If your bank writes to you requesting action on your behalf, here are our recommendations;
- Do not ignore the request; if you are concerned that it may be a fraudulent letter contact your bank directly and ask. But be advised that potentially NO response from you can ultimately result in your account being closed.
- Once you are sure that the bank contact is genuine follow the instructions or contact the bank if you are unable to provide the requested information by the deadline, explain the situation and ask for assistance as necessary. If this does not work, complain to the bank, then contact the Channel Islands Financial Services Ombudsman for guidance;
Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO)
P O Box 114
Jersey, Channel Islands
When responding to your bank’s requests for information – keep copies of your letters, notes of conversations, dates and bank responses.
- Remember that a bank will never contact you by phone, email or letter to you to ask for your account passwords or your PIN number. If you get a call or email ‘out of the blue’ do not assume the telephone number or the email address, the caller may provide you to contact your bank is in fact your bank’s. The safest approach is for you to call your bank back on their general number (shown on the back of your debit or credit cards or on your statements). The bank’s call centre staff can transfer you to the appropriate bank department to resolve the matter.
- Ensure the bank has your up-to-date address and contact details so that you do not miss any important correspondence.
Other banks can be understandably hesitant to open a new account for you if they know your account at another bank has been closed.
Having your current account closed creates difficulties, for example with missed direct debits. Be mindful of course when setting up any new account to be vigilant that all your regular payments are set up and are not disrupted.
If your bank wants to close your account, they should give you sufficient time to make alternative arrangements. Be sure to ask for an extension, if you need more time.