A 30-year National Australia Bank customer was shocked to receive a letter telling him the bank was going to close his account in six weeks without any reason.
Shane Lucas, 49, received an abrupt notice on Tuesday that he had until October 14 to close all his NAB accounts. After that, the bank would wait two weeks before doing it for him.
‘You will have until October 14 2023 to withdraw any remaining funds in your account(s), and to repay any funds you owe us,’ the bank wrote to Mr Lucas.
‘If accounts and services have not been closed by the 19 October 2023, we will close your accounts and services.’
‘I got the letter on Monday and thought what the f** is this?’ Mr Lucas told Daily Mail Australia.
Shane Lucas was shocked to receive a letter from his bank saying they would close all his accounts in six weeks time
‘I called up the NAB three times and asked ‘what the hell is going on here?’
‘It was a young guy and he was pretty good and we spoke through it and he was pretty stunned.
‘He said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’.’
The NAB letter stated the account was being closed ‘in line with section 143 of the Banking Code of Practice’.
Section 143 of the Banking Code of Practice states that a bank ‘may close an account of your’s under its terms and conditions if that account is in credit’.
This section states the bank will give reasonable notice, ‘pay you the amount of the account balance’ but may charge ‘a reasonable amount’ for closing accounts.
Despite the promise to pay the customer the amount left in their account, the letter told Mr Lucas that any remaining funds could be ‘transferred to the Commonwealth government as ‘unclaimed money’, and amounts under $20 could be transferred to the NAB Foundation.
The letter does not give any explanation why the NAB is moving to close Mr Lucas’s account
However, if the bank was owed money the account would stay open until the debt was cleared.
At the bottom of the letter NAB states that all queries must be emailed to its accounts closures section.
‘Our branches and call centres are unable to assist in this matter,’ the bank advises.
Mr Lucas said he is at a loss to know why his personal and business accounts are being closed.
‘I am as straight as you come,’ he said.
‘I don’t drink. I don’t go to the pub. I don’t gamble.
‘I am just a family man who runs a small business my bank account (and I) can’t get any cleaner.
‘I pay my suppliers and get paid by my clients. I haven’t written ‘duck off’ on any of my transactions.’
A spokesperson for NAB told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday that they do not comment on individual cases.
However, they clarified that any money they sent to the Commonwealth government could be claimed from them ‘by the rightful owner’ at any time.
Major banks have terms and conditions which state customers may not use their services if they engage in conduct that in ‘the opinion’ of the bank is offensive, harassing or threatening to other people.
Mr Lucas said when he read about this in a NAB brochure he made a complaint to this local branch about why the bank should be allowed to do this but was dismissed as ‘being silly’.
He has since been told the account closure was not punishment for raising that objection.
According to Mr Lucas the single letter is the only communication he has from the bank about looming account closure.
‘There’s no email, there’s nothing in internet banking, there’s no notifications,’ he said.
‘What if I was overseas and didn’t get that letter?’
Frustrated by the lack of communication, Mr Lucas went to see his local bank manager.
‘He went through my personal and business accounts and there’s nothing there,’ Mr Lucas said.
‘He couldn’t see on his screen why they have closed my account so the branches get no information.’
‘When I said ‘is it because I brought Bitcoin? He said that’s probably the issue.’
A NAB spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that they would comment on individual customer cases
NAB announced in July that it would stop ‘transactions made to high-risk cryptocurrency exchanges’ to save customers from ‘a scam epidemic’.
‘If you attempt to make a payment using your NAB Visa credit or debit card to one of these exchanges, the transaction will be declined, and you will be shown a message which says, ‘Issuer Declined Transaction’,’ a Q&A on the announcement said.
There was no mention of closing accounts.
Mr Lucas said he hasn’t sent any money to a Bitcoin exchange in a while.
‘I am a shrimp – not a Bitcoin whale,’ he said.
‘I am not some big multi-millionaire. I am just an average guy.’
Mr Lucas says after this he is done with NAB and has been asking around, only to find some banks are refusing to do any Bitcoin transactions.
‘You go and gamble. You go to the pub. You can go to a brothel with Asian sex slaves, they are fine with that but you can’t buy Bitcoin?’ Mr Lucas said.
‘If I go buy a car and it is a lemon of a car and a bad investment that’s my choice.
‘If I go buy Bitcoin and I buy at the top and sell at the bottom then that’s a bad investment, that’s my choice.
‘No one holds a gun to your head and says you’ve got to buy this or you’ve got to see this.
‘It should be a free society where we have the right to purchase what we want. I am not doing anything illegal.’