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stopping a bank account going into debt

Jinny007 Member Posts: 6 Listener
I've just joined this community as we can't be the only ones with this problem! I reckon our adult son is dyspraxic, although he only has a diagnosis of dyslexia. He has a terrible memory and continually receives packages (mostly pokemon cards) through the post, which he doesn't remember ordering. When he's come home from being in town, I sometimes look in his bag and he doesn't remember buying what's there. One time there was ice cream, which we had to eat straight away!
I've tried to get HSBC to stop his account going into the red. I try to ask son every day what his bank balance is and usually top it up if it looks like it's going into debt. Buying online is too easy. We've cancelled his bank card twice so far and just gave him cash, but nowadays retailers are very often only using cards. I want him to be independant, but why can't the bank stop debits going through? thanks


  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2020
    Ask your bank to take away his overdraft facility.

    If they don't do this, you could try another bank. I am with NatWest and I don't have an overdraft. If I try to buy something without funds available it just doesn't go through.
  • Jinny007
    Jinny007 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    He doesn't have an overdraft facility. He just gets a text to warn him that his account will be going into the red that day and I transfer money to cover it. Thankfully it's never lots and he pays me back when he gets his next benefit payment, but i keep thinking that there must be a better way. I'll look into NatWest. thanks.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,735 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Jinny007 Welcome to the community. I would talk to other banks about what they can offer it must be possible. My son has a go henry account  (for children) which I top up each month and he gets a weekly allowance paid, I know this isn't what you want, but it gives me the facility to authorise where he can spend the money eg online, retail, or cash machine and these options can be switched on and off at anytime.

    The point I am making is that is must be possible 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • Jinny007
    Jinny007 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I've suggested to him that he changes accounts, but he doesn't like change! I'm going to find out what Nat West offer and then write a letter to HSBC. The response I've had from HSBC so far is that he's an adult and capable of making his own decisions. He does a lot of comfort spending. I've made him open a building society account which doesn't have online access. He gives me board money, transfers some into the building society account for a rainy day and then it's his decision what he does with the rest, as long as he stays in credit!
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,596 Disability Gamechanger
    Always difficult when it's an adult, in all honesty many of us atm are "comfort" spending, I've never had so many parcels delivered in my life, if HSBC won't help the only option is to change his bank.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Jinny007
    Jinny007 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    thanks, woodbine. I'll find out what other banks do and send HSBC a letter asking them to "make adjustments".
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,776 Disability Gamechanger
    There are multiple aspects to this:

    1 - you are currently “enabling”. There’s no need to bail him out when he goes into the red. He will never understand the consequences if he’s not allowed to address them himself. Similarly with his reluctance to change accounts. You’re doing the work. Involve him and don’t make it a choice.

    2 - if he’s not financially capable for health reasons then you have options around appointeeship and power of attorney which you need to explore. Formalise what you’re already doing informally. 

    3 - he needs what’s called a basic bank account. See here for a simple explanation.

  • Jinny007
    Jinny007 Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Thanks, Mike. I'll look into a basic bank account. We're currently trying to wean him off some medication and then I hope he'll be more capable of making decisions himself.


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