THE parents of six children in Eldene were shocked when a bank closed their accounts – and claim it was without warning.

Marie O’Sullivan fears she and her partner David will have no way to pay for food or their utility bills after suddenly being denied access to their money. 

Her account was the first to shut and then her partner’s was closed the next day.

Marie said: “I have wages and child benefits that I can’t withdraw and we have no-one to rely on for support. 

“We do a food shop every two weeks and were about to do the next one when this happened, now we can’t buy any food.

“Four of the kids and my husband are isolating with coronavirus, which adds more expense, so this is another problem to deal with. As long as the kids are fed, I don’t mind going without but it’s not a nice situation to be in.

“I’ve called the bank several times and just been told to wait for a letter – that’s not good enough, what are we supposed to do? 

“I don’t understand how they can do this to us with no warning or without giving any reason.

“We could deal with one account being temporarily closed but both at the same time is making things so difficult.

“I transfer money between mine and my husband’s accounts sometimes, and we get random checks before making transactions now and again, but there’s nothing fraudulent, I really can’t think why this has happened.

“Trying to sort this out or change banks will take time, and until then we’ve got nothing.”
Marie made a complaint to NatWest and received a form to fill in which could release her funds, if successful, though it could take up to two months to process.

The bank defended its actions but could not reveal the exact reason for the account closures.

A NatWest spokesperson said: “We have clear legal and regulatory responsibilities and work around the clock to protect our customers and accounts, and ensure they are operated in line with relevant laws and regulations. 

“We take these responsibilities very seriously and will act if we detect any activity that falls outside those controls. We would never close an account without good reason.”