Last Updated on 13 February 2024 by Ann-Marie Nye
A Wilsden church which experienced financial issues after Barclays closed its bank account has won its challenge and had it reopened.
In November last year, Wilsden Trinity Church, a Local Ecumenical Partnership (LEP) between the United Reformed (URC) and Methodist Churches in Bradford, wrote an open letter challenging the bank after its account of around 20 years had been closed and a complaint had gone unanswered.
With the help of the URC Communications Team, the letter was distributed to media contacts in the area, resulting in the interest of a BBC news reporter and the story was published in The Telegraph & Argus, a daily newspaper for Bradford.
“It is undoubtedly the case that Barclays only reopened the account because of the media interest following the Communications’ press release,” said Roger Morris, Wilsden Trinity Church Treasurer.”
Many of the church’s bills were paid by Direct Debit and many of its members paid money into its account through standing order. Wilsden Trinity Church also banked weekly collections and paid bills and sent money through its account, but these were all unable to be processed when it was closed.
Members of the Wilsden Trinity Church meeting felt the church’s reputation and relationship with those who supplied services and were paid by Direct Debit were damaged as a result.
Mr Morris added: “Barclays, following my complaint, has admitted some mistakes and given us some compensation.”
In a letter sent by the bank to Mr Morris on 18 January, Barclays admitted that most of the information requested by Barclays had been submitted and a customer service agent had provided conflicting information which “could’ve been clearer”.
The letter went on to say: “As an extension of our apologies for the poor service you received at times, we’ve credited a total of £500 to the church’s account.”
Mr Rogers continued: “The three months when we had no account was difficult but the incredible help from both the URC and Methodist Church made a huge difference.”
Mr Rogers says, however, the bank has not accepted that closing the account was wrong and is considering proceeding with a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.
Related article: Bank account closure forces Wilsden church into difficulties
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