Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks – the final instalment

The irony of this advert is still not lost on me 😉 © Ricky Yates

The day after I wrote and published my previous post, I compiled another letter to Barclays, Leicester, pointing out to them what I wrote in that last post – that I cannot view their update to my complaint CRYX28K7KH because I have had no access to Barclays Online Banking since 27th August 2022 and that access requires a current debit card which I do not have.

Less than an hour after I returned home from sending that letter by registered post, my phone rang. The call was from a UK phone number unknown to my phone. After a brief message saying that the call might be recorded for quality control or training purposes, a female voice spoke saying it was Barclays Bank calling and could she speak to Mr Yates. There then followed a few security questions asking for my full name, date of birth and my address.

The lady then told me that Barclays had sent me an update to my complaint, ‘As you have probably seen.’ I rather pointedly replied that I had not and could not see it for the reasons outlined in the first paragraph of this post and the latter part of my previous post.

She then explained that Barclays had two reasons for not agreeing to transfer my money to my HSBC account. The first was the one that I had deduced. That the certified bank statement they had received, had the date of 6th September 2022, (the date Barclays unilaterally closed my account), making it more than three months after the date it was certified – 13th December 2022. It was actually sent to me on 14th November 2022 and I had already sent them a photocopy of the letter, with that date, that accompanied the bank statements.

The second reason was that my claim form had an incorrect unique reference number (URN). The correct URN was meant to have been sent to me in a letter sometime in late August, one of several letters they say they have sent which have never arrived. I do wonder if they were ever sent.

She then told me that in order to prove my address, they needed another bank statement or utility bill with my full address, that was less than three months old and had been sent to me through the post. This of course, would need to be certified by a Czech notary and, no doubt, the certification translated by an officially recognised translator. As I had not received the correct URN, they would send it to me again by post, for me to complete a new claim form with the correct URN, and then send it back to them. When I asked about sending the URN by registered post, the reply was, ‘Oh, we don’t do that’.

I responded by firmly pointing out that both mistakes were made by a trained member of Barclays Bank staff. The advisor I dealt with in their 2 High Street, Nottingham branch had stamped the bank statement and I’m fairly sure I showed him the accompanying letter. And the same advisor had found what they were now saying was the incorrect URN and had written it on the claim form. I have a photocopy of the claim form and you can see the different forms of handwriting. I filled out the details, but he filled in the URN.

Basically, she was telling me that I had to go to the trouble and expense of correcting these two mistakes. I very firmly responded that as a Barclays staff member had made the mistakes, it was Barclays responsibility to correct them, not mine! When she didn’t accept my argument, I asked if I could speak to someone more senior. She then promised that she would do so and phone me back the following day.

Therefore on Wednesday 29th March, I kept my mobile phone very close to me, in the expectation of receiving the promise second phone call. It did not materialise. The following day, I had another appointment with my GP in Prague. I was sitting on the train at Decín hl.n., awaiting its departure when my phone rang. It was the same lady from Barclays complaints department. After once more successfully confirming that she was talking the correct person, she told me that she had spoken to someone more senior and that they had agreed to transfer my money as I had requested, three and a half months ago, subject to some further security questions. I had difficulty restraining myself from singing the Hallelujah Chorus down the phone.

The further security questions included, what was the last payment into the account and what was a regular payment into the account? The answer to both was my Church of England pension. She also wanted confirmation of the full details of my HSBC account into which I was requesting payment. Fortunately, I had my HSBC debit card in my wallet with all the details on the back. With the questioning successfully completed, I was promised I would receive a letter in confirmation of all of this and that the money would be transferred within the next fifteen working days.

Whether I will ever receive the promised letter is an open question. During this whole saga, Barclays claim to have sent me at least five different letters but I have only ever received two. The initial letter of 10th February 2022, telling me to close my account or they would do it for me. And the letter of 14th November 2022, enclosing the printed bank statements I had requested. All my letters to them have been received, because I sent them by registered post.

Likewise, why it should take up to fifteen working days to transfer money from one UK bank to another is beyond me. I am tempted to ask whether they do it using a carrier pigeon. But I will be regularly checking my HSBC account online after Easter, to see whether the transfer has finally taken place and that this is the final instalment of the saga. As I said at the beginning of my first post, one more wonderful ‘Benefit of Brexit’.

PS – Despite the date of this post, I assure readers of my blog that this not an April Fool’s joke 😉 And yes – I have actually managed to write and publish two posts only five days apart 🙂

6 comments to Brexit, Barclays & HSBC Banks – the final instalment

  • pauleen bang

    Dear Ricky
    What a woeful tale. You should get compensation from Barclays for everything you have been put through, but I doubt you will.
    I will be waiting with baited breath for your next blog post after Easter and hoping that the this really was the final installment.
    You have the patience of a saint.
    Happy Easter.
    Love Pauleen

    • Ricky

      Hello Pauleen! A woeful tale is a very accurate description. I very much doubt if I will get any compensation and, if the promised letter actually arrives, whether there will be any form of apology. I too, will be waiting with baited breath, until the money actually appears in my HSBC account. As previously in Nottingham in December, it is only a verbal assurance with nothing in writing as yet. So I will only truly believe it if it actually happens. You are kind with your compliment but my patience has been worn extremely thin by this ongoing saga. I reciprocate your Easter greetings.

  • Janet

    Although you did make a couple of mistakes, you are quite right to bounce the burden of checking properly back to the Barclays staff. There is such a thing as the Financial Ombudsman who could chase compensation. I have resorted to them twice on issues unrelated to Brexit and had redress.

    • Ricky

      Hello Janet! If you look back at my previous post – the third instalment – you will see in the first comment, that my sister June made the same suggestion. You will also see in my reply, that I threatened Barclays with the Financial Ombudsman & I think doing so finally forced them to act more pro-actively and phoning me. Whether, once the money finally arrives in my HSBC account, I can apply for compensation, I’ll consider at that point. I’m also interested to see what will be in the promised letter, that is, if it ever arrives 😉

  • Sean Mccann

    Hi Ricky,
    Delighted to read another update from financial limbo land and I really hope your expectations of a successful conclusion of the Barclays saga aren’t dashed yet again. Fingers crossed ?.

    Meanwhile I want to wish you a very Happy Easter Ricky, Vesele Velikonoce.
    God bless,

    • Ricky

      Thank you, Sean,
      I too, will only believe that I have achieved a successful conclusion when my money does appear in my HSBC account. I shall be checking daily from early next week. Thank you for your Easter greetings which I reciprocate.