Barclays closes down UK student’s bank account after Bitcoin trade

We have learned over the weekend from a report by Kyle Caldwell from UK’s Telegraph that a British student had his bank account closed down without explanation after a deposit to his account from a Bitcoin exchange was made. The student admitted someone could have made a fraudulent payment into his account and from there they ‘reviewed’ the account and made ‘a commercial decision’ to close it. However, the bank didn’t give the student the actual reason as to why they closed the account.

The Telegraph stated: “Charles Bartlett, a 17-year-old student, is still waiting for an explanation after being “sacked” by his bank earlier this year.” The report makes it out that this is not an isolated case and other banks have been active in closing accounts of those who have transactions coming from Bitcoin exchanges. Shutdown account owners are told to take up their case with UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service, in which you can find the complaint form by clicking here.

The report goes on to say that he only suspects that his buying and selling of Bitcoin is behind the bank’s decision. On February 19th, Mr. Bartlett had his account frozen and a week later, in a letter dated February 26th, Barclays told him that “we are unable to continue acting as your bankers.”

“The only change in how I was using my current account was when I was buying and selling Bitcoin online to try and make some money,” Mr. Bartlett said. “I was doing quite well, I made a small profit of 10pc, or £40 but then was unable to access my account online.”

The bank told him: “The activity on the account promoted a routine review of the account and a commercial decision to close your account was made.” The decision was upheld by an internal investigation.”

While this particularly story is lacking some details and clarity, the student said that he accepted that a fraudulent payment was made into his account from a Bitcoin exchange that he was using, which someone could have alerted the bank to, but he was still given no explanation. It still makes sense and is a wise decision to find out from your bank their policy on accepting deposits and withdrawals from Bitcoin exchanges, and to find out from the exchange as well, also look to only conduct business with a BTC exchange in your home country where the bank account is located to minimize any risks. While this case has a potential mistaken fraud element to it, it does report that other accounts were shutdown just due to the fact of having transactions from digital currency exchanges.

What is your experience transacting to and from Bitcoin exchange bank accounts? To read more details from this story, click here.

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