Accounts of many random users unexpectedly locked and under review for weeks and even months!!!

No it isn’t. The single financial market was made to make things like Revolut possible. Before only large banks were able to get any foothold in countries and some retreated from markets as it wasn’t affordable to run directly within them.

Now suddenly you can have one base and offer products based on the market, while offering the EU wide protection that is backed by your member state.

They have to comply with the laws of their country - your country is literally irrelevant.

You may complain to Revolut and then escalate that after a final response or 8 weeks has elapsed with the Financial Ombudsman Service or if required take the matter to British Civil Courts.

For what it’s worth, our Financial Ombudman is rumored to be one of the best in the EU.

Eh, I use Revolut for holding money and savings in foreign currencies. Never any issues for me.

Most of the people claiming that Revolut has ‘stolen their money’ are trying to get past new companies with stricter AML triggers than regular banks, then they realize that they’re stricter because they don’t have millions of customers and 10+ years of data on spending and their money gets frozen while the police do some investigations, while they cry on forums about bull.

I can’t even use it as a replacement myself and I’m in the homeland of Revolut - mainly because they don’t support GBP Direct Debits (and I have credit card bills to pay that I do my non-foreign spending on)

Hopefully not. I’d rather they don’t waste money on establishing subsidiaries in markets where they already have customers just to appease the few who actually care.

Here, N26 have a German license and people still use them. This is true in Spain and Italy, where they also operate.

Note how they’ve not been forced to get local licenses everywhere to become successful in each country? That’s called marketing.

This is why I’ve tagged @NFH. I know what the legislation prevents, just not what specific legislation it is :slight_smile:

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No bank anywhere will disclose any details as it would be contra-productive to their AML and other measures.
This also happens for any normal bank but they don’t have a user base that is as digitized so you don’t read that much about it.

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My account is not locked, but I second Oliver:
never use Revolut as mainbank.

Also to the legal issue - IF the police is investigating at all (wasn’t there a wave of locked accounts due to the revolut-system a few months ago?), why would the UK-laws apply?

Ok, Revolut is based in the UK, BUT is using a lithunian banking license. So it should be watched as lithunian bank - and lithunian laws should be applied, or am i wrong?

(also blocking the account would be counterproductive! The instant the account is locked, the account-holder will suspect that there’s an investigation and …disappear if he/she/it did something illegal. That’s why normally, one has still access to the account - it will only be blocked after a warrant from the prosecutor, which normally comes AFTER the investigation… At least that’s what they teach you in commercial school in switzerland)

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Revolut currently serves all customers from its UK e-money license.

As such, it will be based on UK law - not Lithuanian law.

Should Revolut operate in Lithuania and not London I won’t go near them - I don’t trust the guarantee nor do I trust the Ombudsman.

Switzerland and the UK are very different

Luckily, my account was never locked as my money flow is pretty constant and easy to follow up. Only one source (bank transfers from one of my own Swiss bank accounts, so it’s easy to see that it’s my moned) and normal spending by cards with few SEPA outbound transfers.

Regarding legislation, as we’re currently customers of Revolut in the UK, that legislation will apply to that company and therefore to the service we’re using from that Company as their customers.

What bothers me most is, that the user has no proper means to act. The chat support is not a tool to rely on to sort out this kind of problems. That’s one of the reasons I would never hand over larger sums of money to Revolut than what I need in the next few weeks so I don’t become dependant of Revolut.

To block an account, financial institutions must follow the AML, thats true. But this still does not give them the right to just block an account, at least here in Switzerland. Incoming money transfers can be blocked until the source is proven, not an issue. Even some outgoing transfers if strong assumption of illegal behaviour exists.

To lock an account, at least here in Switzerland, a court order is required, if not because of the mentioned AML. And then there is the possibility of legal actions against this order.

And as Mike wrote, blocking an account during an investigation will not help much, except to make sure the target of the investigation is aware of it.

@Recchan: Yes, its a bonus that Revolut does not have to apply for a banking license in every country to operate in the EEA. And within that EEA some common grounds of legislation exists. But remember, Revolut also operates outside of that EEA, which results in different legislation, different processes etc. Even if Revolut decides to move the customers to an Entity backed by a banking license within the EU, it still does not help customers outside of the EU.
This is the reason for me to not use it to hold money. This standpoint is most likely different for an UK resident because of the above mentioned reasons.

