Barclays made my backup account dormant and took my money
Since I travel a lot, I keep a backup current account debit card in a secret location in case my wallet is stolen or lost.
That un-expired card failed to work earlier this year. I later logged onto Barclays online banking to find no trace of the account. It's as if it never existed.
The account had 693.73GBP in it.
I called up Barclays quoting the account number and sort code printed on the bottom of the card... at first the "customer service representative" worryingly could not tell me what has happened. Two phone calls later and a visit to my branch, reveals that my backup account is considered "dormant" because I have not used it for a year.
Later it turns out I was sent a letter on the 17 December from "Mr D Wass" warning me that "Your current account has not been used for some time". It instructed me to call Barclays by the 10th of March 2014. Since I'm terrible with post, I failed to read this single warning letter. And now my account is dormant. This letter was not found upon their Document Management service "Barclays Cloud It", which I think it should be.
At the branch I'm given a long https://www.bba.org.uk/ form to fill in. I've already wasted many hours on this, and now I need to provide personal details to a 3rd party, in order to get my money back? I'm shocked. Why can't Barclays simply re-open my account?!
I called up https://www.bba.org.uk/ to express my frustration. The receptionist tells me that they simply act as a post box for Barclays dormant accounts team. I've now just spent half an hour filling a form in https://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/, which could have a better SSL support.
Thank you for completing the mylostaccount online form. Your enquiry will be dealt with by the following organisation/s in the coming weeks: IF NO ORGANISATION IS LISTED BELOW THIS CLAIM HAS NOT BEEN SUBMITTED. PLEASE START AGAIN OR TELEPHONE 020 7216 8909 FOR HELP. Barclays Bank Plc BBA reference id: 503731 To carry out a full check of all the institutions listed may take up to 12 weeks.
I am still waiting to get my money back. I also want to lobby Barclays to:
- Inform me of account changes on the online banking application which I use regularly and not snail mail
- Stop this insane practice. Why the HELL wasn't MY MONEY put into my other current account at the VERY LEAST?
When I asked Barclays why they make accounts dormant, it was the time honoured "security reasons" response. Shocking.
Hey @BarclaysOnline, is it possible to get all post by internet banking & be informed of impending dormant status? http://t.co/Sv3ht8tG5R— Kai Hendry (@kaihendry) June 18, 2014
@financialombuds Is making accounts dormant, common practice? http://t.co/Sv3ht8tG5R— Kai Hendry (@kaihendry) June 18, 2014
UPDATE: A reply from BBA. I've struck gold! June 19
I am pleased to advise you that Barclays have indicated that they may have traced a dormant account in the name of Kai Hendry that you have quoted and a letter will be sent to you from the bank, within the next 28days, to validate your claim. British Bankers' Association The Voice of Banking and Financial Services
FINAL UPDATE: Barclays sent me a cheque for 693.72 (think I'm down 1 penny somehow), back dated to 03-JUL-14 which arrived on July 24th. My parents kindly drove into town to bank the cheque the next day. Hugely inconvenient. Money lost. Lots of time lost. No apology from Barclays. Watch out.