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ABSA Bank / account restrictions / holds

1 JOHANNESBURG, South Africa
Contact information:

I have been a customer for 26 years (17/01/1992) when I opened a savings account. To my disappointment I have now discovered that I am just a number, just another account holder.

On 14/12/2018 I discovered that I could no longer use my internet banking app as I kept getting error messages stating "restrictions on account". I phoned the [protected] number and was referred to the branch.

I went to Absa RiverSquare and was informed that there was "insolvent/liquidated" hold placed on my account on 13/12/2018. According to the customer services clerk no notes or comments on "CARD" to who and why the hold was placed.

My banking background:
First savings account opened 17/01/1992.
Due to bad business decisions I had to liquidate myself and my own business. Liquidation court order date 21/08/2013.
I opened a Solution Savings account on 12/05/2015 as my bank charges were very high.
12/10/2017 I was OFFERED a cheque account on which I also was granted an overdraft of R25000.00
11/01/2017 I was pre-approved for a revolving loan for R50000.00 which I used for my daughters University Fees.
02/02/2018 I was pre-approved for a personal loan R77635.00

Suddenly my account has restrictions on and after spending 2 hours in the banking and been referred to the "red phone" I am not assisted. I get the number of the CEO complaint line and speak to Paul Duncan who assists me and gets the insolvent/liquidated hold off my account. He informs me that as its long weekend I will get a full response/explanation to what exactly is happening on my account on 18 December 2018.

On 21 December 2018 while shopping for our vacations goods I try and transact via the internet banking app and once again I have restrictions on my account. I immediately phone the CEO complaint line and ask to speak to Paul Duncan.
He informs me that the insolvent/liquidated hold has been placed on my account and that I need to visit the branch IMMEDIATELY to gain access to my salary that has been paid in. He also advised me that the insolvency department has informed him that I need to open a Solution account and transfer all the money to the Solution account. He then tells me to visit the branch as this Solution account I am talking about is linked to my portfolio and it shouldn't be. He says that the consultant who opened it in 2015, opened it incorrectly as it should not be linked to the entire portfolio??? This is now MY problem. I am on my way to have a long deserved vacation and he is telling me to visit the branch due to some one else incompetency.

Not caring that we are on our way on vacation he also informs me that once at the branch I must call again and the insolvency hold will be lifted just to be placed back and that I need to either open another account or transfer the money to another account not linked to my portfolio.

My complaint:
Why when I was offered a cheque account and about a month ago upgraded to Premium Banking was the insolvency of 2013 not a problem? (There should be a recording of the acceptance of the upgrade)
Why was the insolvency not a problem when offered the overdraft of R25000, revolving loan of R50000 and personal loan of R77635? Was this approved to meet targets and the insolvency just ignored because now I am denied the use of my cheque account because of a insolvency hold.

Rehabilitation costs +/- R40 000 which I cannot afford at this moment, thus not done yet. No rehabilitation order was requested when the cheque account overdraft, revolving loan or personal loan was "sold".

If the insolvent/liquidation is NOW important to ABSA will the debt incurred be written off even though there is a salary paid into the cheque account every month. The returned debit orders was due to a job change and I only get my salary by the 7th monthly but I do get my salary. Struggled 3 months to get my personal loan payment date changed and still awaiting bank charges to be credited.

Is ABSA getting rid of "old" customers by placing holds/restrictions on their accounts and forcing them to open accounts at the competitors? Why are credit facilities been approved and why are customers who have insolvent/liquidated holds pre-approved for credit facilities.

Why after 4 years after being liquidated was I offered credit and now during the 5th year I am refused to use my cheque account?

What will my consumer right be and what will the banking Ombudsman's response be? Is ABSA being fair? Why now?

I can be denied credit in the future, but all I want is to keep my cheque account and portfolio as is and not have to fight for banking services that was offered and not requested.

Dec 30, 2018

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