Therefore, if Revolut wants to be more than a prepaid card company with an electronic money account, they must invest in representation in the different legislation. The big question is, as you hinted as well, should they really do that? I would say now. My hint to Revolut would be to grow and improve in the areas where they are good at. For me, savings is not one of these areas. And as you pointed out, integration in all the local payment systems is not their strength as well. As an example, it’s not possible to pay local Swiss bills through Revolut as it’s integration into the Swiss payment system with it’s reference number system is missing. Again, not a top priority to implement, IMHO.

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BUT is using a lithunian banking license

NO, it is not. It owns one, but won’t implement it/ use it till 2020 I think. And with lithauania openly discussing withdrawing that license again, it might get even further delayed.

Fact is, atm they do not use any banking license, and are NOT regulated as a bank, but instead under the british E-Money laws.

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@Recchan
Thanks, I thought the whole customer base was “migrated” to the EU-license… And yeah, the UK is VERY different it seems…
(i just hope no one who uses Revolut as main bank got hit by the lock - this might end very ugly for both sides (no salary coming in, no invoces being payed)

@OliverCH
FullACK.
Except maybe the part with payments: while I agree with the “it’s no use integrating with the local payment system”, normal transfers (to a CH-account) should be handled by a CH-bank (eg. CS, as it’s used to topup) to avoid SWIFT-fees (while i admit: i’m not up-to-date on the usecase, as i only use revolut as “prepaid card with exchange-rate benefits”)

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Yep. And when you read other online review sites, (past) revolut users describe the very same thing. And not just english review sites, german ones as well. When basically ALL negative reviews descibe the same thing, it has to be assumed revolut actually does act like this. Aside of not activating their Banking license, the Main reason so far I do not use it.

That being said Revolut’s biggest competitor N26 has been doing the very same things for a long time, and on top of that seems even less cooperative when giving back money (at least I have read more than one german review where people said they had only been given Money in their blocked account back after filing a criminal charge over fraud with the German police) and on top they seem a bit more … open with their costumer data compared to revolut, so I wouldn’t trust them with my money much either.

Only bunq doesn’t seem to have this issue among the larger fintechs that I have looked into. But then again they frequently completely close peoples accounts over buying lottery tickets/ online gambling with it, apparently, since that would leads to their Accounts being reevalued under risk assesment with a negative outcome. So IDK. - Maybe smaller fintechs like tomorrow or Fidor are the way to go, since they seem not to do that stuff? I am really frustrated over all this and cannot decide at this point.

Completely incorrect.

It is, followed by the financial ombudsman service, should your response be inadequate.

Also don’t quote me on this (@NFH may be able to confirm or disconfirm) but I’m pretty sure as an EU citizen you have the right to be heard in your domestic courts - although with law from the member state applying.

It does here in the UK, where they are physically in. In fact, they are literally required to do so.

Switzerland is irrelevant in the matter, I’m afraid.

Definitely but most criminals getting caught on-to aren’t going to be able to hide their tracks in a financial system - they’ll also be on some form of watchlist I imagine.

I imagine this will change in time, I know they’re trying to replace banks in both Poland and Norway. Seems they’re mainly tackling countries with fees for maintenance first.

They’re also working on GBP direct debits and as such I believe we’ll see this within the next year or two, along with further integration into at least crucial local payment schemes such as DD’s or equivalent.

If they withdraw the license they’re going to get hardcore sued considering their only basis is Nikolay’s father having relatively close ties with the Kremlin.

On top of that the damages it could potentially cause to Revolut… that and the EU will want to investigate as it means Lithuania didn’t do their due diligence - or that they’re being retarded.

They won’t revoke the license. They’re scaremongering.

If it helps, people are more likely to complain than leave a good review. My work is quite busy but all but a couple of our reviews are bad.

There’s the European Small Claims procedure. But I believe this can be used only to claim money (e.g. compensation), not an injunction to reactivate the account where time is of the essence.

You could claim damages from Revolut using this procedure?

I know it couldn’t be used to have your account unlocked as it’s not for legal jurisdiction stuff really, is it?

