Bank Account Freezing and Closure

The freezing and closure of bank accounts is becoming an increasing problem in today’s heightened regulatory environment. Peters & Peters has considerable experience in challenging this complex issue on behalf of clients.

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Since the global financial crisis, banks and financial institutions have faced greater scrutiny by regulators and prosecutors. The result has been a global pattern of de-risking, with banks and other financial institutions denying services or freezing and closing customer bank accounts, sometimes without notice and generally without explanation. We are regularly instructed to provide assistance on this issue and understand, not only the disruption that this can cause, but also the wider financial and reputational damage that this can have on our clients.

Such assistance includes engaging with banks and other financial institutions to challenge account freezing and / or bank account closures. Our experience is that criminal investigations and / or designations by third party Data Providers can also result in account closures, as these often trigger an internal review by a bank or financial institution’s compliance department. We therefore also take pre-emptive action to minimise this risk.

Banks and other financial institutions rely on data they obtain from Data Providers. Data held by Data Providers however may be inaccurate in that it is incorrect or misleading. We therefore also consider challenging the data processed by such Data Providers under the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). A bank or financial institutions’ failure to comply with the GDPR and the DPA can result in a claim against them or a report to the Information Commissioners’ Office.

In certain cases, we work closely with PR firms, to assist clients in improving their media profiles, as this can have a positive impact on their current and future banking relationships.

We can also assist our clients in finding alternative banking arrangements, as and when required.

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