Gavin Ames from Maidenhead was left distraught yesterday after a routine call to his bank to set up a new direct debit, left him a bleak future with no name and no money. When asked to answer three security questions by the NatWest, Gavin froze and went blank.
Gavin, or alleged Gavin, managed to answer the first two questions – his middle name and mother’s maiden name – but when asked to remember the amount of his last cash withdrawal, he panicked. ‘I said forty pounds’ said Gavin, ‘but then remembered I’d later taken out another twenty at Tesco to buy some lunch. By then it was too late, the guy had entered my answer into the system. He told me that I’d failed to prove who I am and that he could no longer help me. I pleaded with him to ask me more questions, but he said it wasn’t possible, I’d been deleted, before asking me if there was anything else he could do for me today.’ Gavin’s access to his bank account was locked, and he can no longer access his own money.
Afterwards Gavin called his wife to tell her the problem. ‘She asked me for the first and third digits of my pin, and the second and last letters from longest river in America’ said a stressed Gavin. ‘At first I laughed, and then I realised she was deadly serious. I found the bedroom door locked when I got home, with a note saying no further access was allowed owing to unusual activity.’ Similarly his friends failed to acknowledge him and have started asking him questions such as his first pet’s name, his favourite soft cheese and where he first went to school.
NatWest confirmed that whilst it does not usually comment on individual cases, that for the sake of security, and the benefit of the customer, Gavin for all intents and purposes, no longer exists. ‘He had three chances to prove who he was’, said a spokesperson for the bank. ‘We have to protect people like Gavin from people like Gavin’.
Gavin has taken his case to arbitration and has been asked by the bank to go into his nearest branch to take a DNA test, provide dental records and prove he can juggle six balls whilst standing on one leg. ‘We pride ourselves on our customer service’ said a spokesperson for the bank contacted after twenty minutes getting through the automated switchboard.
Gavin has since located his nearest branch, and plans to set off on the two hundred mile journey once he can retrieve the car keys from his locked bedroom.