FARMER Joe Fryer says his business has been put under a huge strain after the Nat West Bank closed his account this week on the back of a number of alleged banking errors.
Mr Fryer, who runs Apple Jacks and Spooky World at his Stretton Farm, claims the bank made a number of errors, including losing a cheque for £12,000 and cashing a supplier’s cheque twice.
He also claims that on another occasion the bank agreed an additional £20,000 over draft facility but then forgot to implement it, meaning he was unable to pay his staff wages.
Last December the bank wrote to Mr Fryer stating they were closing his banking facility as a result of “threatening and abusive behaviour” during phone calls to the bank – something Mr Fryer disputes.
“Phone calls are recorded to banks and I have asked for evidence of threatening and abusive behaviour and they haven’t provided any.”
Mr Fryer admits there were some heated conversations with his branch manager following the banking errors, but not “threatening an abusive behaviour.”
He said he had since secured a substantial business loan from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation but it was “crucial” to have a current account so the loan could be processed and funds released into the account.
He has raised the issue with his local MP Andy Carter who said he is keen to ensure that SME’s are supported by the Government and that the banks act in such a way that small businesses are enabled and supported.
Mr Carter said: “Being an owner of a business myself I am only too acutely aware of how difficult it can be from time to time and will always work in Parliament to support small business.”
A NatWest spokesman said: “Owing to confidentiality, we do not comment on circumstances related to individual customer cases, however we would not close an account without good reason.”