The UK’s competition watchdog Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a warning to Monzo, NatWest Group, Virgin Money and Bank of Ireland after they breached a rule requiring them to send banking transaction histories to former account holders.
In total, nearly 150,000 customers were not provided with their transaction history in the necessary timescale, with Monzo responsible for 143,000 of the cases. Some transaction histories were provided a few weeks late, while others have been delayed by more than a year.
As a result of the Retail Banking Market Investigation Order 2017, banks and building societies are required to send customers a history of their current account banking activity within 40 days of a customer or small business closing a current account.
Transaction histories must be sent to at least 95% of such customers within 10 working days.
The rules were introduced in 2017 as part of a push to make switching current accounts easier, while ensuring that customers can still access banking history – a key requirement for credit lenders.
The CMA said, “If the banks breach the order again, the CMA can take further action by issuing legally binding ‘Directions’.
“These could include banks having to introduce specific training or carrying out annual compliance audits to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Condemning the banks for negligence that could negatively impact customers’ desires to take out loans or mortgages, CMA Senior Director of Remedies Business and Financial Analysis Adam Land promised that his organisation would remain vigilant to similar behaviour moving forward. “Banks must comply with all the rules – that includes providing a full transaction history promptly.
“We will be watching closely to make sure these leading names stick to their word and don’t let their customers down again. The Bank of Ireland, Monzo, Natwest Group, and Virgin Money should be in no doubt that the CMA stands ready to take further action if these failures are repeated.”
Land added that while this may have made things harder for people trying to borrow money or apply for a mortgage, the CMA will continue its endeavour to make it easier for people to get a better deal from their bank.
In response, a spokesperson for Monzo said, “Since we identified the issue and reported it to the CMA in February 2021, we’ve fixed the problem and are telling affected customers that we can send them their transaction history if they’d like.
“This was an admin error, and we’ve also said sorry to the customers involved. Up until now, we’ve sent a full transaction history to any customer who has asked for it directly.”
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