Most of our customers will never have to worry about their account access being denied or frozen, however a very small minority (less than 1% of our customers) may be upset to find that their account has been frozen. We appreciate this can be frustrating. We don’t take the decision to freeze accounts lightly, and will only freeze an account when we believe we have good reason for doing so – particularly because we’re aware how easy it is for our customers to take to online forums and review sites to vent their frustrations. We’ve set out below a little more information on why an account may be frozen.
In what circumstances might you freeze my account?
There are a number of reasons, for our customers’ protection and as required by law. If we believe a customer’s account security has been compromised, and that account could be accessed by an unauthorised person, we would look to protect the account by freezing it. Equally if we believe there have been some suspicious, illegal or unexplained transactions on a customer’s account we may freeze the account. Also the police may request that we freeze an account. In any of these circumstances, the Financial Conduct Authority (our regulator) expects us to freeze access to the account.
What happens when my account has been frozen?
We may ask a customer for some additional information to help us look at what has happened on your account. We’ll stay in close contact with you, and strongly recommend that a customer provides any information that we request which will help us unfreeze the account as soon as possible.
Why can’t I get more information on why my account has been frozen?
By law we are often not able to give customers full details on why an account has been frozen, and we appreciate this can be frustrating. Your account may remain frozen for a minimum of 2 weeks (it may be much longer than this), and we ask for your patience during this time. Please rest assured that any money in a frozen account is held securely during any freeze.
I have done nothing wrong, so why is my account frozen?
Only a very small proportion of our customers’ accounts are ever frozen. The authorities believe that the negative impact on innocent customers of having their accounts frozen is an acceptable price to pay to prevent money laundering and other financial crime.
If there is nothing untoward happening on a customer’s account and any questions satisfactorily answered we’ll look to unblock it as soon as we can. At no times do we want to deny a customer access to their money unless this is absolutely necessary.
What monitoring does Dozens carry out on accounts?
We use a number of sophisticated tools to monitor numbers and sizes of transactions made by our customers, and the tools help us identify suspicious activity on an account. We are continually enhancing our tools to ensure they are able to spot new patterns of suspicious behaviour.
Any other reasons why an account may be blocked?
Dozens currently only offers accounts for private use, and for customers resident in the United Kingdom – and therefore cannot permit customers resident outside of the UK or using the account for business purposes to continue to maintain an account. If we discovered an account being used for business/being used by a non-UK resident we will freeze the account, and return any money in the account to the customer’s alternative (non-Dozens) account.
What are Dozens obligations?
By law Dozens has clear regulatory obligations: we must ensure that our accounts are not used for ill-gotten money, namely funds that are the proceeds of crime or fraudulently obtained funds. Our accounts must also not be used for money laundering or in relation to terrorist financing. If we have suspicions that an account is being used for any of these circumstances we are required to file a report with police and/or with the National Crime Agency, and are not able to move any funds in the frozen account until we get instructions from the authorities. By law we are also not able to update customers on any of this process.
We take our regulatory responsibilities very seriously, and will do everything we can to detect and prevent ill-gotten funds being moved through our accounts. We believe we owe it to our customers and the industry as a whole to ensure we prevent criminals from using our accounts.