The bank admitted that they did not tell customers about the new policy, implemented in November, and the bank told one customer that they did not need to pre-notify any customers.
Customers were prevented from withdrawing sums ranging from £5,000 to £10,000, according to the BBC.
“When we presented them with the withdrawal slip, they declined to give us the money because we could not provide them with a satisfactory explanation for what the money was for,” Stephen Cotton said to BBC Money Box. “They wanted a letter from the person involved.”
Cotton gave up on his attempt to take out £7,000 to pay off a loan from his mother, opting to just withdraw £3,000. The clerks told him that he could not withdraw another £3,000 that day.
Two others told Money Box that they were prevented from withdrawing cash. One man named Peter was told he would have to provide receipts to prove he was going to pay for travel and a woman was told she had to provide a quote from the contractor she was going to pay.
“We ask our customers about the purpose of large cash withdrawals when they are unusual and out of keeping with the normal running of their account,” the bank said. “Since last November, in some instances we may have also asked these customers to show us evidence of what the cash is required for.”
While the bank says they are no longer going to make it “mandatory for customers to provide documentary evidence for large cash withdrawals,” they said they still reserve the right to ask questions.
Douglas Carswell, the Conservative MP for Clacton, told the BBC that the practice is troubling, as it treats customers like children.
“In a sense your money becomes pocket money and the bank becomes your parent,” Carswell said.
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