Innocent UK customers are being treated like criminals by banks due to crude and ill-considered approaches to fraud prevention. Individuals and organisations are having their accounts frozen or closed. Worse still, people of African and Asian descent may be disproportionately targeted because those countries are thought to be higher risk.
Mohammad Rahman suffered months of stress and exhaustion trying to gain access to money he had been awarded in a court settlement. ''The court settlement was supposed to make life easier for me given that my disability restricts my movement and causes me constant pain, but it's had the opposite effect because of the hell Barclays have put me through,'' he said.
The Financial Services Consumer Panel, who represent consumer interests in financial policy, says the law should be changed to ensure the interests of customers can't be overlooked. Panel member Caroline Barr said: ''Barclays can behave as though it has no duty of care towards this customer because, in law, it has none. Financial Services and Markets Act says firms should 'treat customers fairly'. The panel believes the Act should be amended to specify what constitutes a 'reasonable' duty of care to ensure banks act in the best interests of their customers.''
Please sign this petition to demand that the UK government update The Financial Services and Markets Act to clarify that a bank's 'reasonable' duty of care means acting in the best interests of customers. If enough of us sign, the government will have to address the issue.
The UK government:
UK banks are currently able to freeze and close the accounts of innocent customers as part of crude attempts to crack down on fraud.
The Financial Services Consumer Panel says that this is able to happen because the Financial Services and Markets Act does not effectively protect customer interests, and as such it should be updated to clarify what 'reasonable' duty of care to customers entails.
We ask the same.