Some time ago, we advised of the Melbourne-based client that was advised by Westpac that it no longer wanted its business and was given 30 days in which to find an alternative financial services provider.
The lender appealed against the time allowed and was granted an extension and his accounts will be closed at the end of this month.
It now seems Westpac may be upping the ante on lenders again but in an even more insidious and draconian move, one of his staff members, who is a signatory on the company account but is neither a shareholder or director, has received a letter from the bank advising her she can no longer withdraw funds from their joint account. Westpac have refused to advise her of why this action has been taken in the same manner it did with the lender but the timing does seem rather too coincidental. The staff member’s husband is, as you can imagine, totally unimpressed and whilst the staff member can deposit money into the account, only her husband will now be permitted by the bank to withdraw funds. The main problem is the account is tied to a home mortgage and neither we nor the client would not want to see Westpac take action on that.
Fortunately, the lender’s other staff member no longer has any Westpac group bank accounts.
We have suggested some actions to be taken, including going to the Royal Commission and to the Financial Ombudsman Service but if any lender’s staff suffers from a similar occurrence, please let us know.