They still have to agree to the overall EU law
As long UK are in EU

I have seeing 1
That get his account locked
And revolut was the only 1 account

I have only seeing that 1 time

Seen somewhere else, might be worth a read:

If this is the case, the whole debate about tax-heavens should be terminated yesterday, as hint: those using an abroad-bank are not breaking a law in the country of that bank. So no more pressuring the “irrelevant country” to follow contracts the pressuring country doesn’t obey itself… But back on topic:

You yourself mentioned a unified financial market. What you wrote now means: “it doesn’t matter because of the UK-laws”.

For customers outside the UK, this’d simply mean “you have no rights”, because no one outside the UK can counteract aUK (local) police-issued blockade - the UK-law only applys to the UK. And if the Police is investigating wrong (they’re investigating a person outside the UK - but living outside the UK, they need to follow procedures for investigating abroad so that person has the right to defend itself!!), there’s NO WAY to represent ones case. (not to mention the “they can stop your ability to pay your bills in the UK”-thing…)

If your arguments are right - this would scream “people - don’t do business with the UK, contracts mean nothing as the UK will pull the floor under your feet” as in “absolutly no protection of ones rights, no following international contracts and standarts” aso…

I understand the UK may have some strange level of prosecution (guilty until proofen innocent, as in "block the account and stop everything until it’s clearly proofen ‘all ok’ "), but as I said: only people within the UK can call UK-authorities into action aso… And until the UK doesn’t observe int. contracts and files a request for legal aid to prosecute someone, there’s no way someone “abroad” can ensure his legal representation in the case… Welcome to due process; or the lack of thereof.

In my opinion, those “blockades” are alarming, as no one can tell if they happened automatically bc something triggered the software within revolut, or if the police is involved aso. AND you cannot represent yourself in the case, you don’t get any information, and not being a UK citizen, well…

I don’t particularly trust a company acting this way… Not sure about you…

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What about debit card?

One reason an account may be blocked is when a user transfers money to it from a credit card and then transfers that money to a different account.

Shouldn’t be an issue. Debit is not credit. I usually top up with my debit card. It is the most convenient way.

One reason an account may be blocked is when a user transfers money to it from a credit card and then transfers that money to a different account. Despite this being against the rules, users often do it - for various reasons. It can be a way to gain cheap access to cash from a credit card by withdrawing it from an ATM.

I saw this posted on that cashless.pl website - I’m intrigued, I can’t see anywhere in the T&Cs that says topping up your account with a credit card and then transfering funds to another account is against the rules.

@Regalia - I’m not sure if the card type is really relevant.
@thetrickster - This I assume is not coming from the T&C but from the AML

The “Anti Money Laundering” has, as one of it’s points, the intention to be able to follow the path of all money transfers. This is much harder to do for card payments than bank transfers. If you have a bank transfer, the system aims to include the four participants in any payment:

  • Sending side/Account: Who’s account is the money coming from
  • Sending side/Owner: Who’s money is it, that is transferred
  • Receiving side/Account: Whom does the receiving account belong to
  • Receiving side/Owner: Who owns the money

It’s important to differentiate the “owner of the account” and the “owner of the money”. This must not be the same legal entity/person, as a business/person can act on behalf of another one.

And even that is a simplification. Take the example of an invoice to my wife which I pay from my account with my money. The aim is, that in the future it’s known in the financial flow, that this invoice, payed with my money from my account is for an invoice to my wife. In reality, this bill I paid includes two transfers of money, myself to my wife and my wife to the recipient. For the AML this differentiation is important.
This is not yet implemented on a large scale but ISO20022 would allow for it.

Exactly this is an issue if you transfer money by any card to a Revolut account. If used directly within Revolut to pay with Revolut cards, this is kind of OK, although you still could spend someone else money. That’s why the might ask for supporting documents from you to prove you own that money. But if you transfer it to yet another account (be it Revolut or a bank transfer), Revolut would break that chain definitely as there is no feasible way to track back every top-up by card to the real money owner.

Remember: Revolut does, at best, get a name as “it’s written on the card”. It already does not know who the owner of the underlying account/money is, as it could be a card in my name on my wife’s account, or in my name on my employer’s account aso… Now you transfer if to a further account. This successfully hides the origin of the money for the recipient financial institution as Revolut has no means to provide the real source of the money.

I think it is.

twenty.