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BANK ACCOUNT FROZEN?


Archbold Solicitors is frequently contacted by bank account holders who have had their bank accounts frozen by their bank without prior warning or explanation, and desperately struggle to know why their accounts have been frozen and when they will be unfrozen.

Often the account holder discovers this when s/he attempts to withdraw, transfer or deposit money from/into the account or when using some other method of accessing the account such as a debit card, or the ATM.

  1. NOTE: This article does not deal with the frozen bank accounts of suspected overstayers for immigration purposes.

WHY HAS MY BANK ACCOUNT BEEN FROZEN AND WHAT IS THE RELEVANT LAW?

Very possibly, someone at the bank or the banks computer system has flagged up your account for unusual activity. Suspicion of money laundering is often cited as the primary reason for freezing an otherwise perfectly healthy bank account.

The legal basis for the most part is to be found in Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, particularly in sections 335 and 340.

Your account has most probably been referred to your bank’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) to see if a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) should be made to the National Crime Agency (NCA). A SAR will be filed with the NCA if the MLRO decides that a valid basis for a suspicion of money laundering exists on your account.

BANK CONSENT REQUEST FOR UNFREEZING OF ACCOUNT