Lloyds UK bank account suspneded while I am in the USA!
July 15, 2013 1:39 PM   Subscribe

Hi all, So my UK Lloyds regular bank account was suspended while I was in the USA and now they want me to show up in a local branch. I have spent three days on the phone explaining to them that I cannot because I am in the USA at the moment. They insist that I do and until then all my funds are frozen! Nightmare! It looks like I will have to fly home just to show my face at the branch so I can access my funds. Anyone had anything like this? Do I really have to fly back to the UK just to ID myself? Thank you!
posted by seatofmypants to Work & Money (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Lloyds has a few commercial (not retail) banking offices in the US. There also seems to be a US Lloyds private bank (high net worth), but I can't get to that site from work. So, you could try to call UK retail customer service and explain how you can't possibly go back to the UK (esp. with your funds frozen) and see if they can get the US branches to validate you.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:46 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Bring your ID into a UK consulate if they will accept that. Then the consular officer confirms it is you.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:47 PM on July 15, 2013

I'd call the manager of your local branch in the UK and find out what would be an acceptable alternative to showing up in person in order to reactivate your account. I've found a local bank manager often has more ability to accommodate unusual situations than the customer service representatives on the toll-free line.
posted by quince at 1:55 PM on July 15, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all for the comments.

haddock: i called the corporate office in NYC and they said they don't deal with 'retail banking and they hung up on me! they also didn't answer the phone when i tried to call back within the hour.

ironmouth: that is something i will try. thank you.

quince: i spoke with the local branch that i opened the account with (took forever to get hold of them). they said there is nothing they can do.
posted by seatofmypants at 2:04 PM on July 15, 2013

If you were a US customer having this problem, besides what others suggested, I would suggest:
- talk to the most senior manager you can possibly get on the phone
- reiterate that you are traveling. Add that if you have to come back home early to solve this problem your business will move elsewhere.
- have someone explain why you can't send (fax?) them a copy of your ID, or other information to confirm your identity.
posted by Phredward at 2:10 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Be able to verify yourself to the Consulate. THEN have the consulate call Lloyds to unfreeze your account. I'm sure a manager to manager approach would work this way, rather than yourself talking to a customer service rep.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:30 PM on July 15, 2013

Might be worth tweeting at their customer services - @AskLloydsTSB
posted by prentiz at 3:15 PM on July 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

This happened to me once (not with Lloyds). No amount of pleading on the phone helped. But my husband went into the local branch in person with a copy of our marriage certificate and a copy of my ID (I had left some at home), and with me on the phone as well, and managed to persuade a manager face to face to unfreeze it.

Finally, if you are travelling short term rather than living in the USA, i.e. it's just a matter of getting sufficient funds for the rest of your holiday, can you have a family member wire you some money as a loan?
posted by lollusc at 5:53 PM on July 15, 2013

See if the Consulate can help. Or a UK solicitor or lawyer could go in to ID you by proxy? If you are looking for a new bank I am a long term rabid fan of First Direct.
posted by epo at 2:10 AM on July 16, 2013

Call the branch manager again. Greet him by name. Explain that you are not in the UK, and are therefore unable to visit a branch, and that you would like a solution. If he fails to offer one, ask him if there is anyone else you can talk to at Lloyds before you contact the Financial Ombudsman.
posted by devnull at 5:03 AM on July 16, 2013

My sympathies. Lloyds are extremely bad for things like this, as I know from my own experience of being a Lloyds customer who regularly visits the US. Several times they have prevented me from using my debit card the second they see an attempted US transaction on it, even though I have explained repeatedly, and with decreasing levels of patience, that my circumstances mean they will often see such transactions, and they will not be fraudulent ones. They are the most cussed, awkward, obstructive bunch of bankers it has ever been my displeasure to deal with and were it not for the fact that I am daunted by the pain of transferring my account elsewhere I would have done so long ago. Probably to First Direct.

To be honest, I had to get rather angry and threatening with them to get a result. I explained to them that their security procedures had now become more of a pain in the arse for their customers than the actual theft of a card, and they ought to think very hard about what that says about their customer service priorities. Then I threatened them with the loss of my custom and, as devnull suggested, the Financial Ombudsman. They were disgracefully unapologetic but the threat managed to get me through to a manager senior enough to grudgingly reactivate my card.

In short: you are the customer, and you have rights. You need to remind them of that, forcefully, and back that reminder up with threats of taking action against them. It might not work but when they've reached this position of intransigent unhelpfulness it's pretty much all you can do. Best of luck.
posted by Decani at 6:23 AM on July 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know that Barclays do not do this. Avoid Lloyds.
posted by w0mbat at 6:50 PM on July 16, 2013

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