A Lloyds account holder was falsely pronounced dead by the High Street Bank after incorrectly reading data from the death notification service, which resulted in the customer closing their account and canceling their direct debits.
John Hill made the discovery after receiving emails from his utilities reported Money saving expert.
Lloyds said it unlocked the account as soon as it was informed of the bug, but Mr Hill said the account remained largely inaccessible for more than a week.
The bank apologized, saying the closure was the result of a mix-up after receiving notification of the death of a “John Hill” and offered him £ 525 in compensation.
Chris Newlands, News and Investigations Editor for MoneySavingExpert.com, said, “The death notification service is designed to help loved ones report the death of a person to multiple banks, building societies and other financial firms using just one free online form.
“And while this is rare, this is an incredible case of mix-up.
“However, if you feel that your bank did not provide you with good customer service in responding to a complaint, it is best to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to help resolve disputes between financial companies and their customers. “
Mr. Hill from Devon told MSE, “I called the bank immediately, but the automated system put my number through to the bereavement team.
“That’s when I learned that Lloyds had been contacted by a company called Fraser and Fraser, which it turned out to be a company of genealogists and probate researchers. Fraser and Fraser informed Lloyds of the alleged death of someone with a name similar to me. “
He said he had to wait a week for new internet banking and access codes, as well as getting new debit and credit cards.
He said, “I haven’t had access to my cash for over a week.”
Mr. Hill said he would have to manually recreate some of the paused direct debits.
A spokesman for the bank said: “When we first received notification of the death of a ‘John Hill’ through the death notification service, a colleague checked the details provided to match the information with all associated accounts. In this case, it is clear that our colleague did not check the records thoroughly enough and misplaced markings on our client’s account. “
A Fraser and Fraser spokesperson said, “We have placed thousands of notifications since the death notification service began in 2018 and are only aware of two instances of misidentification like this one. I believe the system was used to generate more than 174,541 reports to banks in 2020. “
See MSEs Financial ombudsman Instructions for more information on filing a complaint. However, if you’ve recently lost a loved one and need guidance on the steps to take, visit MSEs What to do when someone dies Manual.
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