Last year Monzo closed my account without giving any reason. I never had my account with any financial institution closed before that so I was really annoyed but just took it on the chin and moved on.
I was with Monzo since it’s early beta days and also still a crowdfunding investor.
Now with all this news about a politician getting his account closed by a niche bank and getting information via Subject Access Request (SAR) reminded of my frustration so I have done my own SAR with Monzo today.
I’ll share my experience here and would like to hear your thoughts on this. Have you done a SAR with a bank and what was your experience?
I’ve never done one but I look forward to reading how you get on. Hopefully you learn something helpful.
I think the outcome of everything that’s gone on is pretty good for bank customers all around though.
Most companies are aware that SARs are fairly common and record fairly bland info.
You are likely to get some statement data, background info like affordability scores and some dry comments.
However, it’s free and you can waste some of Monzo’s admin time like it wasted yours by closing the account.
Once you have your SAR you can burn more time going to the FOS to try and get answers
You’d think they wouldn’t keep getting caught with their pants down when folks actually put in these requests then. As has just happened with NatWest, and Monzo fairly recently too.
In my experience doing SARs there’s no real information that they record/disclose other than stuff you’re already privy to. Most of the closure stuff will be done automatically or communicated via flags etc
Unless you’re HNW/Private client and have a relationship manager it’s unlikely they’ll record much at all.
I’ve held accounts with most of the major High Street banks over the last ten years and I’ve ‘cancelled’ most of them out at one point or another. I hope none of them approach me with a SAR asking why I dumped THEM!
Seriously though, CASS sort of allows consumers to do exactly that without giving them a reason. Mine is borne completely out of making free cash out of them, and in the odd case, because the bank themselves are utter carp.
A SAR is a request for personal data and supplementary information, not some magic “find out why they closed your account” backdoor.
There are exemptions, too, so I expect a note saying “Topsy 2 is a fraudster*” would be exempt from disclosure. We-know-who only got the dossier as it’s general discussion relating to him which most everyday people won’t be important enough for.
*just an example, and does not represent my personal view or my expectation of facts. Please don’t sue me.
To be honest, I don’t expect to see the reason why my account was closed. I was bit annoyed at the time because I had no crypto or anything else going on which I could think of as a reason but I quickly got over the annoyance and moved on.
Now, it’s just a curiosity mostly to see what they will be willing to share because I know there is some information they can hold back. I have requested them not to include bank statements or transection history because that’s not really important to me.
I’ll be interested to see what sort of information they return.
I made a SAR to an insurance company last year, and all they returned were empty audio files and that there was no internal or external communication with any of my details (not even the email they sent acknowledging the SAR). I was a bit surprised, considering I’d been dealing with their complaints department for months.
The FOS ruled in my favour over the original dispute, so I didn’t bother pursuing the matter with the ICO.
That 36 page document they had on Nigel Farage was quite something, and completely toppled their PR spin. They had full control of the narrative and no one was questioning things up until that point. And within days it resulted in regulatory change and they had to issue a public apology.
The recent Monzo one over the slack comments which they got a slapping on the wrist for from the data watchdog too wasn’t a good luck for them either.
I’m not that familiar with SARs, or if you have to approach them in a certain way to get those sorts of details, but I would be surprised if there’s nothing on record that doesn’t indicate why the account was possibly closed.
Same with me. Monzo compensated me to close the complaint with £250 I think but didn’t offer to open the account and I didn’t want to have account with them after the fiasco anyway,.
I did a SAR with Lexis Nexis because they were carrying out numerous soft searches on my Transunion datas. From the over 100+ pages of information they sent me, there was too much I had not shared with any UK financial instutution and I was no aware they had such infomation. They had information on my previously used social media accounts, several email addresses I had used, several phone numbers including those from outside UK, information about my education background, several addresses outside UK, media lionks, links to Uni articles where my names appeared, graduation lists , uni admission data, employment outside UK, and a lot more.
The reason they gave me for the searches was for insurance companies that were assessing for risk but these searches were run every month without me running any quotes. From that time it reduced, i only saw them again last year October when it was time to renew car insurance.
I guess if one feels they need one, let them go ahead and request for it.
Sunak announced it yesterday that banks will have to give 90 days’ notice of account closures, give a reason and allow customers to appeal.
Won’t apply to AML cases surely?
Banks are given court orders requiring them to not disclose investigations, but normally accounts only get frozen (not closed) until an investigation has ran through.
I think that the new longer notice period for account closures, a requirement to give a real reason for closure and an appeals process is a good outcome. Hopefully that process will involve being able to escalate to a third party if your appeal isn’t upheld by the bank (and that third party has the ability to stop the bank from closing the account if the closure is in contravention of the account T&Cs).
Can I ask that the topic return to its original principle rather than developing the high profile case example and all that goes with it?
I’ve removed a couple of posts accordingly.
I agree it’s a good settlement, but only if the FCA/FoS have a specific team for handling this type of complaints. I’ve never had anything reviewed within 3 months.