Halifax stole my money /s

I opened a Halifax account to take advantage of their £100 switching bribe. I mostly forgot about it until a few days ago when I remembered that I needed to transfer in £1500 to avoid a fee. I dug out my activation code, signed up for online banking, transferred in £1500 and attempted to transfer out the balance (£1500 plus the £100 switching bonus). I got an error message and was told to call a number. I called, waited on hold for 27 minutes, answered all the questions honestly and accurately and was told in order to access the account (and therefore the £1500) I would need to go to branch with photo ID. I was also told that I couldn’t register a complaint over the phone at that point.

I couldn’t be bothered to go to a branch (Covid, inconvenient opening hours and inconvenient parking arrangements) so I initiated a CASS switch. This has been rejected by Halifax (I’m not surprised).

I’ve registered a complaint using their online form to complain about the time spent on hold, the time spent without my funds until I can get to a branch and the inconvenience of not being able to verify my identity remotely. To be clear I am not complaining about the initial fraud flag.

I have two questions:
A) is there anyway to get at my money without having to go to branch or risk a fraud marker going unresolved on my file and
B) is my complaint reasonable or AITA?

It’s reasonable that you are frustrated. Whether your complaint is reasonable, depends on the terms and conditions you signed up to, I suppose.

Have they treated you badly? Or are their procedures inconvenient?

If it’s suspicious activity then yes, you will need to go into a branch. This likely flagged as it.

I had the same issue with NatWest. Frustrating but necessary sometimes.

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So breaking it down.

You’re fine with the fraud flag. Your grievance is that you were on hold for 27 minutes and you need to go to branch with ID to unlock your account.

I understand that it’s a frustrating but I don’t think you’ll get far with a complaint. COVID will be blamed for slow response times and most firms state this now while you’re on hold.

Then I’m sure they’ll have some clause in their T&C for verifying your identity in branch - probably worth looking into though to be sure.

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Seems the thing stopping you getting your money back, is you.

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Halifax haven’t done anything wrong here. It’s a simple* Know Your Customer check.

They’re guarding against the possibility that a fraudster is trying to steal your money.

I fear any complaint will get absolutely nowhere, as the bank haven’t done anything against their terms and conditions.

*Granted, COVID-19 is a complication, but I’m not aware of and high street banks allowing selfie verification, etc when they’ve decided ID is required.

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Halifax are not being unreasonable, something has been flagged and they are checking you are who you say you are.

It’s not that hard to go to a branch (if there is one nearby).

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That’s a big if, and most (including our local one) close at 3:30pm and are only open weekdays. So the majority of people will need to book leave from work in order to visit.

My experience with Halifax is that they require branch visits unnecessarily for a large number of tasks, even just switching products (in the past), and that the staff you make an appointment with are often rude and unhelpful.

However, given the rise in fraud and triggering their system, asking you to visit a branch in this case doesn’t seem unreasonable. I’m not sure where you live but they have a fairly large branch network and if it’s just a matter of calling in to release the funds I would just get it over with rather than trying to challenge their processes via a complaint.

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Thanks for the feedback folks. I agree, I think a branch visit is my only option. I guess I’m just far too used to digital banking! :sweat_smile:

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Wait so you tried to CASS away in the hope you wouldn’t have to provide proof in person. :joy:

I don’t see how the complaint will be upheld unless they consider the 27mins on hold to be above average.

Let’s not forget this has only arisen because you’ve gamed Halifax’s switch incentive with no intention of actually using its services, for a free £100.

Maybe that will offset the time off work?

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Halifax love fraud flags when moving large sums of money. My other half banked with them their whole life. When trying to switch to Monzo and transfer savings manually they just froze the account as the transfer amount was more or less the full account balance

Can’t recall if it was a branch visit or a phone call though

Nothing wrong in gaming the system at all. Just don’t complain about the hoops that have ended up being jumped through.

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If you raise a complaint you will most likely wait 12 weeks for a response of “go to branch” which is exactly the response I got with a similar issue with Halifax.

To be honest an out of the ordinary transfer should be raising a flag. Halifax are doing right by their customers. I recently started using my account (opened an account for a switch bonus last year) and their customer service is great, I haven’t experienced any issues with flags yet either everything is easily authenticated in the app.

I think proportionality needs to be considered. Transfers initiated from an already authenticated device that are confirmed with a card reader too should go through or just go into a queue in the background. They shouldn’t warrant an account freeze.

If someone added a new payee from a newly registered device and immediately transferred all the balance then perhaps it’s worth investigating.

The word I am looking for is friction I think. Too much friction will drive people away. There needs to be a balance between security and convenience

I transferred £900 in and out in one day to meet the criteria last month and got away with it, phew! I had already paid in £500 to top up ns&i for the £5 reward but shan’t be doing it again…

CASS to RBS select account with no pay in requirements and I’ll be happy with my £205…

Just hope I get it sorted in the month so the £3 fee doesn’t kick in…lol

No money has been stolen it’s sat in their accounts waiting for you to comply with what’s been asked of you… Case closed

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