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ombudsman news

issue 140

March/April 2017

I'm a student money adviser - and each term I hear from a handful of students whose bank accounts have been closed. They're not often given a reason. Can the ombudsman help?

In the previous issue of ombudsman news, we explained that people aged under 30 are particularly vulnerable to getting caught up in certain types of fraud. When we hear from young people whose accounts have been closed, it sometimes turns out they've unwittingly acted as money mules - allowing criminals to use their accounts in return for a cash payment. And the fact their bank has put a fraud marker on their records means they can't get an account elsewhere.

In practice, there may be a range of reasons why a bank has closed someone's account. If a student you've talked to feels they've been treated unfairly - or just doesn't know what's going on - we can help unravel what's happened. As our case studies highlight, in some cases we've investigated, the bank has later agreed that they shouldn't have put a fraud marker against their customer's name.

So please let any students with concerns know that they can get in touch with us using the contact details below. And if you need any more support from us, please contact our helpline for businesses, consumer advisers and other people working to resolve complaints.

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    ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

    The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.