Banks censured for slow service to customers who leave them


The UK’s competition regulator issued warnings to Monzo, Natwest and Virgin Money after the banks breached a rule requiring them to send former customers their transaction histories.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said 150,000 people were not provided the records in the necessary timescale, which could have made it harder for them to borrow money or apply for a mortgage.

Regulation introduced in 2017 makes it mandatory for banks and building societies to send customers or small businesses a history of their banking activity within 40 days of them closing their accounts. At least 95 per cent of these customers must be sent the records within ten working days.

The measure is to make switching banks easier. Having the history is a key requirement for lenders offering credit.

However, the CMA found that Monzo, NatWest Group, Virgin Money and the Bank of Ireland had breached the order. Some transaction histories were provided a few weeks late, while others have been delayed by more than a year.

The Times understands that the vast majority of the 150,000 people affected were Monzo customers. Around 900 people were Natwest customers and 220 were Virgin Money customers.

The CMA wrote to the banks, which are now sending all outstanding information to the affected customers. If the banks breach the order again, the regulator can force them to introduce specific training or carrying out annual compliance audits.

Adam Land, CMA senior director of remedies, business and financial analysis, said: “We will be watching closely to make sure these leading names stick to their word and don’t let their customers down again.”