My recent issues with Monzo

These past few days I have had perhaps the worst customer experience from Monzo (one which has caused me genuine financial harm), and I want to highlight this as an issue of serious concern that they need to address to avoid this happening to others going forward. I am also very keen for a formal response from Monzo as they have remained almost silent on the issue until now. I am considering reporting this to the Financial Conduct Authority and contacting The Guardian Consumer Champions because it is completely unacceptable.

I’ve already mentioned this in another thread and was effectively accused of lying (?!) so I’ve also attached screenshots of my full conversation log with Monzo since I guess some people feel they need proof.

The Story:
I attempted to buy a new PC component on eBay. They tend to run pretty expensive so I used my Flex card, with the plan to gradually pay it off over several months. Monzo flagged this as a possible fraud on my account (as many banks do), blocked the payment and sent an automated message saying they’d frozen all of my accounts (Personal, Joint and Flex) but someone would be in touch “very soon” to verify the transaction was me and unfreeze my accounts.

This contact never came and my accounts remained completely frozen for 2 days. I sent around 20 messages to Monzo support over that time and received one reply basically saying “you’re on a list and they’ll call you when they reach you”. My subsequent replies were ignored. I tried calling their number 3 times, the first time I got through and was told to be patient, the second and third times I waited over an hour on hold and couldn’t get through to anyone.

Imagine having two days where you have no access to money. You cannot buy anything, you cannot pay your bills, and you can’t speak to anyone to rectify the issue. I struggle with my mental health as it is, and this experience has been devastating.

Finally today my account was unblocked. No apology, no explanation for the delay, just an automated “we sometimes flag these payments for review, you can now re-attempt your payment”.

Why this matters:
Monzo is my primary bank - I have all my savings and disposable cash in these accounts (personal + joint), and they are the source of all of my direct debits (including mortgage payments). This has meant I’ve had genuinely no access to any money for 2 days, and all incoming and outgoing payments were frozen.

All of my direct debits yesterday were blocked - this included essential payments like my mortgage (I’m currently in the process of trying to remortgage so a missed payment could be devastating for my finances). Other blocked payments include home insurance, car insurance, council tax and many others. I am likely to incur a fee from at least some of these.

Furthermore I’ve been unable to spend any money at all - I’ve had to borrow money from friends and my partner for food, and yesterday I had to spend over 3 hours walking because I had no way to pay for public transport or parking. My partner, who wasn’t even part of this purchase, has similarly been locked out of our joint account and cannot access the money she has in there - and this account we use for almost all of our joint spending.

The only silver lining is at least this block happened whilst I was at home - if I were abroad, this could have been even more dangerous.

Going forward:
Monzo needs to seriously address the way they handle these scam-prevention measures. Yes it is absolutely important to ensure large transactions are not a customer being scammed, but if that process involves leaving someone with no access to any money or support for 2 days then that is unacceptable in my view.

I’ve been a loyal Monzo customer since the start - I joined when it was a pre-paid card. I bought shares during their crowdfunding round. I paid for Plus, and I now pay for Premium. But I don’t know how I can confidently remain with a bank which, at any time, could leave me in such a dangerous and vulnerable situation.

The proof:
Since I’ve already been accused of lying in a separate thread, here are screenshots of the entire chat log with timestamps, proving my repeated and increasingly desperate attempts to gain access to my money and not default on my mortgage payment (and other bills).


The FCA won’t care until you’ve exhausted your complaint with Monzo and the ombudsman.

It’s not clear here if it was actually the eBay purchase or some other activity on your account.

Probably best just to wait for Monzo to respond formally.

You’ll likely never get a reason why they put your account under review but as previously discussed in another topic, you agreed that they could do so prior to opening your account.

As also mentioned in another thread, never have all your eggs in one basket, to avoid disruption if the bank does act on their terms and conditions you accepted.

While unfortunate in your situation having everything in the same place, the bank has a regulatory obligation to ensure fund movements which raise concern are investigated to protect you, and the bank, from risk.

