Account closure due to lack of AML information

Categories:
Closing accounts
Summary:
Nadine’s bank closed her account because it could not verify her identity in order to comply with anti-money laundering legislation. Closing the account deprived Nadine of a means of receiving income, as well as preventing her from applying for a visa.

Nadine said her bank did not try to call her to seek the necessary information or to tell her it was closing her account. She said it simply sent her several emails, which she did not see because they went into her junk mail folder. She said she spoke to her branch before the closure, and no one mentioned the need for her to provide information so the bank could meet its obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

After the account was closed, Nadine went straight to her branch where the manager asked her to fill in a form. Two weeks later, she returned to the branch for an update and was told the bank would look into the complaint within the next 30 working days.

Our involvement

When this case came to us as a complaint, we referred it immediately to the bank’s complaints team and asked if the bank could escalate its consideration of Nadine’s complaint given the circumstances. 

Outcome

The bank reactivated Nadine’s bank account within 24 hours and it was not necessary for us to conduct a formal investigation.

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