Barclays froze the accounts of 17-year-old Daniel Bentley late last year, which runs a hosting business and develops websites. He later told her that he had to find another bank, since his business and personal accounts were closed. Mr. Bentley has also personally been in the bank with Barclays. Because of its activities, it must cover server costs, commercial insurance and other expenses. 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 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. Complicating matters further is that Mr. Bentley was one of the victims of the TalkTalk data outage in November, talkTalk informing him that the sorting code and account number of his business account were accessible. In a third of the cases, the FOS found it in favor of the customer. 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).
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. In many of these cases – some of which have been reported in these pages – it is proposed that innocent people be subjected to increasingly stringent regulations to combat money laundering and other financial crimes. A Barclays customer with acute anxiety and depression is devastated after the banking giant closed its three accounts without explanation or warning. “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. 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. “However, we may terminate this agreement immediately or less alertly (and stop providing services and close your account) if we reasonably believe that you have violated serious or permanent conditions of the agreement, or if we have reasonable reason to believe that you have done one of the following things, which you cannot do. It says: “We can close an account (and stop providing services and terminate this agreement) by giving you a delay of at least two months.