To add further, threats of going the papers and FCA don’t really scare banks, and they don’t have to “substantially” compensate you for anything at all.


It’s not clear here if it was actually the eBay purchase or some other activity on your account.

I’ve been explicitly told it was the eBay purchase. There’s no other activity on my account that would be suspicious - groceries and bus travel in my local area and that’s it.

As also mentioned in another thread, never have all your eggs in one basket, to avoid disruption if the bank does act on their terms and conditions you accepted.

Yes hindsight is nice and I will absolutely be opening another account - but I also feel it’s disingenuous that they’ve had this whole campaign to go “full Monzo” and move your whole financial life to their bank. Pots, savings pots, etc are all encouragement to keep everything in your Monzo account.

While unfortunate in your situation having everything in the same place, the bank has a regulatory obligation to ensure fund movements which raise concern are investigated to protect you, and the bank, from risk.

My issue is not with Monzo freezing my account whilst they check the payment isn’t fraud - they absolutely should do that. My issue is that most banks manage this in 5-10 minutes (and Monzo even say on their help page they aim to do it in 10 minutes). For it to take 2 days and for support to be almost completely uncontactable during that time is the part where this is utterly unacceptable.


Most banks? I’m not so sure they all resolve within the timeframe you mention (have a look at NatWest closed my account on facebook, or type ‘bank’ froze my account into Google).

I can agree that support is slow at Monzo, there’s a lot of work to be done here. But I wouldn’t expect to be “substantially compensated” for anything, they’re doing their duties as a bank.


I’m potentially facing fees for missed direct debits (plus the impact it could have on my otherwise flawless credit score), and if my mortgage lender registers this as a missed payment they would be well within their right to withdraw my provisional remortgaging offer which could cost me a lot since it was given before the rate rise.

This has taken a significant portion of my time for two days, and I’ve had to spend hours on the phone, on chat, and walking everywhere in town because I couldn’t pay for parking or bus travel. And I had to make an urgent GP appointment because this had such a huge effect on my mental health.

I don’t want this thread getting hung up on the idea of compensation, that’s not why I’m posting. I’m posting this to highlight a major issue at Monzo. But I think I’m well within my right to ask for and expect a degree of compensation here.


You’re not.

You chose to use your time in this way, nobody asked you to. Monzo said wait, you decided to send in essays.

Absolutely no chance this happened because you tried to buy something on eBay.

Are you back in to your account now?

I actually ordered a graphics card last month (on my partners account too) and it never got flagged.

It can also be a series of things that trigger flags rather than the last thing you purchased.

Your experience sounds a bit rubbish, so raise a complaint and see what they say. Hopefully you can get some compensation for any losses.


I’d love to see how you’d react if you had no access to any of your money for 2 days, and had your mortgage lender sending you emails about missed payments.

I didn’t choose any of this. I don’t see how you can try and claim it’s in any way my fault.


Absolutely no chance this happened because you tried to buy something on eBay.

Actually they explicitly said this is why, in their first automated message. Within 10 seconds of attempting the transation, they blocked it and messaged “We flag some payments for review to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect our customers from scams. We have temporarily frozen your account while we look into this transaction.” See the first screenshot

Are you back in to your account now?

Yes, thankfully. It was an automated message a couple of hours ago - still no personal contact from Monzo about this


It would be a first time for me, but I’ve other accounts to live off in the meantime.

Generally a few spending accounts and joint account to mitigate risk.

Good luck with your complaint and plea for money though.

Speak to your mortgage provided and they should be able to remove any negative reporting if another bank caused the issue.


Just curious but the first support message you received seems to be from the Business Banking team? We’re you trying to make activity on a business account that flagged across all your accounts?

I won’t comment about the case of fraud or not and response times - as I clearly don’t have any info that would be meaningful.

But that said I don’t think comments of “you signed up to these terms” or “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” are particularly helpful here.

I do think there are legitimate criticisms to make and I don’t think those two facts negate them.

For me in instances like this - being able to get to an actual human who is doing more than copy-pasting a standard template response is the problem.

