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Why is My Union Bank Bank Mobile app and Internet banking Account Frozen? How to Unfreeze 

When I was a university student a few years ago, I depended heavily on my Union Bank account to pay school fees and take care of my daily expenses. One morning, I woke up and tried to login to my mobile banking app as usual to check my balance and possibly transfer some money. 

However, to my surprise, I kept getting an error message saying “Your account access has been restricted. Please contact your bank”. At first I thought it was a technical glitch but after several failed attempts, I began to worry. 

Common Reasons Why Bank Accounts get Frozen in Nigeria

There are several reasons why banks like Union Bank may freeze customer accounts. Here are some of the most common ones:

Fraud/Suspicious Activity

If the bank detects any fraudulent or suspicious activity on the account, they are required to immediately freeze it for investigation. This could be something like unauthorized login attempts from unknown locations.

Regulatory Compliance Issues  

Banks have to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and other anti-money laundering regulations. If a customer’s identity and transaction details do not match the information provided during account opening, the account will be frozen.

Negative Balance 

Having an overdrawn/debited balance for a prolonged period could lead to an account freeze. This is to prevent further incurring of losses by the customer.

Insufficient Documentation  

Failure to promptly provide documents requested by the bank like valid means of identification or proof of residence can cause restrictions.

Legal/Court Orders

If a government agency or court orders the bank to freeze an account due to ongoing probes or litigation, they will have no choice but to comply.

Determining If Fraud Triggered the Freeze

The first step is to determine if the freeze was due to suspected fraudulent activities on your account. Here are some things to check:

  • Review recent statements for unauthorized transactions you did not initiate. 
  • Check for notification emails or text messages informing you about changes to your registered contact details like phone number and email. Fraudsters often do this.
  • Check if there were multiple failed login attempts from unknown devices/locations before the freeze.
  • Contact Union Bank’s fraud department directly to inquire if the freeze was fraud-related. They can provide more details.
  • If any signs of fraud are detected, you will need to file an official fraud report with the bank. This helps initiate investigations and possibly restore access faster.
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Factors Indicating a Non-fraud Freeze

On the other hand, if you did not notice any suspicious transactions or alerts, then the freeze was likely imposed due to other non-fraudulent factors:

  • Check if you have an existing negative balance that was not addressed for a long time. 
  • Review if you failed to provide documents sent by the bank as part of ongoing KYC checks. 
  • Look out for communication regarding a current court case/investigation against your account.
  • Verify your account profile is fully updated with your valid present permanent address and ID.
  • Contacting the bank will help get clarity on the specific reason for the freeze imposed in such non-fraud cases.

Steps to Contact Union Bank and Request an Unfreeze

Once you ascertain the probable cause, take the following actions to request unfreezing:

 1. Visit the Nearest Branch Office

Walk into your branch of account with a government issued photo ID. Kindly explain your issue to the branch staff. They will verify the details and liaise with the back office on your behalf. 

 2. Call the Bank’s 24/7 Customer Care Line  

Union Bank has a dedicated phone number you can call from anywhere in Nigeria. Politelly explain your situation to the agent and furnish relevant details for verification. Insist on getting a reference number for your request. 

 3. Send an Email with Your Petition  

Alternatively, you can draft a formal email to Union Bank’s head office support address. Attach any documents that prove your identity and the reasons for unfreezing. Always cite your account number clearly.  

 4. Use the Bank’s Social Media Platforms

Follow, mention and directly messageUnion Bank handles on Twitter and Facebook. Summarize the problem concisely and attach important details. Escalate regularly until you get a response. 

It’s advisable to pursue all available channels simultaneously for a speedy resolution. The bank may need 2-5 business days to review your request and take a decision. Remain polite, provide all details sought and be patient. Best of luck!

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Getting Assistance from Outside Agencies

If contacting the bank directly does not yield results even after a reasonable time frame, you have options to further escalate: 

 1. File a Complaint with CBN 

Approach the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) through their various online and physical complaint portals. Explain details of your frozen account issue and appeals made to the bank. CBN can apply necessary regulatory pressure. 

2. Reach Out to Banking Sector Watchdogs

Organizations like the Bankers Committee, Banking & Other Financial Institutions Act, and others oversee standards in the finance industry. You can report your experience to create public pressure. 

3. Consult a Legal Representative 

For very complex cases, lawyers specializing in banking legislation may review your matter and serve legal notices to the institution on your behalf. This holds more weight.

If all requirements are satisfactorily fulfilled on your request, Union Bank will remove the block and restore full functionality on your account. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should I do if the block is not removed even after the given time frame?

Reach out to the bank again with a strong follow up email or phone call to re-escalate. Mention your prior case reference for speedy attention.

Can I switch to another bank after an account freeze experience?  

You can certainly explore other options but it’s recommended giving the existing bank a chance to address concerns first before taking a call on porting. Closing accounts in haste may impact your financial history negatively.

Conclusion

Getting your bank account unexpectedly frozen can be worrying and inconvenient. However, following proper procedures and giving the needful information patiently helps resolve the matter smoothly. Having stronger security practices and complying with regulations also prevents problems down the line. 

With the right approach, Union Bank and most lenders aim to unblock access as fast as possible once authenticity is confirmed. 

I hope these insights help you understand the possible reasons behind freezes and effectively overturn restrictions, should you ever face a similar situation.

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