Monzo in the media

You’ll find they actually do, as it is still deemed business by some, if not most, banks.

Let’s just agree to disagree.

Before my company formed as a limited company used my personal account for all my business stuff. It’s been checked before and even researching most sole traders use their personal accounts. Only if your a limited company you can’t.

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That is the banks decision though which might vary from bank to bank. If a bank says ‘no business transactions in a personal account’ then that is how it is.

For what it is worth, I agree that something should be done about those who struggle with bank accounts (for whatever reason), but I don’t know what the solution is.

People who say ‘it will never happen to me’ are naive to the world. Even Monzo’s ex CEO said they have accidentally closed peoples accounts. People accidentally get CIFAS markers. We don’t live in a perfect world where everything is perfect all the time. Mistakes happen.

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I think we’re conflating two things here:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree that there’s a systemic issue that might lead to people being unbanked.

  2. With current regulatory and commercial incentives, Monzo is acting rationally.

Both these things can be true at the same time.

To sort out number 1) we shouldn’t take aim at Monzo: it’s an issue for government which has outsourced a large part of law enforcement to private firms and which has created regulations that result in the current situation.

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I wasn’t using the name Monzo to indicate they are the ones doing it. All banks do it. Barclays I believe had the worst rep for it at one point.

My point of using monzo is as a fintech bank built on the future they have the reach to make big changes and lobbying changes to the government to prevent people being left unbanked but no one is doing it.

I love banking with Monzo I just wish they closed this gap and made some changes surrounding this. Even if it means approaching the government to make new legislations or for banks to opt into a agreement to bank the unbanked under special terms or the government should appoint a company that can take on the unbanked like think money for example. They are known for taking on a lot of unbanked people maybe they could become the appointed bank.

We need changes in the banking industry and I think if monzo was the one to take this forward it would be a big win for them.

I want using the name Monzo to accuse them for being the culprit of the mass account closures. That’s been discussed before and all banks do it

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Accidents can be fixed, accounts closed for legitimate reasons are what I was referring to.

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But fixing an accident can take up to a year or more, and brings incredible stress. You appeal with the bank, they take as long as they possibly can and give you a non-answer. You send it to the FOS who take months before they pick it up, then months to review, then request more info from banks who take months to respond. The FOS then will likely rule that it’s a bank’s right to do it. If you’re lucky, you’ll have an erroneous CIFAS marker removed but until that happens you’re unbanked, and possibly out of a job, just because there’s no due process or oversight.

It’s unacceptable, but I agree that it is not for Monzo to fix as they are just acting within the current framework

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Except you apparently do in the case of Monzo’s Ts & Cs.

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What defines “Business Purposes”. Sole Traders are their own legal entity so its their own funds and their own transactions in their own legal name.

Businesses in formation are different legal entities. If i sold a candle on facebook for £10 and the buyer put it into my bank account thats not a business transaction thats a sole trader transaction. Different thing

Monzo define it here: https://monzo.com/help/opening-an-account/using-current-account-for-business

Using a personal account as a sole trader is classed as business use.

Business use:
• Using your personal account as the primary bank account for a business as either a registered company or sole trade

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I really agree with this. I think in the bank closing process, no matter the situation they should do something to make sure the individual is not left unbanked.

I get the other side of it. People might have been abusive to staff, at very high risk of committing fraud or actually committed fraud, and banks have a moral and/or legal obligation at the minute to protect themselves.

But there needs to be an industry solution somewhere because being unbanked in our society leaves often vulnerable people at severe disadvantage, often leads to situations where they are vulnerable to financial abuse (when they need to use someone else’s account for their income for example).

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Exactly my point. I had a really nice conversation this morning with the Chief Corporate Affairs officer at starling bank and she has taken my feedback on board and my idea is a good one she said.

We need to have a centralised bank government ran that can take on these individuals and these banks that are closing accounts can CASS them to this special account so it gives them strict functionality and not left disadvantaged

There is though isn’t there? Certain banks (not sure how it’s defined) give a very limited account to some people? Apply for one of those?

Monzo (or anyone else) closing their account doesn’t mean they can’t have one of the above. I don’t really see why if you’ve committed fraud/been abusive or whatever, that Monzo should go out of their way to help you.

Because its the right thing to do revels. Regardless of peoples behaviour. People can act the way they do for different reasons sometimes out of their control. Leaving them with nothing can sometimes do more harm than good

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But there’s no guarantee they will have set one up in time or seen closure notices if there was one. You can still be denied a basic bank account too. People absolutely are left unbanked by closures and I think it’s an issue.

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Preach on this. Barclays have been a big one declining basic accounts. Lots of talk on the internets

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That’s Barclays though, they’re the worst for account closures.

Basic accounts are designed for customers who don’t meet eligibility for the standard accounts, and in some instances don’t have any accounts elsewhere to be eligible.

If we had one bank across the country then I’d see a good argument but there are plenty, and the Main Street banks all offer basic accounts and at least one will accept them provided the above criteria is met, and of course they’ve not damaged their reputation with them already.

I reached out to Monzo and Starling and only starling seemed interested in hearing my ideas and taken them onboard. I have a call scheduled to talk through my ideas on how the unbanked can be helped and I hope I can help make a difference

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They all share data with the same agency called National Hunter. They are all going to behave the same. Its about Banks doing more and about legislations from decades ago being brought up to date

There’s a lot of what ifs going on here. If you don’t see a closure notice, won’t get it set up in time, you should be able to be fraudulent or abusive then the bank should still bend over backwards to help you?!

If you can’t get a basic account that are set up and designed for this purpose, well then that says a lot about the person applying. It’s harsh but actions have consequences if you can’t get the simplest account then you’ve probably done a lot wrong. What grounds are these accounts denied on?

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