Bungling bank creates useless account for Sheffield pub founder

Micro pub landlord John Harrison cant get a bank card
Micro pub landlord John Harrison cant get a bank card

Bungling bank staff left a Sheffield pub founder with an account he could not use - because of a £35 charge from ten years ago.

John Harrison set up a new account for finances at the city’s first micropub The Beerhouse, which opened on Ecclesall Road last year, with Natwest.

He was told that, as a student ten years ago, he had accrued a £35 interest charge after paying off his overdraft on a different account, which he had not been aware of.

The new account was set up regardless by staff and money placed in it - only for John to find out after several requests that we would not be allowed to access it or have a debit card although his business partner could.

Teacher John said: “At first they said there was a black note on my name because of a £35 charge as a student, but it didn’t matter and it would be written off.

“The debit card never came and I was calling Royal Mail because I was that concerned about where it was.

“Now they are saying I can’t have one - the account doesn’t even have an overdraft on it, we just want to put money in and then get that out.

“Natwest say there is nothing they can do but why did they even set up the account in the first place? “They’ve opened the account, taken the money and won’t allow me to get it out.

“It is ridiculous.”

John, who runs the pub with Dronfield landlord Chris Sinclair, paid off his student account after graduating and moved out.

Because the bank only had an old address, he never received letters saying he owed £35 in interest.

He has now pointed out that the Royal Bank of Scotland, which Natwest is now part of, was bailed out by the taxpayer and markets itself as business friendly.

After being contacted by The Star, Natwest said it would ‘refund’ the £35 on the account and had written off markers against Mr Harrison.

A spokesman admitted that the account should not have been opened and once it had, correct procedure had not been followed.

She added: “Mr Harrison had a legacy debt on his account we had not made him aware of. We didn’t follow correct procedures in over-riding this meaning Mr Harrison was unable to open his account fully.

“We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and have written off the debt.”