Bank account problems ...

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by BTB 500, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    I'm the Chairman of a national body which has a deposit account and a current account with a large bank (I don't want to get MBClub into trouble, so I'm assuming it's best not to mention names?). The three signatories to the accounts are the Officers - myself, the Treasurer, and the Secretary.

    We've had the accounts for many years; obviously we complete a set of forms to change the signatories occasionally when one of the Officers changes. Last time this hapened was in 2004, before that in 2002.

    As of last week they appear to have reverted to a set of signatories that are at least 10 years old. They will not speak to me, the Treasurer, or Secretary as they claim we are not authorised on either of the accounts. They have returned cheques signed by us, and refused transfers between the accounts. They say they have no change of signatory forms since the accounts were originally set up. These are scanned and held online - apparently nothing shows on their system for either account.

    Because they won't deal with us, they won't tell us who they DO have down on the accounts. However the Treasurer received a letter last week sent to his home address, but with the name of the previous Treasurer (retired in 2002) on it!

    Now obviously we've written a very strongly worded letter (also faxed to them same day), and sent a copy of the letter the Treasurer received. We've pointed out that the current officers have been unchanged since 2004 and have been signing cheques regularly since then. The Treasurer is also asked to give the name of one of the other signatories when making transfers between accounts, and where the amount exceeds a certain threshold they call him back at his (registered) phone number as part of the authorisation process.

    Any suggestions what else we can do to expedite this? We have creditors to pay, so it's potentially quite serious.

    Incidentally I have heard this morning of a WI branch with exactly the same problem, so my guess is some kind of IT cockup (based on > 30 years working in IT :D). The accounts were originally with a UK 'high street' name which has been taken over by said bank - I did ask whether this could be anything to do with the transfer but they were adamant that this was not the case ...
     
  2. snoop51

    snoop51 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid were good with banks I believe! :D
     
  3. OP
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    BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    LOL yes that's plan B!
     
  4. Brian WH

    Brian WH MB Club Veteran

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    It is to do with the Transfer as they have picked up old files and run with those.

    Write to them again and re-explain your concerns in a polite way, and tell them that it is not resolved in two weeks the matter will be referred to the Banking Ombudsman. Also copy the letter to the Banking Ombudsman.

    Have you kept a copy of the bank mandate from 2004?
     
  5. mika

    mika Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No suggestions for current position but when you do get it sorted
    ...change banks !
     
  6. Londonscottish

    Londonscottish Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I work for an IT supplier and as you say it could well be have been caused by an IT-related **** up.

    When scanned images are concerned there's usually a content repository somewhere and a process flow engine over the top. The process engine manages changes (eg adding new signatories) and applies those changes in a controlled manner, including creating a link to an an image of a new signature.

    When the new signatory kicks off a transaction with the bank it's that image file that is pulled back so a comparison can be made.

    So obviously something has gone very wrong with the system. There may have been a system failure which has meant the bank switching to a back up copy of their system - which isn't up to date. Or alterntaively the main system has gone down and they've tried to rebuild by using historical records it but didn't rebuild it past a certain date for some reason.

    Whatever it is is must be pretty fundamental and surely will have affected hundreds or thousands of other users.

    Of course the front line staff don't necessarily know this (yet) and will be innocently protecting your trust's cash against what they would perceive to be attempted fraud.

    Log it with the ombudsman, tell your suppliers and hold firm - the bank will resolve this.

    I've heard of this sort of thing before first hand from a very well know bank.......
     
  7. tagnut

    tagnut Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Can you provide other evidence of your positions to get the bank to deal with you? With limited company for example directors are recorded at companies house. Don't know what sort of organisation you are chairman of but do you have similar evidence you could provide?

    Presumably you also have other documentation like cheque books, bank cards etc. You could take this into branch to help prove your case.

    As the bank has the current treasurer's address against the previous treasurer's details this is clearly a **** up and someone senior should be assisting you. If you don't get access to anyone who can help sharpish then as mentioned above once it all gets sorted switch banks.
     
  8. Londonscottish

    Londonscottish Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Good point - someone senior should be helping here. They are bound to know by now and should be throwing management at the problem.

    The case I am aware of that I mentioned above involved a bank updating a postcode database overnight (wrongly) which meant that loads of companies were locked out of their accounts the following morning. "Name? First lime of address? Postcode"....."Sorry sir, but I am unable to help you".......

    It often takes another 24 hours or so in these cases to back out the changes and restore the system - so in the meantime someone senior from their end should be on hand.
     
  9. Benzowner

    Benzowner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Write to them again asking them to check signatures on the previous say 50 checks and then explain to you why these were authorised for payment, when, quite clearly according to them, the signatures were incorrect. Then threaten them with the Banking Ombudsman for allowing unauthorised checks to be cleared. I am sure they will then listen. Good luck.
     
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  10. Bobby Dazzler

    Bobby Dazzler MB Club Veteran

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    Whilst it should not be used as a threat - only if issues cannot be reasonably resolved between the bank and customer - it's worth mentioning that you will involve the Ombudsman at an appropriate time.

    Banks do tend to sit up and listen when they hear the "O" word.
     
  11. OP
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    BTB 500

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    Many thanks for the suggestions guys.

