Dad's fury as teenager builds up debt
A FATHER has condemned a bank for allowing his 16-year-old son to mount up debts of nearly £4,000 in just four months.The youngster made 57 transactions at the Ipswich branch of Allsports clothing store in a single day – spending almost £2,000 – and now faces being blacklisted for credit cards in the future.
A FATHER has condemned a bank for allowing his 16-year-old son to mount up debts of nearly £4,000 in just four months.
The youngster made 57 transactions at the Ipswich branch of Allsports clothing store in a single day – spending almost £2,000 – and now faces being blacklisted for credit cards in the future.
His father admitted the teenager had "fallen in with the wrong crowd" and knew he was taking money not entitled to him, but he feels Barclays Bank should not have allowed his son access to such an amount of cash.
The 39-year-old, who lives in Felixstowe and does not want to be identified, said: "He has had a lot of problems through the years and mixed in with the wrong crowd. He has got a bit out of control.
"We have been trying not to give him any money to buy drugs and things but if Barclays are going to give him £4,000 what is the point? I could have lost my son over this."
The teenager opened a Young Persons Account with Barclays Bank last year and received an Electron Card to use at cash points and in some shops. The account is open to people aged 16 to 19 and has no overdraft facility.
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But on March 8 this year, the son was sent a statement from Barclays saying he was overdrawn by £1,982.16. A letter sent to him by the bank two days later said his card had been cancelled because he owed £3,378.41 and on April 5, the youngster was sent a demand for immediate payment of £3,875.38.
His father said: "It is unbelievable. When they sent him the statement, Barclays must have known that there was no money going into the account but from March 8 he has managed to draw out another £2,000.
"I don't know where the money has gone, I haven't got a clue. If he has £50 in the account then he should only be able to get £50, no more, no less."
A spokeswoman for Barclays said that they could not comment on individual cases without the authority of the customer - in this case, the 16-year-old boy.
But she added: "There are normally no overdraft facilities for children and we will be investigating how this has happened.
"We will talk to our customer to try and find out what has happened and to see where we go from here. If the customer wants us to talk to his parents then we will do so but we will be very sympathetic and he will not be under any pressure."
Allsports head office refused to comment on how the Electron Card could have been used by the youngster to such a degree at one of its stores.
The teenager's father now wants to warn parents of the possible dangers of getting into large debts at a young age and is worried about the effect this could have on his son in later years.
"I just want people to see how easy it can be for children to get such a large overdraft.
"If my son sorts himself out when he is older then he will never be able to get any bank account or credit card and he will have this on his record for years."