Bank ‘lost’ refugee’s jewellery

Journalist Tom Bower has accused Barclays Bank of losing two trunks full of treasure belonging to his Czech-born grandmother.

His grandmother fled to the UK to escape Nazi persecution and arrived in 1939 with two brown trunks laden with jewels. In 1986, the treasures were locked in a safe-deposit box in a Barclays bank branch in Finchley, north London.

Mr Bower claims he discovered the loss when he went to retrieve deeds from the safe.

A spokesman for Barclays denied the claim. “Both our rigorous investigation and that of the Financial Ombudsman Service have concluded that his jewellery could not have gone missing while in our safekeeping,” she said.

“At no time while Mr Bower was the owner of the box was the bank in possession of the key.”

Last updated: 7:45pm, February 20 2014