Barclays threatened to close a rifle club’s account if it didn’t hand over FAC copies

9 Aug 2016 – Barclays Bank threatened to terminate banking services to a rifle club if the club committee did not send copies of the club FAC to the bank, a letter seen by UK Shooting News reveals.

The letter, shown to UKSN by a concerned club member, details how the bank threatened to close the account with 6 weeks’ notice unless sensitive documents were sent to named bank employees.

Worryingly, a followup letter confirms that the Barclays fishing expeditions were being led by just three female staff – one of whom worked from home.

A Barclays employee claimed to the club that one of the trio had apparently contacted her local police station and been told it was OK for the bank to collect and store copies of FACs, revealing the names and addresses of firearm owners to anyone with access to the documents.

The employee also suggested handing paper copies of the club “firearms licence” over to a local branch, which would forward it to the trio of managers.

UKSN was unable to authenticate two of the identities given in the letter through basic Google and Linkedin searches – normally reliable indicators for people working in the finance sector – though an ink signature, a name and a mobile phone number are given for the third person.

The NRA told clubs there was nothing to worry about and to comply with the bank’s demands.

A lightly redacted copy of the letter from Barclays is presented below. The initials are left in the clear so other clubs who have received similar demands from named people are able to compare notes.

uksn barclays letter

Below is the letter the club sent in return.

uksn barclays letter club reply.png

The club said it would make a complaint to the ombudsman if the bank closed their account without responding to the above questions.

UKSN’s security tips for clubs facing inappropriate questions from outside bodies can be found here.

4 thoughts on “Barclays threatened to close a rifle club’s account if it didn’t hand over FAC copies

  1. Kevin Drummond

    Please do not disclose my name or occupation. The Club should send Barclay’s the registered number of their club or a redacted copy of the club certificate which discloses nothing but the name of the club, its date of registration and its club number. Barclay’s should be informed that with that information they will now be able to confirm the bona fides of the club from the police. If Barclay’s demand additional information e.g. names of members they should be asked their reason for requiring such information and the legal basis upon which they claim to be entitled to it. Please do not reply to this email.


  2. Herdwick

    Almost unbelievable. Incidentally, any time my bank cold calls me, I say that before our conversation can proceed, I need some verification: first, can they tell me their mother’s maiden name… .
    (A relative of mine is said to have ended any letter to the bank or the Inland Revenue with: “You remain, Sir, my obedient servant”. Admittedly, that might not always get the best result).



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