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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10226
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I recently changed from a Sole Trader to a Limited company

Customer Question

I recently changed from a Sole Trader to a Limited company and needed to change my bank account with Barclays. They mis informed me to start with by saying they could just change the name. They then told me I had to write in after waiting two weeks. After another few weeks they told me I had to go into branch to open a new account as they could not just change the name. I waiting two weeks for an appointment and then went in with all the required paperwork. It then took 6 weeks, when it should be 5-10 working days as the business manager did not process anything. It then took another two weeks to be able to use the account after my complaint. All the time I waited I could not process any cheques and this had a massive impact on business and my reputation as I had no money to operate with, I even had to ask my clients to purchase their own products for me to install as I could not purchase them. I am now sat at home with time to write to you as my business is just about finished after trying to build it up over 9 years all as a knock on effect of what happened and my clients losing faith in me. The bank compensated me with the first mis information and repaid charges, they then offered me compensation for the second batch of errors which I told them it was not good enough, the second tier complaints team actually offered me less than level one complaints. I refused the compensation but they said it would go into my account anyway as this is all they could do and if I wanted to take it further I could go through the Ombudsmen. I haven't done this as I would rather seek legal advise as myself and now my family are struggling to recover from these errors. I feel immense pressure and I am now constantly stressed, I am taking medication for depression anyway and struggling to cope with the whole situation.
Is this something I should pursue via a legal route or would I just have to go to the Ombudsmen?
Your advise would be helpful
Kind regards
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Some bank staff really do not know what day of the week it is although I’m certain when it’s Friday and they’re about to have the weekend off, they instantly become aware.

You can of course sue the bank for breach of contract but the litigation is likely to be long and drawnout and could easily last 12 months or longer. In addition, the bank may decide they no longer want your business so it’s always worthwhile looking for another bank at the same time.

This kind of litigation is expensive and risky and do remember that the bank have unlimited funds to defend any legal action you bring.

For that reason, if I were in your situation I would make the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman and be stuck with that decision.

If you do pursue a complaint against the bank through the courts they can tie you up in legal red tape for years even though you may have a good claim at outset. Could well run out of money to fund the litigation in the interim where as they have plenty.

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