The Daily Telegraph
Debanked by Barclays
Sir – I read about Barclays closing the bank account of the Orchard Surgery in Royston (report, November 18). It did the same to our company’s account, without offering any explanation as to how or why it had made this decision.
The company – incorporated in 1938 – buys then rents flats and houses to private individuals in England. It was started by my great aunt and passed down to me and my sister.
The best the bank says it can do is to carry out an inquiry, which will take up to eight weeks. If a mistake has been made, we might then be able to open a new account.
Barclays says it will send us a cheque, made payable to the company, which we will have no means of banking unless we can open a new company account. In the meantime, our tenants can’t pay their rent and we can’t pay suppliers, including builders who are being engaged to carry out much-needed work.
Seaford, East Sussex
Sir – It is not just Barclays that is closing accounts. HSBC recently wrote to a long-standing business customer I know, giving them a date in December when their accounts would be closed, in the name of “safeguarding”.
The customer is a small familyowned business, which employs 40 staff and maintains substantial credit balances. It has banked with HSBC for 40 years and conducts all its business in the local area.
The madness of this is that the company successfully underwent a similar “safeguarding” process only two years ago, and nothing about the set-up, ownership or nature of the business has changed in the interim.
There was a time when banks competed to acquire good customers; now they seem to be outbidding each other to do the opposite.