Metro Bank warns after thieves use vulnerable man to secure £28,000 loan

Metro Bank warns after thieves use vulnerable man to secure £28,000 loan

Metro Bank is under fire after thieves used a vulnerable man to secure a £28,000 bank loan. Metro Bank is facing questions over what safeguards it has in place and why the victim was allowed to borrow such a large sum from the banking giant.

The Guardian newspaper reported that a deaf man was tricked into obtaining a £28,000 business loan by a gang. The customer, who has special educational needs and only communicates in British Sign Language, was being pursued by the bank’s debt collectors and was facing bankruptcy.

“I help my daughter and, inevitably, her husband, with their financial affairs and initially thought this was another case of identity theft,” the man’s family said. “Getting details from my son-in-law was very difficult but it now appears he has been manipulated by a gang.”

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“Through an old school contact he met – he doesn’t even know his last name – he was promised a job at a new company.” They said: “At the end of it all, he says he was brought back to the Metro.

“He had to hand over the bank card in exchange for his phone, and the group disappeared with the card and, as we now know, £28,000. Peter says that as he got out of the car, the person signed that they would contact him the next day about the work, telling him to be careful and keep quiet. He never heard from them again.”

“When we went to the Metro branch to try to get answers, we all had to show our ID, but it seems that the person who was acting as an interpreter when we took out this loan did not do so,” the family said. “How can a bank give such a large loan to someone who is clearly vulnerable without authenticating the person acting on their behalf? This is all very disturbing.”

The bank told the Guardian: “The investigation into this case has revealed just how unscrupulous the scammers are: they will prey on anyone. We would like to remind your readers to be wary of being pressured to open financial accounts and credit cards, share personal information (passwords, account numbers, security numbers, access codes, etc.) and even hand over/transfer money. All of these are red flags for fraud, in addition to the more obvious signal of someone threatening you.”