John Hill from Devon got in touch with MoneySavingExpert (MSE) after discovering his online bank account had been closed. He made the discovery after receiving various emails from his utility providers informing him that his direct debits had been cancelled.
Mr Hill told MSE: “I immediately rang the bank but the automated system put my number through to the bereavement team.
“It is then that I learnt Lloyds had been contacted by a company called Fraser and Fraser, who it turns out are a company of genealogists and probate researchers. Fraser and Fraser informed Lloyds about the supposed death of someone with a similar name to mine. “
Lloyds said the closure was the result of a mix up internally and that it had apologised to Mr Hill and offered him £525 in compensation.
A spokesperson for the bank said: “Initially, when we received the notification of the passing of a’John Hill’ through the death notification service, a colleague reviewed the details provided so they could match the information against any associated accounts. In this case , it’s clear our colleague did not check the records thoroughly enough, placing markers on the account of our customer incorrectly.”
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Lloyds said it unblocked the account as soon as it was notified of the error but Mr Hill said the account remained largely inaccessible for more than a week.
Mr Hill told MSE: “It was well over a week before I had full access to my account as they (Lloyds) had to issue a new cash debit and credit card, as well as the subsequent pin numbers that come with these. I also had to wait for all my new internet banking details and access codes. I was unable to access my cash for over a week.”
Mr Hill said Lloyds was also unable to reinstate all of his direct debits, meaning he had to set many of them up manually. “It’s incredibly frustrating and time-consuming,” he said.
Lloyds, however, did provide Mr Hill with a list of third parties who he previously had direct debits with (see the correspondence below from Lloyds to Mr Hill).