Not “can” but “must”. If your account meets certain criteria the bank MUST freeze your account and not tell you why until it’s resolved
Yes, when your account is frozen and you are not told why, it does sound like NK-esque thing to be honest. Seriously.
No. Based on evidence, a bank can freeze your account. There will be solid reasons, be it a pattern of behaviour or specific suspicious transactions. But there will be some form of ‘evidence’.
If you’re not laundering money, you’ve nothing to be concerned about.
This is the case if any bank in the UK were to freeze your account. It’s not specifically a Monzo thing.
A huge incoming transaction due to inheriting my grandma’s estate in, I don’t know… Russia, say 500k GBP, would show up as suspicious in the bank’s algorithm and while it wouldn’t be a criminal evidence (because it’s not a crime to have a lot of money transferred to you), yet my account would still be frozen, most probably, based on a subjective suspicion, which is another word for hunch.
Furthermore, I am aware AML applies to any bank, not just Monzo, but in this case we are on a Monzo forum and while I am not here to discuss AML to be honest, I asked if these negative Trustpilot reviews are based on facts or not, yet I have not received a proper response.
Not sure how much facts Monzo are going to be able to offer, legally.
Yes, all banks, including Monzo, will freeze accounts without notice, and in that regard, the reviews are accurate. I’ve speculated in another thread somewhere that maybe Monzo are seen as an ‘easier target’ for money laundering/money mules, due to the ease of account opening, which may account for the number of negative reviews.
Would it? I don’t know how their security algorithms work. And I’m willing to bet, nor do you.
An algorithm is not subjective, though, so if it were frozen it would be because a threshold had been reached.
And if it were to be frozen, seems it’d be just as likely to be frozen by any other bank rather than just Monzo. It’s not like Monzo have a completely unique idea of what might look fraudulent or criminal.
Even with legacy banks, I believe standard advice is to talk to them about large, unexpected deposits like this.
Fair enough, thanks for making that clear. On the face of it, it read like you were acussing Monzo of acting like NK. But if you mean the UK banking sector as a whole is acting like NK, that’s fine.
Broadly, no. They are not based on facts. They are either wholly dishonest, or the customer is leaving out the information that they have been engaging in fraudulent activity. You’ll see plenty of discussion supporting this if you read back through this thread.
As an update, we’re talking to TP about how we might invite more people to leave positive reviews. We don’t want to give the impression that we’re disproportionally blocking people’s accounts, and avoid unduly worrying people (like the above!)
Well, then you’ve lost the bet, because I’ve worked in the financial IT sector for years, and I do know how AML algorithms work. While they are not subjective, the algorithm itself does not make a decision to freeze one’s account - that decision is made by an actual person, who is oftentimes subjective.
The NK comparison was a reply to Dunsford’s message who was talking about AML in general, so at no point did I compare Monzo to NK, but rather UK and its AML rules (‘this’), because it functions based on the presumption that “innocent until proven guilty” should be reversed where banks are concerned, because banks are such moral paragons that can be trusted absolutely
I was hoping MONZO could comment on whether the reviews are based on facts or not, and Richard’s response has clarified things: We don’t want to give the impression that we’re disproportionally blocking people’s accounts, and avoid unduly worrying people (like the above!) - Which is good to hear!
Thanks for clarifying, Richard!
So you’re saying the presumption of innocent until proven guilty should be reversed where banks are concerned?! Is that because they’re such moral paragons that can be trusted absolutely? (Yes, I am aware that’s the current AML law, but still)
I don’t get it. If you know so much about AML algorithms and how the legislation works why are you so concerned about the process of banks freezing accounts? Surely you should be able to tell everyone else about this, using your years of financial IT experience.
My question was whether Monzo went into some ‘frenzy mode’ and is just freezing accounts around.
I never asked how AML works or anything about bank algorithms, just FYI, but there are lots of people on this forum jumping in, trying to be “helpful” and not actually answering the initial question in the first place, but coming up with patronizing responses or sarcastic replies, like yours
I apologise if you took any of my replies as patronising or sarcastic. I was trying to be helpful and genuinely reassure you. My main point was, and remains so, that Monzo aren’t acting out of line of any other bank in this sector. If I would add anything to my argument, I would add that the reason Trustpilot reviews may appear disproportionally negative is because Monzo are a relatively new bank in the sector, and (unlike Starling) they haven’t (yet) pushed customers to add positive reviews to balance things out.
I hope you can understand now that my replies were genuinely made in good faith with the intention of being helpful. I’m glad to hear Richard’s reply has been useful to you.
I’m not an expert, but I have moved over my banking to Monzo for many months now (I’m not a blind fanatic, but someone who chose to bank with Monzo for a number of reasons).
Am I concerned with the TP reviews? No.
Would I be concerned if I had “dodgy” dealings? Yes.
If this was happening, I’d absolutely be in touch with ANY bank I banked with to make sure it all went through cleanly - I wouldn’t expect any bank to simply deposit it with no questions asked.
If your banking is clean, above board, with no funny business - You’ll be absolutely fine.
If there are things there that can raise questions (despite being legitimate), I don’t know if Monzo is hotter on this than other banks (I suspect they may be), but I’d probably avoid them.
Good luck either way
Hi Nick - I appreciate your clarifications. Cheers!
Thanks a lot - good to know!
I mean, this isn’t really the case. People often have ALL their funds frozen for 1-2 months before being cleared of any wrongdoing. AML issues can often come about because you’ve received a sum from someone else with AML issues or from cases of mistaken identity.
Whilst you’ll almost certainly be fine in the end, the vast majority of people would struggle without access to your funds for a couple of months.
Like I said, I’m no expert, so will happily be advised by those more in the know than I am on these matters.
But surely if you are receiving money from someone with AML issues, that would be classed as “funny business” so to speak.
Are Monzo hotter on this stuff than any other bank in your opinion?
Or would the customer have just as many issues if they banked with HSBC for example.
It’s “funny business” in the sense that it’s a flag but it does’t make you guilty. You can be innocent but get flagged and have your life seriously messed about.
No idea. I’d imagine Monzo are certainly more competent at implementing AML but lots of the issues I’ve heard about people getting screwed over by AML are from normal high-street banks. HSBC are particularly bad these days ever since they got massively fined for having been very lax previously.