Lisa Cullen, 41, discovered her Suits Me money account was frozen on Sunday after her debit card was declined. The mum of three, from Northenden, Manchester, said she was given no notice and has since tried to get an explanation.
The account, which she says had more than £120 in it when it was frozen, was used by Lisa to buy essentials for the family.
Now, as the rising cost of living bites, the woman says she has just £9 to her name until next week, Manchester Evening News reports.
Lisa’s children, aged 15, 13 and nine, have just broken up for the school holidays.
“I went to the shops on Sunday with my daughter and my card was declined,” Lisa said.
“I knew there was money in there, so I tried calling the bank and couldn’t get anywhere with them.”
Suits Me describes itself as a “hassle-free alternative to traditional banking” and provides customers with an e-money account and a contactless debit card. Lisa said she has been given no reason why her account has been frozen, and said she has been told the issue is with Suits Me’s Compliance Team to investigate.
In the meantime, Lisa claims she has been told she will have to wait up to 60 days to gain access to her money.
“My DWP payments were paid into there,” Lisa continued.
“They said they’d sent me an email to say my account had been frozen but I’ve had nothing and no notice that it was going to happen. They’re just holding onto my money and I can’t access it.
“I’ve explained to them that I have three children and I’ve got no money to feed them. I must have emailed them around 40 times but we’re just going around in circles. I can’t speak to anyone in compliance and I can’t get any explanation for what’s happened.
“I don’t know what to do.
“I even drove to the headquarters and they told me they had no managers available to speak to me. All they told me to do was to speak to the DWP about my money, but that’s not the issue.”
The mum said she joined the bank two months ago as a “temporary thing” and said she never wants to use the bank again after the experience.
“It doesn’t help that it’s the start of the school holidays with three children,” she added.
“We were going to go on days out and do things, but we’re stuck at home now because they’re holding my money to ransom – I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“I’m going to have to borrow money from people and that will just put me behind because I will need to pay it back. I’m obsessively watching my electric meter go down and starting to worry that I won’t be able to feed my kids. This is supposed to be a nice time at the start of the school holidays, but instead I’m just stressed out.”
Lisa said she now wants other people to be aware of the situation in case it happens to them.
She said: “I don’t feel like they should be able to do this to people, especially at the moment when everyone is struggling. £120 is a huge amount to people these days.”
Suits Me said it was unable to comment on the situation, and added that it operated all accounts in line with its terms and conditions.
A Suits Me spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on an individual customer’s circumstances. However, Suits Me operates its customers’ accounts in line with their terms and conditions, relevant legislation and the guidance given by the Financial Conduct Authority.”