Though it is not for the first time that a bank has suspended a bank account of a user for Bitcoin trading, this time, the case of Charles Bartlett, a 17-year-old student and aspiring entrepreneur, is making headlines in a lot of newspapers and online portals. The student says that he is still waiting for an explanation after being “sacked” by his bank earlier this year.
In a lot of cases earlier the banks cited the sacking as a “commercial decision” to close their account. Bartlett informs that On February 19 he had his account frozen and a week later, in a letter dated February 26, Barclays told him that they are unable to continue acting as his bankers.
Though no explanation has been given by Barclays, Bartlett suspects that his buying and selling of “Bitcoin” is behind the bank’s decision. For a lot of banks and even the governments around the world, Bitcoin is still a controversial as they think it is being used for money laundering and contraband activities.
The Barclays communicated to Bartlett in the letter that he could withdraw his funds, around £400, but when he visited a branch was told the money was still frozen. Interestingly, banks tend to offer no explanation and customers who ask for one are brushed off and told to take their grievance to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Thus, it looks like Bartlett is unlikely ever to find out why he became one of the youngest people in Britain to be told by his bank, Barclays, to take his business elsewhere. Nonetheless, he appealed against the decision from the bank and eventually received a reply that a £50 “fraudulent payment” to his account on February 19 was behind its freezing.
Still Waiting for Explanation from the Banker
His banker also said that the activity on the account promoted a routine review of the account and a commercial decision to close his account was made. However, he claims that the only change in how he was using his current account was when he was buying and selling Bitcoin online to try and make some money.
Bartlett also says that he was doing quite well and even made a small profit of 10pc, or £40 – but then was unable to access his account online. Looks like he won’t get respite even from the British Bankers’ Association, which says where crime is suspected banks can give only limited explanations to customers because they have an obligation not to “tip off” suspected criminals.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org