UK Student: ‘Barclays Closed Down My Bank Account After Bitcoin Trade’

Barclays closed down a 17-year-old student’s account after the digital currency trading.

Photo: Kai Hendry/Flickr

Photo: Kai Hendry/Flickr

On February 19,  Charles Bartlett, 17,  had his account closed and he is still waiting for a reasonable explanation. However, on February 26, the young enterpreneur received a letter from Barclays which read that the bank was unable to  continue collaborating.  Moreover, according to the letter, Mr.Bartlett could withdraw his money(around £400). Still, when he tried to do it, his funds were frozen.

Mr Bartlett, who is going to study computer science, started trading Bitcoin via online exchanges on February 14. After 5 days Barclays blocked his account.

“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,” The Telegraph reports Mr. Bartlett’s words.  “I was doing quite well – I made a small profit of 10pc, or £40 – but then was unable to access my account online.”

“I know a bit about this area as I hope one day to become an entrepreneur. I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong and, if anything, I was being entrepreneurial and taking the initiative as a student,” adds Mr. Bartlett.

The Telegraph says that after Bartlett’s appealing against the decision, the bank told that a £50 “fraudulent payment” to his account on February 19 was behind its freezing.

In addition to that, the bank stated: “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, reports the Telegraph.

However, Barclays apologised for saying that Mr Bartlett could withdraw his money while the investigation was being held. The bank paid £50 blaiming a “staff error”.

“To sum this whole situation up, someone made a fraudulent payment into my account and from there they ‘reviewed’ my account and made ‘a commercial decision’ to close it. But what I am still not happy about is that they still haven’t given me an actual reason as to why they closed the account, and I have a feeling they never will.”

Well, actually, Barclays’ CEO Antony Jenkins’ words at the Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference in London seem natural and explain a lot of things. He warned that the “banking sector has not yet felt the ‘full disruptive force’ of technology – but it will.”

Still, Telegraph Money tried to investigate and asked Barclays whether its decision to close down the account was because of the Bitcoin transactions made by the young entrepreneur, a spokesman didn’t answer that particular question saying: “We cannot provide any further information on this occasion regarding the reasons for closure. The decision to close an account is never taken lightly. This decision was carefully considered and subject to our strict internal review process.”

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