Postman's chaos as bank account went £1M overdrawn in Barclays error
24th June 2022

Postman says his ‘life has been turned upside down’ after his bank account went £1MILLION overdrawn due to Barclays error – and ALL his direct debits were cancelled

  • Azhar Bhutta, 38, was stunned when Barclays made the blunder on his app
  • Both of his accounts were overdrawn by around £500,000 in the ‘nightmare’
  • The banking giant is investigating to see if he was targeted by fraudsters

A Royal Mail postman has told how his ‘life has been turned upside down’ since Barclays wrongly told him that his two bank accounts were nearly £1million overdrawn.

Azhar Bhutta, 38, who normally has around £1,000 in his current account saw the blunder when he logged on to his Barclays app on his mobile phone on Monday last week.

The app told him that his main account was overdrawn by £498,764.27 while his instant ISA savings account was £499,999.11 in the red.

Azhar, from Bracknell, Berkshire, pointed out the error and had his balances corrected a few hours later – but he found out yesterday that Barclays had cancelled all his monthly direct debits.

Azhar Bhutta, 38, (pictured) said that his life was turned upside down after the banking error which said both of his cards were nearly £500,000 overdrawn

The app told him that his main account was overdrawn by £498,764.27 while his instant ISA savings account was £499,999.11 in the red

He has been told that his account has been suspended while the banking giant investigates to see if he has been targeted by fraudsters.

Azhar has now been forced to open a new account at HSBC and has been warned that it might take up to ten days to set up new direct debits.

He now fears that he might inadvertently miss payments, meaning that his credit rating could be adversely affected through no fault of his own.

Worried Azhar said: ‘The whole thing has been a nightmare. I feel like my life has been turned upside down when I have done nothing wrong.

‘It was the worst feeling in my life when I saw that each of my accounts were overdrawn by around £500,000.

‘But the effects of my account being suspended and all my direct debits being cancelled are even worse. It is causing me a major headache trying to sort everything out.’

Azhar discovered his alleged giant overdraft after his wife Katarzyna, 42, asked him to transfer her some money when he was at work at around 6am on June 6.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, he said: ‘I just logged on to my banking app as normal and saw these two huge overdraft figures.

‘I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t think straight. It was an amount of money that I could never even dream of, and my app was saying that I owed it to the bank.

‘It was shocking because I have never been in debt before in my life, and I have never ever missed any payments on my mortgage or anything

The postman said it was the ‘worst feeling’ of his life when he saw the money had been drained out of his account

‘My boss told me to stop working because I was acting weird. I started to mumble and they told me to sit down and talk to the bank, and everything would be sorted out.

‘They were worried that I might have an accident as my anxiety and stress were sky high.

‘I called Barclays customers services and the lady on the phone seemed to be in shock as well.

‘She said that it looked like an error and it could not be right as I had an overdraft limit of £3,400.

‘I was put on hold so she could speak to someone else, then I got cut off and I had to call back. I ended up explaining everything again to a different lady.

‘She could not find any evidence of unauthorised debits and I could not see any payments going out so it was a mystery why the accounts were coming up as overdrawn by £500,000 each.

‘The lady said she was going to register my account as “high risk” and refer it to the fraud team.

‘It seems like it was just an “oops” moment for them, and I was told that somebody would come back to me.’

Azhar saw that his account balances had been returned to normal around six hours later.

He said he anxiously carried on constantly checking his account ‘every couple of hours’ over the next week to see if the problem returned.

But yesterday he received an email from his energy company Bulb, telling him that his monthly direct debit payment had been cancelled.

Azhar then found that he was locked out of his Barclays app which was telling him that his account details were not recognised, even after he deleted and reinstalled it.

He also could not access his account by telephone banking.

Azhar managed to get through to customer services again to try and ensure his money was secure, and was told that all his direct debits had been suspended.

In a later call, he was told that all his accounts had been suspended, pending a fraud investigation.

Azhar said: ‘I kept saying I wanted to know how the error had happened, and the lady told me, “We don’t have to give you any explanation”.

‘I decided that I had to get myself a new bank account so I could still pay all my direct debits for my mortgage, car insurance, phone and life insurance.

‘I sorted out a new account with HSBC in five minutes. I will be able to get my wages paid into the new account on Friday, but I was told it would take seven to ten days to set up new direct debits.

‘I am really worried that I am going to miss a payment to someone and mess up my credit rating.

‘I currently re-mortgage my house every two years to get the best deal, and I am worried that it could affect that.

‘It could also be an issue for me, if it goes on my record that I have had a bank account suspended for any reason.

‘It looks like Barclays are treating me as if I done something wrong and they are trying to hide an error in their system.

‘People should be warned that these things can happen. I just want to secure my credit history.’

Barclays has been approached for comment.

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