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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am a UK national, i have been working and living in south

Customer Question

I am a UK national, i have been working and living in south American as an ex-pat resident 1994 2001 Venezuela - 2001 to present in Brazil
I have banked with Barclays since 1979 with a premier account offshore. During early 2003 i invested 250 k sterling with Barclays at their prompting through my relationship manager at the bank in St Helier Jersey. a few years ago this bank froze my account claiming i needed to supply proof of ex-pat residence and proof of identity. No waring no nothing just account frozen . My barclays relationship manage claimed to know nothing of this action.
I supplied every thing required and the accounts opened again.
Feb 2014 i received a letter stating that Barclays could no longer continue with my investments with them. due to i live in Brazil and this country they no longer do business with. I contacted my relationship manager to ask what was happening and he explained that my investment was frozen from this date and Barclays was waiting on my instructions as to where to transfer the funds. He did offer to reinvest with Barclays but in the UK. He then informed me that as well as Barclays could not continue with investments they could also not continue with any of my accounts that was held with them last 36 years. Since that time my investment funds are just sitting there not working. Due to Barclays reneging on my custom. iI opened an offshore account with HSBC in St Helier. I have tried on several occasion to transfer the funds from Barclays into my new bank and to date just keep getting the run around.
The last staw was i sent an encashment form to them on advice from relationship manager with proof of residence and identity. notorized by British consular in Rio and Mayer Brown Lawyer from Rio. Just before Xmas via fedex. No response from Barclays of receipt nothing Two days ago i received at my UK mailing address another notification asking of what to do with the funds and asking of identity and residence in Brazil.
Please advise what are my legal options to get my money removed from Barclays and into my new bank also do i have any legal recourse over Barclays dropping me afetr 36 years of business without warning.
R.G. Douglas
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question .
Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am ok to wait but how long do you antisapate before i get some sort of advise.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
We will continue to look Professional to assist you.
I'm afraid JustAnswer cannot guarantee a time but most questions are answered in a timely manner.
Thank you patience,
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
What is the value of the investments at this date?
Did you sign a banking mandate with Barclays?
Do you have another bank in Jersey you can transfer the funds to? Can you calculate what loss you have suffered?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Value of the investment in 2014 when the account was frozen is 400K sterling

I do not know what a banking mandate is

no i cannot calculate how much was lost

Yes i have another bank in Jersey

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
I will write a response with some practical advice and a suggestion on how to proceed.
This may take me a little while so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away.
Kind regards
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
I have considered this carefully and I can give you the following suggestion:
- The first thing you have to do, if you are going to make any claim against Barclays is try and calculate what your losses, i.e lost investment opportunity, cost of moving etc;
- Secondly even if you have a proven contractual claim against the bank for (i) breach of their terms and conditions or (ii) breach of the banking mandate you have to as a matter of law mitigate your losses - this means you have stop any further loss of investment opportunity - on that basis I would move banks as soon as possible. I note that the bank a refusing to transfer the funds so I will deal with this below;
- What I suggest you do is the following - instruct a solicitor in Jersey to (i) verify your ID (ii) write to the bank - it must come from a solicitor otherwise the bank will continue to ignore you unless they know you have been properly advised. The solicitor should put the bank on notice of the following:
1. You are suffering loss as a result of the banks actions;
2. They are stopping you from mitigating your losses by not allowing a transfer the money to a new bank;
3. You now have a regulated professional who has verified your ID and business affairs;
4. Say if they do not release the money you reserve the right to pursue them additional losses incurred.
The rationale behind this is the bank are probably complying with anti money laundering obligations. This mirrors a very famous case in the UK called Shah v HSBC and if you root into Barclays reasoning you will probably find they are not to dissimilar as to what is going on with you.
Ultimately the bank will have to prove that ever reason they chose to freeze your account, they were acting reasonably and in accordance with the law and their terms and conditions.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards