Belfast Telegraph

Watchdog clears police in bank accounts closure row

By Joanne Sweeney

Police played no part in a bank's decision to close the accounts of one of its customers, an investigation by the Police Ombudsman's office has concluded.

The finding comes after a customer complained that he had received a letter from his bank telling him that he would have to close all his accounts within six weeks because of "inappropriate behaviour".

He said a bank employee, who he could not identify, had told him: "I should not be informing you this but it was the police that spoke with the bank and that's why we're closing your account."

The man said he believed police had provided the bank with "malicious" information about him.

A Police Ombudsman investigator obtained a copy of the letter from the bank, which stated: "We are writing to advise you that following a review of your account(s), we came to the decision that all of the accounts you hold with us needed to be closed. We are therefore giving you two months' notice of this in line with the general terms and conditions."

A bank representative said there had been no contact from police prior to the decision to close the accounts.

The bank also denied that a staff member had referred to police having played a role in the decision.

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