I was speaking to a mate of mine last week and was astounded by a problem he was having with his bank. (Sorry - he did say which bank - but cant remember which - can find out though!)
Anyway, he uses his personal account for business use. Not sure why - apart the obvious charge differences or why the bank hasnt stopped it. (Its not the issue though.)
A few weeks ago, he wrote a check out to a supplier (He's a roofer) for £7K. It was at the time of the postal strike - but dont think its relevant. He thought nothing of it and went away on Holiday.
On his return and after checking his statements, he noticed the charges hadnt cleared his suppliers account. On investigation to the bank, his statement showed it had.
So a call to the bank highlighted the problem. His cheque had been intercepted. The cheque had been slightly altered (though he was shown it and admitted it was done really well and almost impossible to spot) and was paid into a brand new account in the changed name, money withdrawn and left empty.
To me, it would seem a simple case of fraud and open and shut. The bank has been at fault for allowing this account to be opened and allowing a forged cheque (no matter how good it looked) to pass through.
The bank however are having none of it. They even went as far as saying "if its fraud, how do we know you are not involved". He insisted if they thought that, to get the Police here right now.
Obviously, he went to the Police, but was told they are unable to act unless contacted by the bank - who are refusing to do so.
He is just expected to suffer the loss through their own greed and incompetance. Aparently Banks now have their own fraud squad and the police cannot interfere. This he was told by the Police is the Law! (How convenient for the bank!)
I actually caught my mate in the call I made whilst he was at the bank - and was there all day. Naturally, he wasnt in the best mood. He is so p*ssed off, he has said its the final straw and now applying to emigrate. (thats 20 roofers on the dole!!)
I know he is going to write to the banking ombudsmen - but in all honestly, they are waste of time. My dealings with them over endowment policies proved that. (I could demonstate their calculations didnt put me back to square one - and that was basically tough because "this is how we calculate".)
So the bank isnt doing anything, despite being told what has happened and have let the crooks walk away. That just seems plain crazy and can only think the reson for it, is they know they have unwittedly given away £7K they'll have to take as a hit. The Police are unable to act (despite telling him if they could, they would proably be able to apprehend the crooks quite quickly - not sure how they are so sure on that bit!) And my mate is £7K down!!!!
So what would you suggest in those circumstances? Its almost incomprehensible they refuse to do anything. Its a shame its over the £4K limit of a small claims court. I would suggest that would have been his best option - but he's not going to be able to.
Its made me quite angry just typing this out! I'll have to ring him and get an update - he told me this about 10 days ago - but from what he said, the bank isnt going to budge or get their fraud people involved.
(Sorry its long BTW - but the only way to get everying out there!!!)
PS - the reason I mentioned the postal dispute - was purely because it was at that time. I would imagine the reason the police were cock sure, would be because it would have been an inside job. ie someone who works for the supplier. Just my hunch anyway!)