Part 2 (long): Can Natwest forcibly close accounts, not returnbalance and refuse to tell why?


M

myong2008

Hi,

I have acquired more correspondence between Dr. Matthew Yong and his formerbank, Natwest.

Background
=========

Dr. Matthew Yong was a former Dstl contractor. He and other contractors were invited publicly by the MOD CDE to find security threats as part of the expanded remit of UK MOD in 2012 to defence AND security matters under the SDSR. Dr. Yong stumbled upon how to make an improvised nerve gas generator that could be readily constructed using common equipment and chemicals, all of which did not need a license and some of which were on sale in Ebay.

When he advised the MOD of this (Andrew Hall & Roger Neal Smith on Oct 8, 2012, then Gavin Copeland and Capt. Gordon Graham RN on Oct 24, 2012), he was invited by the latter two chaps to submit the formula and synthesis routeof the nerve gas generator in writing via the (unclassified) CDE portal. He did so on Nov 2, 2012 clearly stating that "The purpose of this research is to prove that [nerve gas] can be produced in this manner, and to advise the security services accordingly."

The outcome of his trying to warn HMG about the security threat as MOD requested, which the subsequent court proceedings showed with the best of intentions, resulted in two months of wrongful imprisonment without proper charges, 14 months of vexatious criminal prosecution (4 charges withdrawn by theSolicitor General, 2 charges thrown out by the Judge, 2 charges withdrawn by the CPS and 1 regulatory conviction currently under appeal) and a destroyed life/reputation. You can do a Google search for his case, or ask for public court transcripts from Peterborough Crown Court, case number: T20137030 (you may also find the custody & pre-trial hearings important, because the CPS were posing charges which needed a Law Officer's consent to charge him as viable to imprison him for, when they did not have said Law Officer's consent). His revelations to the British Government resulted in an amendment to the Poisons Act in 2014, the British Government repaying his good withevil and now it seems that Natwest has joined the bandwagon. Dr. Yong has no country to call home and is unemployed/unemployable.

Please look into this case and help if you can. As far as I am aware, to date Dr. Yong has not received the money from Natwest, despite their promises..

Letter from Natwest, Dec 9, 2014
================================

Your case reference: PH34852814 (You'll need this if you get in touch with us).

Dear Dr Yong

Thank you for contacting us on 7 November 2014 and for bringing these issues to our attention. I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with the service that we have provided and I do appreciate your patience whilst I have been investigating your complaint.

Your Complaint and Outcome

My understanding of your complaint is that you are unhappy with the Banks decision to close your account. You have explained that you are extremely unhappy with the way you have been treated.

You have not received any notice from the Bank informing you that your account will be closed due to you being out of the country from February 2014.

You found yourself in a position of being in a foreign country, unable to purchase a flight ticket using your Debit Card as this had been cancelled without your knowledge.

You are very unhappy that you have not received a response to any of your requests sent by email to the following email box ~CATT asking for an E-Statement to be sent to you and to have your funds sent to you, you attached the closure form providing us with your dispersal details and you have not received your funds.

Having considered all the information, I agree with your complaint about the emails you sent requesting your E-Statement and for your closing balance to be dispersed to you not being responded to, this is because it is clear we have received the mails, but unfortunately the mail box used was not monitored and therefore not seen until the 14 November 2014.

Following my investigation, I am sorry I am unable to agree with your complaint about the Banks decision to close your account. This is because the decision has been made in line with the Terms and Conditions of your accountand my investigation has found that a letter was sent to the address we held on file advising you of the banks decision.

My Investigation

Here is a summary of what I have investigated.

The Bank wrote to you on 4 July 2014 giving you 60 days notice of our intention to close your Select Account and your E-Savings Account.

This decision was made in line with the Terms and Conditions of your account which states the following:

7.1.2 We can also close your account by giving you notice as set out below:
(a) where your account is a Payment Account, we will give you not less than60 days' prior notice; or
(b) where your account is a Non-payment Account, other than an account of fixed duration (such as a bond), we will give you not less than 60 days' prior notice or such period of notice as you would have to give us in order toclose your account (or to close it without paying a charge or suffering a loss of interest), whichever is longer.

You are able to review the Terms and Conditions of your account using the link below:

http://personal.natwest.com/content/dam/natwest_com/nw-assets/downloads/terms/NW_Terms_Conditions.pdf

I appreciate your frustration with this decision and understand the inconvenience this matter will cause you. I would like to assure that the Bank takes the legal and regulatory obligations placed on it extremely seriously. It has therefore examined this decision at great length to ensure that it complies with all applicable legislation and regulations.

