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Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Old Feb 20th 2018, 4:25 pm
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Default Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

So I call up Barclays today. I had left my account open in case I moved back at any point, and then I wouldn't have the hassle of opening an account, proving who I was, etc. I left the UK 9 years 3 months ago.

They said "your account was closed some time ago sir".

"Where's the money that was in it?" [crickets]
"Why wasn't I notified that this was happening?" [crickets]

Apparently they sent me a letter in 2016, but to the wrong address (I had updated my address by phone banking, but apparently it didn't take).

Thankfully, I only had a couple hundred quid in there. But WTH.

Apparently, the UK government passed a law enabling them to snaffle your cash from dormant accounts. And of course, they passed this legislation the exact month I departed the UK.

Just a warning to others that this may happen to you. If you have significant cash in a UK account that is not actively being used ("dormant"), think about moving it.

Facts on the Dormant Bank Accounts Government Act

Last edited by BritishGuy36; Feb 20th 2018 at 4:27 pm.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

So is there a procedure for you to reclaim the balance that was in the account?
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
So I call up Barclays today. I had left my account open in case I moved back at any point, and then I wouldn't have the hassle of opening an account, proving who I was, etc. I left the UK 9 years 3 months ago.

They said "your account was closed some time ago sir".

"Where's the money that was in it?" [crickets]
"Why wasn't I notified that this was happening?" [crickets]

Apparently they sent me a letter in 2016, but to the wrong address (I had updated my address by phone banking, but apparently it didn't take).

Thankfully, I only had a couple hundred quid in there. But WTH.

Apparently, the UK government passed a law enabling them to snaffle your cash from dormant accounts. And of course, they passed this legislation the exact month I departed the UK.

Just a warning to others that this may happen to you. If you have significant cash in a UK account that is not actively being used ("dormant"), think about moving it.

Facts on the Dormant Bank Accounts Government Act
Somewhat over the top. The government is not exactly "snaffling your cash". You can still claim the money as per your link. You only completely lose it after 15 years. There is no need for those with UK cash to move it (though why would you just leave it sitting there?). You just need to have some activity, like occasionally logging in.

Last edited by MidAtlantic; Feb 20th 2018 at 4:43 pm.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Somewhat over the top. The government is not exactly "snaffling your cash". You can still claim the money as per your link. You only completely lose it after 15 years. There is no need for those with UK cash to move it (though why would you just leave it sitting there?). You just need to have some activity, like occasionally logging in.
That would be ok, if they allowed you to "log in". Once you live abroad, they will not send you a new debit card once the current one expires. No debit card, no access to online banking.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
So is there a procedure for you to reclaim the balance that was in the account?
I was told I had to write to the "closure team" to have them investigate what happened.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

We have discussed the the closure of dormant UK accounts before...but it’s always good to remind people. Thank you.

As for obtaining a new debit card...we are with Nat West and they have been sending us new cards for the last 22 years. We received new cards last year.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 5:32 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
That would be ok, if they allowed you to "log in". Once you live abroad, they will not send you a new debit card once the current one expires. No debit card, no access to online banking.
How strange. Scotia Bank in Canada sends my husband a new debit card when his expires and yes, they send it to the US and have for 20 years. They even send him bank statements. No, he does not like banking online even though he can access his account online.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

I just got a new Barclays debit card sent to me in the USA. I hadn't realised it had expired until I was in the UK so I went into a branch and asked for a new one. They also sent me another pin sentry thingy. I haven't lived in the UK for more than 15 years and the only time the balance is more than a few pounds is when I'm visiting.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

We always keep our accounts active - just a few pounds every now and then, usually when my mother wants to send a small amount of cash to my daughter, she deposits pounds into my account and I pass on dollars to my daughter. I usually use the pounds to pay my annual NI contribution.
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Old Feb 20th 2018, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
That would be ok, if they allowed you to "log in". Once you live abroad, they will not send you a new debit card once the current one expires. No debit card, no access to online banking.
I got a new card recently. They have been sending them to me since 1995. Debit and CC. I get a regular statement too. Monthly for the CC that is tied to the account and either 6 monthly (or yearly, I forget) for the account itself.
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Old Feb 21st 2018, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Who is "they"? Barclays? Or another bank.

Barclays told me a long time ago that they don't issue new debit cards when the account address is outside of the UK.
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Old Feb 21st 2018, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
Who is "they"? Barclays? Or another bank.

Barclays told me a long time ago that they don't issue new debit cards when the account address is outside of the UK.
absolute tosh, someone didn't know what they were talking about. Suggest you call and speak to someone else.
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Old Feb 21st 2018, 3:20 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
I just got a new Barclays debit card sent to me in the USA. I hadn't realised it had expired until I was in the UK so I went into a branch and asked for a new one. They also sent me another pin sentry thingy. I haven't lived in the UK for more than 15 years and the only time the balance is more than a few pounds is when I'm visiting.
I don't know why they did this, I was told they didn't send cards abroad. Maybe it's because you were present in the branch in the UK at the time.

The PIN sentry device is a great idea and won awards for security. But without a debit card, it essentially blocks any online access to accounts.

There was only about £150-200 in the account from what I remember, so I'm not even sure I'm bothered about writing in about it.
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Old Feb 21st 2018, 3:21 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
absolute tosh, someone didn't know what they were talking about. Suggest you call and speak to someone else.
No point now, the account is closed. If there was a couple of grand in there I'd be bothered, but there wasn't.
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Old Feb 21st 2018, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: Bank account auto-closed without my knowledge

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
absolute tosh, someone didn't know what they were talking about. Suggest you call and speak to someone else.
Agreed. I have also had a new debit card sent to me in the US. I didn't need to visit a branch in the UK.

And the weird thing is that I have four accounts with Barclays, because of the way they link their sweep accounts. Two of the four accounts have been completely empty for at least two years, and are still open.
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