    The organisation I chair is non-profit, although the accounts are held with the 'commercial' side of the bank (so the problem may not have affected as many accounts as if it happened on the 'personal' side). Obviously one of our concerns is damage to reputation etc. - it's not a nice experience for people we've paid to have a cheque bounce. We have told the bank we will be passing on any costs incurred by us or our creditors.

    I'm not sure whether we have copies of the mandate forms, but even if we do they could claim we'd never submitted them. I raised the point about signatures on past cheques, and they said that they may never have been checked before!

    Hopefully we will get it resolved soon ... and yes we will be seriously looking at changing bank afterwards!
     
  12. saorbust

    saorbust Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    My advice would be to present them with all the evidence to support the changes in the account signatories over the past 8 years, and then write politely something to the effect of 'To update your missing records'.

    Make a point of copying the bank's chairman, and the branch manager. State very clearly you know how easy it is to loose records, and you are more than happy to help them justify their clearance and processing of XXX cheque's etc over the past 6 years since their records are out of date.

    Close with 'On the basis of the above we assume it will no longer be an issue for us to issue cheques, and we hereby request you refund all associated charges with the refusal of payments in the past month. Furthermore we would like your confirmation that your record management processes have now been updated and are valid.'

    I'm pretty certain that would fix it within about say, 30 seconds ?

    Attach your letters of association, notifications made to companies house, companies house records and so forth. The banks have a legal duty to recognise change of ownership, but it does not follow that the owners are the account operating signatories. However as the owners of the company you can change things to that effect.

    If they refuse - then I would get the O involved, but I would also ask them to justify (politely) why they have accepted cheques for payment which would be considered fraudulent in their terms.

    PM me if you need more - I operate many accounts for a large corporate....
     
  13. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    We have joint credit cards issued by a bank (with a name not disimilar to a northern Spanish ferry port) and last week had credit refused on both cards by a supplier we phoned. On contacting the bank helpline we were asked the usual security questions and the three last numbers on our cards didn't match those they had on record. Obviously a fault has happened at their end cos we certainly didn't change our security numbers. Will they accept that the fault could possibly be with them? Not on your nellie they wont. Now they wont even speak to us. Idiots.
     
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  14. OP
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    BTB 500

    BTB 500 MB Club Veteran

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    That's interesting, as hypothetically speaking we could be talking about the same bank ... and the timescale is the same.
     
  15. Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That particular bank has had quite a bit of bad press recently. It seems that if they make a mistake, they do all in their power to make things worse.
    I've got a couple of savings accounts with them and wonder if my money is safe.
     
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  16. ringway

    ringway MB Club Veteran

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    You will be talking about the same bank!

    In a league table for complaints they are as far ahead of the others as Chelsea would be playing in the Conference League.

    I had only to read the first post to know which bank you were talking about. They are a shambles.

    Cheques paid to our company were returned as unbankable because this bank changed my company banking name! I had to wait for 2-3 weeks (and jump through hoop after hoop) before I could bank any cheques.

    After recently sending a batch of cheques to this bank I saw on our statement a deduction of £300.00. I asked why this was and was told I had failed to bank a cheque for the amount.

    There wasn't a cheque for £300 in the batch. However, there was a cheque for £1477.88 and I put it to the young lady that perhaps £1177.88 had been inadvertantly keyed by the bank.
    "No sir, that's not possible, you or we must have lost a cheque for £300". I asked to speak to a supervisor and after holding the line I was told that the supervisor agreed with the young lady I was speaking with, so there would be no point in the supervisor talking with me. :wallbash:

    After a protracted battle over liability of the missing £300 I was told (by a different bank employee) "We made an inputting error, by hitting the 1, key instead of the 4, key". DOH!

    This is the bank that sends out acknowledgements by post when a cheque over £1000 is banked. These acknowledgements reach the account holder sometimes days after the cheque has cleared. I know someone who worked for this bank who regularly pointed out that the acknowledgements were a waste of time, stationery and postage, but the practice continues to this day.

    Also, my surname which is used as part of the log-on process was (6, years ago) misspelled by this bank. I asked for this to be rectified but was told I'd just have to use it as it is..
    So now I log-on using the wrong surname.

    Thank goodness they didn't carry out my vasectomy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010
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  17. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    Bugger! :doh: Wondered why my kids all spoke Spanish.
     
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  18. OP
    OP
    BTB 500

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    So after nearly a week of arguing (they wouldn't even tell our Treasurer whether they had received his letter or not, because he wasn't named on the account :doh:) they have finally conceded that it was a problem with data conversion (transferring information from Alliance & Leicester). They have agreed to reimburse any costs incurred, pay a nominal 'compensation' amount, and write to any affected creditors confirming our solvency. I assume this problem has affected a number of other customers.

    Seems they're not having a good week as today they have also admitted that up to 35,000 people could have been sent details of other customers' transactions:

    BBC News - Santander admits statement glitch
     
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  19. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    [re: post #13 ]


    And we got a grovelling phonecall about an hour ago. Sorry for this and sorry for that and would we like new cards issued.
    They'd no answer when we told them we thought they were the worlds worst security risk and wouldn't be trusting them with our credit again.

    God! that felt good. :D



    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
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  20. Druk

    Druk Administrator Staff Member

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    Update.

    Courier delivered a hamper this morning :confused: and it turned out to be a goodwill effort on the part of S--------.
    No covering letter, just a compliment card expressing regret at their ----up.

    Wonder what will happen next? We'd cut up the cards and sent them back with a stinging letter.
     

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