Fair point, however, although they’re only approximations, the figures he quotes don’t seem to unrealistic.
I don’t really have an opinion on Fintechs closing accounts, I use Monzo as my main and will do until I’m given a reason not too. I find it interesting though because in my personal life I know more people who have had their accounts closed by high street banks than Fintechs.
I signed up in August 2016 but genuinely cant remember what they have ever asked me for, I don’t even remember upgrading from prepaid to current, I know I didn’t switch completely until a while after the current account was born but I don’t remember the initial upgrade
I remember receiving an email, but doing some googling, they did it through an in app prompt too:
They wanted tax residency and national insurance like N26 and Atom did.
According to their FAQ they need this stuff to comply with regulations. So not collecting this stuff during sign up was absolutely an oversight on their part. It’s because of this that I still wonder if some of those who had their account closed is the result if ignoring the requests for this information.
This is entire supposition on my part, so please no one view it as anything other.
I wonder whether not having a fully verifiable source of income can lead to sudden account closures? If I take my own and my Wife as an example with Starling, we both have a regular monthly income clearly identified as coming from Government. There are I’m assuming, plenty of customers in the fintech banking area who don’t have a regular verifiable source of income and perhaps this along with irregular payments from different sources, just raises flags?
Furthermore, and let’s be just a little honest here, if you sit down and read through lots of threads about account closures, many of the complaints do seem very poorly constructed and some do err on the unbelievable. I’m not saying they’re all lying, but I’m also not convinced that there’s a 100 percent pile of truth in every complaint either
The message in that screenshot is appalling in the usual ‘Monzo asks 10 year olds to be their copywriters’ kind of way.
“We have the right to do this as part of our terms and conditions” – whilst true, it just sounds cold and uncaring; not at all the image Monzo like to project
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any more information”. This is pure bullshit. I know it, they know it, everyone knows it. And it’s a terrible sentence as it implies that they don’t actually know why they closed the account
The only thing you can do is use a different “sacrificial” account, at a bank you don’t care about, as a layer of protection. However, this doesn’t really work as unless you also have some level of regular activity then using an account in this way would, in itself, be considered suspicious. It’s a catch 22.
Probably, with gig economy work and the like. It’s generally a younger customer base at fintechs, and they are statistically most likely to fall into this group.
Absolutely, and for all their blog posts on simple language and being clear to customers, it couldn’t be worse!
This is another area where they are totally unwilling to even countenance feedback, though, so nothing can be done. I remember getting in to a spat on their community once about how what they called “simple language” could actually be unclear to the majority of customers, as they were removing industry-standard terms in favour of “simpler” language. I was told simpler is always better, even if it is then more ambiguous and general in meaning. Total group-think, in that they couldn’t see the flaws in their ideas since they were their own ideas and clear to them. And don’t get me started on frauded!
I know it will never happen but I would absolutely love for one of these banks to lay the smackdown on one of these threads and give detailed responses and reasons for why they have closed someone down who “aint done nothing wrong”
Agreed, all banks should just use plain language that everyone will understand such as:
“Sorry, we’ve closed your account. We could tell you why, but the law prevents us from doing so. Feel free to complain to the Ombudsman should you so wish. We will not return your funds until we have completed our investigations. We do not have a timeline for this”