I can confirm we have reviewed our rationale behind this decision and I must advise that we are not willing to reconsider or provide you with an explanation on why this decision has been made.

I understand you had no prior knowledge of the Banks decision to close youraccount due to you being out of the country from February 2014.

The Bank would not be aware of your commitments to work and have followed the correct process in providing the notice given.

Therefore the circumstances of your discovery of your account being closed are not as a result of bank error, resulting in any circumstantial impacts not being considered.

From contacting the Account Closures Department they have confirmed that they sent a letter to the following address on 4 July 2014 giving you 60 daysnotice of our intention to close your account:

14 Ash Grove
Chatteris
Cambridgeshire
PE16 6NL

I can confirm your E-Savings Account and your Select Account was closed on 10 October 2014 with a total balance of £X.

I understand you have already been sent a further Closure Form by email, you are required to complete this form and return it to the email address as follows ~ UK Retail Account Closures in order for us to disperse your closing balance. Alternatively you can forward the completed form to the addressbelow:

NatWest Bank
Closure Dept
2nd Floor
Drummond House
1 Redheughs Avenue
Edinburgh
EH12 9JN

I can confirm that the Bank did receive your mails sent to the following email address ~ CATT on 15 October 2014, 20 October 2014, 29 October 2014, 4 November 2014 and the 14 November 2014.

However this mail box was an obsolete mail box and therefore not monitored,it was only when a member of staff went to close the mail box that your mails were found and for this I am truly sorry.

I can confirm that I am unable to send you an E-Statement as your account is now closed, but I have ordered a copy of your closing statement for both accounts to be posted to the address we hold on file so you have these for your records.

Please also accept my apologies that the closure form you sent to that mailbox was not forwarded to the correct team therefore we no longer have thisavailable to us so do not have the dispersal details to send your closing balance to.

My colleague from the Closing team has sent you an email with a further closure form and upon the receipt of this form it will be prioritised to get your funds released to you.

Again please accept my sincere apologies for this inconvenience.

I appreciate you will be unhappy with my response and therefore you can approach the Financial Ombudsman Service and seek an independent review of your complaint. If referral to the Ombudsman is your preference, then you should contact them within six months from the date of this letter. I have enclosed a copy of their leaflet which explains more about what they do and how to get in touch with them.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can call us on Minicom 0800 917 0527. You must have Minicom facilities to use this service.

Yours sincerely




Kate Chapman
Complaints Manager
Enc: Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet


Response from Dr. Yong's representative to Ms. Chapman, Dec 17 2014
===================================================================



Ms. Chapman,

Thank you for your email which has been passed on to us and which we will deal with below:

The bank's multiple excuses of ignorance are non-sensical and does not wash..

1. The bank did not check the email address

The bank sent me that form from the email address (CATT@rbs.co.uk). On the signature, it notes that: "By replying to this message you give your consent to our monitoring of your email communications with us."

Clearly you expect responses from customers for this statement to apply. Hence we can not accept your claims that you did not respond to my emails because the email address was dormant, and ask you for the real reason why youdid not reply to a single one of Dr. Yong's repeated emails on 15 October 2014, 20 October 2014, 29 October 2014, 4 November 2014 and the 14 November2014.

Furthermore, Dr. Yong advises us that according to his recollection of his phone call to Faris, he said that he would be sending a copy of the closureform via email. Hence Natwest was expecting him to send emails to this address. We would like to ask for a copy of this phone recording for our records.

2. The bank was unaware of the dangerous circumstances it put Dr. Yong in.

We understand that part of Dr. Yong's work with Dstl covered vulnerability assessments of the public to terrorist attacks, and nuclear, radiological and chemical weapons. By way of background, when Dr. Yong, with the best of intentions, identified a serious security risk to the British public in theform of a portable, scaleable nerve gas generator constructible using readily available equipment and chemicals, the British government repaid good with evil and threw him into prison for 2 months without proper charges, andthen subjected him to 14 months of malicious proceedings. Dstl witnesses Andrew Hall, Angela Howells, Roger Neal Smith and Major Ronald Thomas Cunningham Harley knowingly issued false witness statements to incriminate him. It would seem that Natwest is now joining the queue of repaying good with evil, and Natwest's actions will be held under public scrutiny when the true story of what happened here emerges.

