Nat West Bank / NatWest account sign up scam
Here’s a story that shows just how much NatWest values its clients and their “best interests”.
We are a small but prosperous company who until recently banked with NatWest for over three years. During this time there was a huge number of transactions, but our balance sat at around £100K.
During our time with NatWest we did not request an overdraft or credit card and we did not use any lending facilities.
Recently we had an issue with our mandate; an ex director was on the mandate and we wanted to remove him. He was no longer in the picture: he had left the company 18 months prior, was no longer a shareholder and no longer had anything to do with the company.
The mandate’s small print states that NatWest should act upon its client’s instructions to regulate the mandate. The client, in this example, was of course our company, as represented by our board of directors. Duly following procedure, the board of directors instructed NatWest to remove this ex director from our mandate.
Here is where the trouble started. NatWest refused to co-operate. The ex director – who, if you’ll remember, has no financial or legal involvement with the company – was nowhere to be found, and NatWest therefore refused to assist.
NatWest then froze the company’s bank account. Yes, this small company whose livelihood depends on having constant and immediate cashflow. The bank’s reasoning? NatWest would not take instructions from the company on suspicion of suspicious activities. They told us they “have to look at the best interests of the company.” That company being, of course, us.
You might say NatWest was acting out of caution; surely a simple phone call would clear everything up, right? Wrong. We tried calling our bank manager – our calls were never returned. We even called the regional director – no joy. We couldn’t even get our appointment.
And NatWest’s response to the company’s frantic attempts to resolve the matter and restore our account? “We have to look at the best interests of the company.”
These same “best interests” resulted in NatWest taking more than four weeks to finally unfreeze the account and allow the company to operate freely. During this time, unable to access the £80K working capital and so unable to pay its staff, its creditors and unable to operate normally, the company almost went bankrupt.
Ultimately, NatWest’s “best interests” caused near bankruptcy, enormous stress and ultimately, a move to another bank.
As recent experience with our new bank has shown us, NatWest’s lack of commercial acumen and appalling customer services is NOT representative of all UK banks. If it was, my money would be stashed firmly under my pillow.
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