St Albans branch of NatWest bank apologises to customer, 67, after staff member reduces her to tears

NatWest bank on St Peter's street

NatWest bank on St Peter's street - Credit: Archant

NatWest has apologised on behalf of a staff member who made a St Albans woman cry after yelling at her in front of customers in the city centre.

The upsetting incident took place on Friday June 5, at the bank’s St Peter’s Street branch, when Wendy Dell attempted to transfer money into her husband, Don’s, account.

Don, a former chairman of the St Albans branch of the Royal British Legion, was unable to visit the bank as he was at hospital undergoing physiotherapy following a knee operation.

He recently had to have extensive surgery to rebuild his knee after falling over at memorial parades held in the city – Don served this country in Malaya and Cyprus.

Wendy, 67, explained: “Don couldn’t get to the bank and rather than risk his account being overdrawn I went down to put some money into it.”

However, because she took Don’s bank card with her, a bank employee refused to let her use it, telling her that using her husband’s card to pay money into his account was ‘fraudulent’.

Wendy said: “The woman wouldn’t accept the card, because it belonged to Don. I asked to see the supervisor, and over came this guy.”

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While in the bank’s reception area speaking to him, she rang Don at hospital who explained the situation to the man and confirmed he had given his wife his bank card and the reason, but to no avail.

Wendy said that the man, “was scary; he was right in my face, hollering at me. I was standing in reception at NatWest with lots of people waiting to be seen. He said, ‘you don’t understand me, that is fraudulent.’

“I told him, ‘don’t shout at me, don’t shoot the messenger, I’m trying to put money in for my husband because he can’t get here.”

She went on: “He said to me that the card belonged to the bank and I couldn’t use it. He wasn’t speaking in a low tone – the world and his wife could have heard him, so I said to him, ‘I’m not going to listen to you any more, I’m walking out.

“I was in tears, and my friend, who was waiting outside, had to take me for a coffee to calm me down. It was humiliating in front of all those people – they could have taken me to a side room, as everyone was looking at me.

“He made me look like I was being fraudulent. He really upset me.”

A NatWest spokesman said: “This is not the type of service our customers expect from us and we are very sorry that this happened.

“The branch manager is trying to get in touch with Mrs Dell to apologise to her and will ensure that all staff members are fully aware of the customer service standards that are expected of them to ensure this does not happen again.”