It was late morning on Friday May 17th 2019 when the phone rang. The land line…who could it be? The person on the other end introduced themselves as Simon from MetroBank. In a split second my mind flew back to August 2018 and the last call I took from MetroBank, which turned out to be from a fraudster. I hesitated, felt nervous, anxious, and said I’d call back. One returned call and four internal transfers later, I’m talking with Simon again, going through security.
The phone call was to inform me that MetroBank have been reviewing their complex cases of fraud, one of which is mine. A review at executive level has resulted in the banks earlier decision being reversed, meaning the money which had been fraudulently taken from my account is being returned.
The call ended and I sat in shock. The same bank who were initially so sure the fraud was my responsibility, has now had a complete change of mind. Nothing has changed from my perspective, so what’s brought this on? I probably should have asked this while Simon was on the phone, but I didn’t. During the call I felt both present, and oddly distanced from it.
I went downstairs and spoke with Carole and Keira. I dissolved into tears as I told them the news. I felt a real mix of emotions – the feelings of stupidity and anger from the time of the fraud returned, along with some relief that the bank has changed its mind, coupled with a rapidly growing sense of confusion. Why now? 9 months after the fraud took place.
Back in August 2018 after the bank refused to help, I engaged the financial ombudsman. Having had no progress from them since an initial acknowledgement in October 2018, I wasn’t hopeful that their involvement, if it ever came, would have much impact. Maybe I won’t need them any more? Questions.
I thought I’d moved past this situation – reconciled myself to the unlikelihood of a resolution. Clearly I had not, and by the middle of the afternoon I was exhausted – I couldn’t stay awake. I hardly ever sleep during the day but resistance was futile, and I went to bed.
A few days later. I’m relieved to be reunited with the money, not pleased, just relieved. While I realise the bank didn’t take the money, their response, both in the immediate aftermath of the fraud and over time, has been completely inadequate. I’ve been holding the stress much closer, tighter than I realised. Counselling has helped, but it’s taken this shift, this reversal by the bank to unlock something in me. I’m glad about that, and importantly, my energy is flowing much more positively already.
Sometimes it’s harder to let go than we think.