Nevertheless, we are relieved and pleased to note that the amendments to the Poisons Act in 2014 added the precursors of said nerve gas to the license-able list, and we are thankful that this security loophole has been plugged before it could have been exploited by terrorists. However, no thanks wasgiven to Dr. Yong and quite to the contrary, the British government and now Natwest appear to have repaid his good with harm.

Furthermore, as stated in our initial complaint letter to you, Dr. Yong wasin a dangerous part of the world where risk of kidnap by Hamas, ISIS or other Islamic extremists was possible and has happened before. Given Dr. Yong's experience as a Dstl contractor, it would be an absolute disaster for British and other countries' public security should he have been kidnapped and tortured, quite apart from losing his own life because of Natwest's thoughtless and reckless decision to unilaterally cancel his cards without giving him any warning.

It is not an excuse to state that Natwest could not foresee the circumstances the account and card cancellation would have put him under, as it is notan excuse to claim ignorance for spilling water and saying that you could not foresee it would cause someone to fall as a result. The only outcome ofa unilateral cancellation of a bank card, and de facto seizure of funds inthe account (which Natwest still has not repaid, despite being sent the account closure form on 15 October 2014) is harm, and in this case it is fortunate that much greater harm was avoided.

Furthermore, Natwest was clearly aware that Dr. Yong was abroad, because Dr.. Yong:
I. Converted a large sum of pounds sterling to foreign currency around 1 February.
II. Raised a customer service issue with the bank around this time, to which he received a written response.
III. Had multiple transactions over the entire period he was abroad, from foreign companies.
IV. Had not responded to any correspondence sent to his physical address.

The morality of the bigger picture aside, it was utterly reckless and improper for Natwest to close his accounts and cancel his cards while he was abroad, and doubly so given the neighbourhood he was in.

3. Dr. Yong not being aware of the letters Natwest had sent to his physicaladdress

It is hypocritical for Natwest to try to excuse non-reply of several emailssent by Dr. Yong to (e-mail address removed) while trying to blame Dr. Yong for being unaware of the post sent to his old home at 14 Ash Grove.

The fact of the matter is that Natwest had Dr. Yong's cellphone number and email address, and Natwest chose not to inform Dr. Yong a priori of Natwest's decision to unilaterally close his accounts and freeze his money. Why didn't Natwest try to contact him via these alternate routes?

4. I note that the bank has not returned Dr. Yong's money to date despite Natwest being in possession of the closure form. Failure to do so in within the next week will give us no choice but to file small claims proceedings against Natwest.

Can you please clarify if Dr. Yong is on an injunction list and if so, on what grounds his name was added to it?

A complaint will be lodged with the Financial Ombudsman Service in due course.

Regards,
J. Brown
Please reply to X
Do not send any more correspondence to 14 Ash Grove


Response from Natwest, Dec 17, 2014
===================================

Leicester Retail Customer Service Centre
Bede House
11 Western Boulevard
Leicester
LE2 7EJ
Your case reference: 34852814 you'll need this if you get in touch with us.


Dear Dr Yong

Thank you for contacting us on 17 December 2014 about the outcome of your complaint.

I'm sorry you do not agree with the decision, which was based on our investigation findings - explained in our letter dated9 December 2014.

I believe that we've investigated your complaint thoroughly and that the decision is fair.

I note your request for a copy of the phone recording you had with Faris, unfortunately I am unable to provide this to you.

However please note I am not disputing your version of events, I can confirm that Faris used the incorrect email box when sending you the original mail therefore when you returned a response this was not picked up as the email address was obsolete as stated previously and again for this I apologise.

Also as previously stated the closure form you sent on 15 October 2014 has been deleted in error, therefore a further form was sent to you on 9 December 2014 to be completed. To enable us to forward your funds to you we require your dispersal information.

With reference to your comments about the circumstances you were in at the time of realising your card had been cancelled.

The Bank would not be aware of your circumstances as advised in my letter of 9 December 2014, I can confirm the bank have followed its process correctly in this matter and have made no errors.

I am unable to provide you with an explanation on why this decision was made and nor are we legally required to, therefore I can not clarify your question in point 4 of your email.




If you are unhappy with the decision and want to take it further, you can get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Service. You should do so within six months from the date of our original letter to you, as they may not consider your complaint after that time. I've enclosed a leaflet with some information about the service and how they could help you.

Yours sincerely



Kate Chapman
Complaints Manager

Enc. Financial Ombudsman Service leaflet
 
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