German online bank closes accounts of more than 100 customers, who claim to have still got their money back

German neobank headquartered in Berlin, Germany, N26, closed the online bank accounts of more than 100 customers, without prior warning, as part of anti-fraud measures that went wrong a year ago. a month, April 14.

N26 customers were suddenly blocked from accessing their savings, with several telling the Business insider, including a Ukrainian haven here, that they still haven’t gotten their money back.

According to a press release issued by N26 on April 19, in which it is explained why the bank accounts of some of its customers are sometimes closed, as a fully regulated bank, N26 has a legal obligation to fight against financial crime.

N26 regularly performs routine checks on our millions of customer accounts to detect suspicious activity or account misuse, allowing us to monitor and report suspicious activity or misuse where it may exist.“, we read in the press release.

He goes on to explain that the bank, although not traditional, is legally obliged to report to the German Financial Intelligence Unit by filing a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) in cases where suspicious activity is detected. .

Sometimes our discoveries may require us to block accounts. We always aim to return client funds as soon as possible as long as they can be released“, we read in the press release.

He acknowledges, however, that not all decisions to block bank accounts are 100% right, insisting that the N26 team is doing everything possible to minimize the margin of error.

The decision to freeze the bank accounts of some of her clients has affected many, including a Ukrainian shelter named Anya Shamaieva, who told Business Insider she had around €15,000 in her account, and was hoping to provide it. to his needs with this money while the war in his house continued.

When she contacted N26 regarding the reason for the move, she was told that she had to prove that the funds belonged to her in order to unlock her account.

I explained that I was displaced, so it may be difficult to prove because I did not bring anything with me. I can’t go to Kyiv tax office and risk my life again because N26 decided to close my account,” she says.

Others affected by the closure of their bank accounts say they have not been able to pay their bills, have not been able to take the trips they had planned for months, thus losing money. money already paid, and that some of them could not even allocate the expenses of their employees salaries.

>> Study in Germany: the amount of the blocked bank account should increase to €11,172 from autumn 2022

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David A. Albanese