Bank on firm ground in closing accounts

Anti-money laundering - changes to banking,
Chris was the director of a foreign exchange and international remittance agency, XYZ Ltd. Chris received a letter from his bank saying it would close XYZ Ltd’s accounts in one month because the company no longer met the bank’s risk profile, which had changed following the introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.
December 2013

Chris complained to the bank. He said the accounts had always operated lawfully and closing them was unfair. He wanted the bank to keep the accounts open. The bank allowed XYZ Ltd a further two months to make alternative banking arrangements, but would not change its decision.  Chris complained to us.

Our investigation

We explained that the Code of Banking Practice allowed banks to close a customer’s account even if it was operated satisfactorily. A bank would usually give a customer at least 14 days' notice. The bank’s terms and conditions also set out its ability to withdraw the products or services it offered in accordance with the code.

We told Chris we did not have the power to recommend that a bank offer banking services to someone.  We advised Chris it was unlikely we would be able to help him because the bank was allowed to close XYZ Ltd’s accounts, and we couldn't make it change this decision.


Chris accepted our explanation and withdrew his complaint.

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