Bank employee who posted advice on websites is fired

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The Independent Online

He is the rarest of creatures: a decent, likeable banker. For more than two years Tim Keirman was the mystery guardian angel of the bank charges campaign. While still working for NatWest he helped thousands of customers get their money back by posting anonymous guidance on consumer forum websites, much to the chagrin of his employers. Last week, his identity was finally discovered by the bank. Its revenge was swift, and savage.

Mr Keirman, a 34-year-old cashier and MoneySense adviser for NatWest's Cambridge branch since 1998, yesterday revealed his identity to the IoS. After a disciplinary hearing last Wednesday, he was sacked for gross misconduct.

Mr Keirman dedicated his spare time to helping customers navigate the bureaucracy needed to get their money back by offering targeted advice and leaking internal guideline documents.

Marc Gander of the website Consumer Action Group said: "People see him as a hero. He was tremendously helpful."

Mr Keirman said yesterday: "It was good to get a sense that I was helping someone. I didn't agree with our charging structure and there were a number of times when I heard the charges were ruining lives."

A spokeswoman for NatWest said last night: "We can confirm that a member of NatWest staff has recently been dismissed for gross misconduct for releasing confidential internal information without authorisation to a third party."