved - thanks for that, followed by the advice that I could always write to Barclays UK in Leicester. I pointed out that neither of these were workable solutions so she tried to put me though to another department. I warned her that I usually get cut off when that happens and would have to go through the whole procedure explaining everything again; so please be careful. You’ve guessed it, I got cut off and we had to go through the whole procedure again.

When I rang back, we got a different rep so went through the whole palaver of security and explaining the situation again. This rep felt that the account was probably blocked because of too many ‘failed’ log-in attempts due to the late verification code. Makes sense. He said he’d talk to his supervisor and promised faithfully to call me back within 20 mins.

One hour later and still no call back so I rang Barclays, got another rep and of course had to go through the usual rigmarole again. The new rep said the last person hadn't called me back as they aren't allowed to make international calls. The latest rep said much the same as the others, rolling out Barclays standard phrase that we should call in to the nearest branch or write to Barclays in UK asking them to unblock the account. There was much more said, but I won’t bore you with the details. The point is, writing to Barclays UK is really not the best option considering how normal post is slow and often goes astray. On the other hand, a courier is expensive - it currently costs £39 to send documents to UK via LBC. LBC also said it was now taking approx 20 days to get to UK!

I suggested to the rep that raising a formal complaint may be the best way to get the matter resolved; can I do that over the phone? Yes, you can, let me transfer you to the right department … Oh no, not again. Yes, I’m afraid so. Anyhow, before getting cut off again, I managed to get the direct number for the complaints department.

So, next call was to the complaints dept. and security checks etc. "I understand I can submit a complaint over the telephone, is that right?" Yes you can. Oh, wait a minute, I can’t access your account as it’s blocked so I can’t register your complaint; you can tell me about it if you want but I won't be able to do anything. You’d be best writing to Barclays UK. By this time I’m thinking Kafkaesque. I've now submitted a formal complaint to Barclays via LBC courier who partner with DHL in UK. Let’s see what happens and how long it takes.

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