A Southampton MP claims to have lost thousands of pounds after his bank account was closed by TSB.

Royston Smith, the Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, said the business account he held for 40 years was closed unexpectedly last summer.

He said he was never given a reason for the decision despite contacting TSB chief executive, Robin Bulloch, several times.

One year on, he is still trying to recover his funds.

Mr Smith said: "I’m very disappointed, more so for the power these faceless people hold over us.

"It's not as bad for me as it would be for a jobbing plumber or builder, but imagine how this can, and probably has, destroyed lives and livelihoods."

Daily Echo: Southampton Itchen MP Royston Smith has criticised TSB for closing his business accountSouthampton Itchen MP Royston Smith has criticised TSB for closing his business account (Image: Chris Moorhouse)

The row comes after former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage had his bank account closed by private bank Coutts partly because of his political views.

This led to the resignation of Dame Alison Rose, chief executive of Coutts' parent company NatWest Group, who admitted discussing Mr Farage’s relationship with the private bank with a BBC journalist.

Mr Smith, who has been expressing solidarity with Mr Farage on Twitter, said it was "disgraceful" that his own letters to the TSB's boss were being ignored.

'No reply'

His problems with the bank began last spring when the 59-year-old said he received multiple phone calls from TSB.

As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the MP says he's advised not to answer unsolicited calls so he wrote to the bank asking to deal with the matter in writing. He said he never received a response.

A few months later, he received a letter explaining his account had been frozen.

At this point Mr Smith said he began to write to chief executive, Robin Bulloch, demanding an explanation – but received no reply.

After having his account unlocked for a short period of time, Mr Smith said he was then sent a cheque worth the contents of his account and another letter informing him that his account had been closed.

The MP wrote again to the bank’s boss to find out why – but claims his questions were never answered.

In the meantime, the backbencher applied for business accounts at other banks, most of which were rejected.

Six months later,  after having an account approved, he realised the cheque he had been given by TSB had expired. 

Having been unable to recover the sum from the closed account, Mr Smith is considering taking legal action.

'Thousands lost'

He said: “I wrote to the chief executive, and I said, 'this is a disgrace'. You shut my bank account a year ago. You know you've got my money and all I want you to do is give it back to me.”

Asked how much money he's lost, Mr Smith said: “It's thousands of pounds we’re talking about.”

The MP also added that being "ignored" by chief executives prevents him from carrying out his duties as a "democratically elected member of Parliament".

A spokesperson for TSB said: “TSB accounts are reviewed on a periodical basis to ensure that we comply with our regulatory obligations. We do not comment on individual customer cases.”