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I’m a new customer to Tide. I am a freelancer with a small business with a pretty low turnover, a couple of clients and a few small outgoings. I was attracted to Tide as my relatively low usage means that a traditional bank’s £5+ per month is high compared to the £1 or so I’ll pay if I use Tide as my bank.

I’ve tried the app which is great, and transferred some money in and out which worked fine. I use a couple fo Freelancing platforms and Amazon affiliates which means that the lack of IBAN/BIC is a problem, but not an insurmountable one as Amazon vouchers/PayPal will do until that is fixed. Likewise the apparent issues with the Tide card being treated as a credit card, but I should be able to feed my tax money into Premium Bonds via bank transfer.

However I have a serious concern which needs to be addressed if I am to trust Tide. I have read a huge number of bad reviews of the service saying accounts are being blocked indefinitely without notice. As a growing business I still need a reliable and trustworthy bank - and couldn’t survive my account being indefinitely blocked for weeks on end.

Now I might be missing something. These accounts might all be crypocurrency based businesses transferring thousands of pounds in and out every day. However Tide’s customer service agents’ cut and paste responses are of no help whatsoever and have done little to persuade me that everything is okay.

So before I jump into Tide with both feet and cut off the safety net of my TSB business account I have a question. Have any “normal” users - sole trader freelancers with turnovers lower than the income tax threshold and a couple of UK-based clients - had any significant problems or am I worrying unneccessarily?

  • created

    Apr '18
  • last reply

    Jul '18
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I’ve had my account for a few months now with no issues. Nothing more I can say other than that.

Incredibly small user of Tide here myself (and fairly new also, only a 3 or so months). So far I’ve had no problems, however if I’d gone off this community board I potentially would never have went with them at all; each week the email summary seems depressingly full of complaints. All I can say is so far I haven’t experienced any issues. At the same time, I haven’t had to contact Tide either so I have no idea what their support is like.

In 6 months my account had been blocked several times and to be perfectly honest there low payments in and out and with no response from customer services for over 18 hours each time is very poor service

I’m a freelance graphic designer and being as clients like to pay with coloured buttons… Yes small desposits.

I have had an account for 2 months due to Santander wanting £8+ a month from me for very little.

At times things seem a little slow but they seem to be ramping up a bit and taking what theya re doing with a bit more go.

Getting PayPal stuff to go through was slow when I set it up but setting up faster payments has got a lot quicker in the last two weeks.

Its like all things really. They should be well versed in what they are doing but then again so should NASA. We all learn as we are going along.

I’m going to stick with Tide and see how they go. I have clients that pay slow I may aswell have a a bank that can be a bit slow ‘now & again’

To be honest Tides digital app platform kills Santander hands down.

Thanks. That is helpful. I still have six months of free banking left at TSB, and Clydesdale offer 25 months free banking for established business customers transferring in so I am closing my Tide account and will return when they are a bit more mature. To be honest it’s their lack of clarity as to why they seemingly suspend accounts without warning that has put me off. If they simply did due diligence first instead of blocking accounts without warning I’d switch in a heartbeat, especially with such a good digital platform.

I’ve been with them for about 12 months, and they’ve been good so far, but because of this issue would hesitate to recommend Tide. I agree this is really off-putting, like you I probably wouldn’t have started with Tide if I saw the complaints first, and I don’t find the responses from Tide on this forum at all reassuring.

What I’d prefer to see from Tide is a clear statement of the procedures they use (I’m aware they can’t spell out every detail, but far more than at present), and to ditch the procedure of freezing accounts on mere suspicion then taking weeks to verify and reopen. I’ve been with them the last year and have been pretty happy with UI improvements etc, less happy with features delivered (still awaiting standing orders), but most concerned about their procedures on freezing accounts, which sound terrible (and yes, just because they’re in line with ‘standard banking practice’ doesn’t mean they’re not terrible, if we’re looking at moving to fintech banks it’s precisely to ditch old attitudes).

If they need to verify details, do so, there’s no need to freeze accounts in most circumstances when dealing with a business registered at companies house. If accounts are frozen they should be responding to members queries within the hour on business days, if they don’t have the staff for that, they should hire someone who deals exclusively with frozen accounts. It’s not acceptable to put a business at risk, and stop salaries because Tide is worried about the origin of funds, and then not respond quickly so that people feel the need to come and vent on this forum, then respond to those complaints with boilerplate about standard industry practice.

Sometimes they are prohibited by regulations from divulging details, such as when possible money laundering is being investigated. Other potential reasons for funds being suspended could be when there is a transfer of funds to or from persons or firms connected to countries subject to international trade/finance embargos. Not all investigations are initiated by the bank but may be initiated by other banks, when one bank is made aware by another of an investigation into money laundering or embargo avoidance they are required to investigate.

Also, it seems like incidences are higher in fintech as they have forums for people to complain on, whereas the big high street banks don’t, or they have small invite only focus groups.

Hi @msr,

I am really sorry that what you’ve read has caused you concerns.

We’re committed to providing a great and secure service for everyone who has an account with Tide.
To ensure that we comply with regulations and put our members security first at all times, we gather essential information about our members’ identity and business activities during sign-up, and on an ongoing basis. We use smart technology to check information automatically, however in some cases we may contact members later on to request some more information.

As explained by Laurence, our Head of Risk, in his community post Asking for a little more information, as a start-up banking services provider, we take our responsibility in adhering to regulations aimed at combating the threat of money laundering, fraud, terrorism and other criminal activity very seriously.

We will only freeze member accounts where we suspect the security of their account or the Tide platform is at risk or we have to comply with any legal or regulatory obligation. Further details of these scenarios can be found in section 5 of our Terms and Conditions 16.

We will notify members if any restrictions have been placed on their account and our compliance team always try to push these investigations through as quickly and as painlessly as possible so that we can get you back up and running.

Please let me know if you’ve any other questions, or any concerns about the above. I’d be happy to help.

You can also always reach out to our Help team, who is dedicated to assist our members, 7 days a week via the in-app chat, or by email at [email protected].


3 months later

closed Jul 9, '18

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