A high street bank has apologised after suddenly closing a drama society's bank account and holding the money for more than two months.

Wroughton Amateur Dramatic and Musical Society (WADAMS) were left in a state of panic when Barclays closed their community bank account, which held £7,252.20 on September 1.

It then took two months for the money to be returned to the club. In that time, WADAMS faced threat of closure as a result of not having access to their money.

The society is running its annual pantomime in a matter of weeks, and being restricted from accessing its bank account caused a huge amount of concern as to how it would be able to pay for all of its expenses.Swindon Advertiser:

WADAMS treasurer, Louise May, has been forced to pay for banners and some advertising out of her own pocket whilst dealing with the situation, and has been left distressed as a result.

The 72-year-old said: “It is a ridiculous time for it to happen. We could be on the streets.

“These banks can’t be bothered to help the community.

“What are we supposed to do? We can’t run these things without a bank account.

“We have been practising for months for the pantomime and if we weren’t able to run it that would be awful.

“It is an absolute nightmare, we do these things to help people out and you don’t expect to spend hours on this."

Louise contacted Barclays about the problem and was told that if she supplied the bank account with the correct details then they would be able to issue a cheque for the amount of money that the society was owed.

But she was unable to withdraw the money once the cheque had arrived, which again asked her to send details of the new bank account via post for the money to be sent there.

The account details were then sent by Louise using tracked post. She confirmed that Barclays received this on October 2 however she had not heard anything for over three weeks.

On November 1, after the Adver contacted Barclays about the issue, the money has now been sent to WADAMS.

Sally Parker, 75, has been secretary for WADAMS for approximately 30 years. She said: “If we had to cancel it would be very devastating particularly for the children.

“It is just crazy and it makes you so angry”.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “As part of our ongoing responsibility to help prevent financial crime, and to meet our regulatory obligations, we are required to keep up to date information regarding our customers’ accounts.

"Over a number of months, and in this case a year, we share a series of communications with our customers including writing to them by post, through alert banners on our digitally active customers’ online and mobile banking as well as reminder SMS text messages and emails asking customers to supply us with some important information relating to their Barclays Business or Community account.

"In cases where we do not receive a response with up-to-date account information, we will proceed with the application of card blocks and account restrictions, ahead of issuing final closure arrangements.

“We apologise to our customer for the delay in transferring the society’s funds to their new banking provider.  We can confirm we are in contact with our customer to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.  We urge all our customers who receive letters from us asking for up-to-date information on their account to contact us on the details provided.”