Innocent customers are having their accounts closed, funds frozen and large transactions blocked as panicking banks try to crack down on crime.
Regulators have become increasingly concerned that criminals are taking advantage of weaknesses in bank systems. They want banks to be more robust in monitoring transactions, large money transfers and payments to cryptocurrency sites, and have talked to them about how suspicious activity should be reported.
The regulators’ concerns coincide with a surge in fraud, highlighted in research by Which? that showed victims’ losses had grown by a third to £2.3 billion in the past 12 months.
At the same time, customers report being unfairly treated by banks. More than 5,500 NatWest customers said they had been locked out of their accounts without explanation, we reported last week. And the problems are growing.