"Bank made me feel like a criminal" - mum locked out of account by NatWest for two weeks

"Bank made me feel like a criminal" - mum locked out of account by NatWest for two weeks

By Roland Sebestyen | 22/04/2022

'Bank made me feel like a criminal' - mum locked out of account by NatWest for two weeks
Chelsea Cairns who had her NatWest bank account frozen, pictured with daughter Poppy.

 

A SINGLE mum said she was left feeling “humiliated” and “like a criminal” after her bank froze her accounts without explanation.

Chelsea Cairns (29) said she had been forced to rely on a helping hand from friends for two weeks after she was locked out by NatWest.

She said the bank had still not given her any explanation — and they failed to respond to our requests for comment.

Chelsea said she had tried and failed to log into her account on March 16.

“I called NatWest and they wouldn’t tell me what had happened, saying I had to go to the branch,” she said.

“There, they told me I had a ‘stop marker’ on my account and they would be in touch in due course.

“I was left there with no money at all.

“I told them I had a child and I was a foster carer and I needed money.

“They basically said I would have to ask my friends and family to support me.

“I said: ‘That’s fair enough for you to say that but what if they are not in the position to help me?’

“I felt humiliated.

“I was crying because I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was an absolute nightmare.”

Chelsea, of Greasbrough, said she had received no explanation from NatWest for the freeze — or notification of her account being unlocked.

“I hadn’t heard from them at all when a few weeks later, I checked my bank account I saw my money was there, as they had unlocked it,” she said.

“I took all my money out very quickly and started a new account somewhere else.

“I had been getting letters constantly saying I was missing direct debits but I couldn’t access my bank account.

“Last week, I got a letter from NatWest saying they were closing all of my accounts, including my little daughter’s saving account.

“It is weird because I’ve never had any debt, I’ve never missed any payment in my entire life.

“I’ve got a mortgage which I pay every single month.”

Chelsea is not the only customer to suffer the same nightmare fate — one  Facebook group named “NatWest CLOSED down my ACCOUNT” has more than 6,000 members made up of past and present customers who had a similar story to share.

She said: “It’s been awful. I would like some explanation because they made me feel as if I was some kind of criminal.”

NatWest did not respond to a request for comment.