Award-winning Sheffield entrepreneur 'stranded' in Malaysia after bank account is frozen

Adam in Malaysia
Adam in Malaysia
Have your say

A Sheffield man honoured by the Queen for his work with young people says he has been 'stranded' in Malaysia after his bank account was frozen without warning.

Adam Bradford, from Waterthorpe, is in Kuala Lumpur, where he says he is working on a charitable project.

Adam received a Queen's Young Leader award for his work to inspire young people (photo: Ross Parry / SWNS)

Adam received a Queen's Young Leader award for his work to inspire young people (photo: Ross Parry / SWNS)

The 25-year-old, who received a Queen's Young Leader award for his work in the community, claims he is unable to access his account and has no other way to pay for food and accommodation before he is due to fly home at the beginning of March.

Lloyds Bank would give no explanation as to why access was blocked, he says, and has not offered to do anything to help him out of his predicament.

"Essentially the bank has left me stranded and it's really scary. This is my only account and I have no other way of getting money," he said.

"My hotel reservation ends tomorrow morning, after which I will have nowhere to stay and no way of paying for anything.

"Here I am, someone who has an award from the Queen, basically being treated like a criminal by the bank. I have no idea what to do.

"I pay my taxes, I'm fully registered as a business and everything I do is above board. I've tried to get answers but Lloyds won't help."

Mr Bradford says he received a text message from Lloyds on Tuesday night telling him his account would be closed in 60 days.

He initially dismissed this as a scam but after his card was declined when he tried to pay for a meal that evening, he realised something was up.

The young entrepreneur spent several hours on the phone to the bank the next day but claims staff refused to disclose any details about why his account had been frozen.

He says he was then 'grilled' about payments coming from a US account, which he says are for consultancy work he has been doing, leading him to believe he is suspected of involvement in money laundering.

Mr Bradford has Asperger syndrome, which he says has heightened the stress he is experiencing, and has yet to pay for his flight home.

His parents David and Denise said: "It's very worrying, and what's most frustrating is that there's nothing we can do because we have no way of sending him money.

"The bank has made an error, I'm sure of it, but it doesn't seem willing to do anything to resolve that mistake.

"Lloyds appears to think he's money laundering but it's not like he's got tens of thousands of pounds going through his account.

"Our big concern is that his mobile phone bill's due next week and if he can't pay that we could lose contact with him."

Mr Bradford has campaigned for tighter gambling controls since his father was jailed after stealing more than £50,000 to fund his habit.

He says his account was frozen on the same day he spoke about this crusade on the BBC show Victoria Derbyshire, but he does not know if there is any connection.

A spokesman for Lloyds Bank said: "We completed a risk assessment of Mr Bradford's account and a decision was made to close this.

"On February 13, we provided Mr Bradford's with 60 days notice of closure, in line with his account terms and conditions, and blocked all transactions to and from his account.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused and we are removing the block to support Mr Bradford's with his finances whilst he is abroad."

However, Mr Bradford said his debit card had been cancelled and could not be reinstated so he still had no way of accessing his funds.

He said he remained very disappointed with his treatment by the bank.