A WOMAN who was robbed of almost £2,000 in the street has accused her bank of failing to protect her.
The 52-year-old victim, who asked not to be named, says Nationwide staff in Ealing Broadway should not have handed over the money in plain view allowing her to be scoped out by the thugs.
She was told she could not transfer the money as she was waiting for a new bank book. Needing to pay a bill for building repairs, she decided to withdraw the cash and was told to make an appointment because of the amount involved, about £1,800.
She said: "When I came back I was given the money at the desk. There was a queue building up behind me and it was counted out loudly over the microphone. I felt very uncomfortable, quite vulnerable.
"I left and started walking towards the high street. I looked behind me and noticed two characters about 10 to 15 yards away. I sped up and held my bag tighter and they started running.
"The man bumped into me, pushing against the clothes stall, the woman came up on the other side and I think it was her who cut the strap on my bag."
But the victim held onto her bag and the attackers walked on in front of her, crossing the Broadway and up Springbridge Road at about 12.15pm. She thought she had held on to the money as well, until she opened the bag and looked inside.
She said: "I realised it had gone. It was a big shock. I thought there was no way they could've got it."
The victim of the robbery on December 2 contacted police but not before trying to find the robbers herself. She confronted the woman, who had split from the man, but was met with protestations of innocence.
Her theory, that she was spotted in the bank, was confirmed by CCTV footage. She has lodged a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman that the bank should have done more.
She said: "After having to make an appointment to withdraw the cash I thought they would have provided a room where they could've handed over the money discreetly. They didn't even put it in an envelope. There weren't any security or any staff floating around, just behind the desk."
A spokeswoman for Nationwide said its appointment procedure allows staff to carry out checks and make sure they have the money on site.
She added: "Customers can request the use of an interview room to carry out their transaction as an additional security measure, providing there is a room available."
The male robber is 5ft 8ins with white hair, olive skin and possibly a scar on his face. He wore dark clothing, including a bomber jacket.
The woman was 5ft 5ins with olive skin and wore a speckled brown scarf with dark clothing.
There have been no arrests. Call Ealing police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have any information.