I’ve had a few issues that have taken at least 3 or 4 copy paste responses for someone to actually read what I’m asking.

I can imagine in a frozen account situation that’s frustrating.

Is there a dialogue to have on the forum about how support is triaged and how urgent cases are managed? Probably.

how quickly did the support agent turn to “will copy in the complaints team”, is that appropriate in the middle of a response? Does that affect the response time?

It’s like the dialogue around exceptional limit increases - we all know thats been less than smooth in the past, so let’s discuss it


Just curious but the first support message you received seems to be from the Business Banking team? We’re you trying to make activity on a business account that flagged across all your accounts?

Yeah I was confused about that one too. I don’t have a business account with Monzo (or any bank), so I assume maybe it was just sent to whichever customer support rep was free and that happened to be him?


They didn’t say this. They said “transaction” and as Ordog said, maybe you’re thinking it’s eBay but it’s actually the £9,999 you sent to a Columbian arms dealer earlier in the day.

Ignoring the why and what, support isn’t good enough and if you really were “in the urgent queue” it should not take two days.

1 Like

There’s a lot of information to get through in this thread, so apologies if I’ve missed something, misunderstood something, or if I’m simply repeating what others have said.

It seems that your issue is already being treated as a complaint, so you’ll need to wait for the resolution of that (or 8 weeks, whichever comes first) before contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Looking to the future, it is always a good idea to have at least two methods of payment available to you. I know you dismissed this as wonderful in hindsight in one of your posts, but it is actually foresight for you now. This sort of thing could (and does) happen with any bank and so could happen again.

I hope you get what you want from your complaint.


To be clear the FCA won’t care whether you’ve been to the Onbudsman or not. They’re not a further appeals body and neither do they regularly engage in contact with customers.

People can report suspected breaches of FCA’s regulations to them but rarely if ever will FCA confirm what action, if any, they’ve taken. The only time you’d hear from the FCA is if they need more information from you.

While banks may not be scared they do change their ways very quickly when these bodies are mentioned or if not, once a paper gets involved, whether for right or wrong.

@tomerlandsen I’m sorry to hear what happened. Banks can freeze your accounts if they suspect you are up to something dodgy but for a bank to freeze all your money if they suspect you are a victim of a fraud is to me unheard of.

If everything is as you describe it (which we won’t be able to establish on this forum without significant breaches of your privacy) then I’d expect the specific transaction or the card to be blocked at most. Halting all money movement would be unacceptable.


Without going off track of topic, whenever someone mentions the papers it’s pretty much ignored. It doesn’t get escalated anywhere else, still handled however appropriate on frontline, no quick fire emails to the CEO saying little Jimmy is crying because we are following our duties as a bank.

It’s a pointless threat from a customer. Look at Farage and Danielle Westbrook, the banks didn’t flinch, customers really have no power with this.

I think this is helpful for the future, it is very good advice, not for the current/resolved situation but to avoid being in so much financial trouble in the future should such a thing happen again.

This however I agree that it is not helpful.
It is well known to anyone who has dealt with contract law that it really doesn’t matter what you put in the contract; if it’s illegal, unenforceable or even unfair, it can be ruled against in court, if it gets that far. I could make you sign a contract that says you must give me your first born, even if you sign it in good faith it means absolutely nothing.


I did hear a (possibly apocryphal) story that a software company did put this stipulation into an end user agreement and not one person mentioned it - because not one person read the agreement.


It sounds like it’s been very frustrating, but your mortgage provider won’t submit it as a missed payment to the credit agencies immediately, they wait quite a considerable amount of time (I think it’s at least 6 weeks) to give people a chance to resolve the situation before they go to those lengths. They’re well aware sometimes things happen beyond a customer’s control and aren’t that quick to punish you for it. The same applies to credit cards, I’ve missed payments 3 times and nothing ever showed on my credit reports as I contacted them and it was paid the next day. I hope you get a satisfactory resolution to your complaint but I wouldn’t worry about long term effects of one payment being 2 days late.