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Student's suicide over overdraft Student's suicide over overdraft
(20 minutes later)
A student hanged himself days after his overdraft facility was withdrawn by his bank, an inquest has heard. The father of a student who hanged himself days after his overdraft was withdrawn, has criticised his bank following an inquest into his death.
Swansea Institute computer student Geraint Banks-Wilkinson, 20, from Nantymoel, was found with a cord around his neck at his digs on 13 January.Swansea Institute computer student Geraint Banks-Wilkinson, 20, from Nantymoel, was found with a cord around his neck at his digs on 13 January.
Two days earlier, he had broken down in front of his mother after visiting the HSBC branch at Bridgend where his parents lived. Two days earlier, he broke down in at his parent's home after visiting the Bridgend branch of HSBC.
Coroner Philip Rogers recorded a suicide verdict at the Swansea inquest.Coroner Philip Rogers recorded a suicide verdict at the Swansea inquest.
Speaking after the hearing at the city's County Hall, Mr Banks-Wilkinson's father, Geoff, a prison officer, said of the bank: "The way they treated him was appalling."
"They were hounding us when they could not get hold of him.
"He was not afraid of a bit of work and was doing his studies as well, but could not do everything.
Mr Banks-Wilkinson's parents criticised HSBC
"I really feel for students because it's one hell of a struggle and many of them can't make ends meet."
Earlier, the inquest had heard that Mr Banks-Wilkinson had a job at the Fabian Way branch of McDonald's but had problems with money.
Throughout December 2005, HSBC had telephoned his parents at their home.
Over the Christmas period, a student loan was paid into his HSBC account, paying off most of his £1,200 overdraft.
The computer design student then discovered the bank was closing his overdraft facility and on 11 January he was driven by his mother, Marion, who worked for a different bank, to his home branch in Bridgend.
She told the hearing: "When he came back, basically he sat in the car, put his head in his hands and sobbed.
"He said 'They can't help me'."
Mrs Banks-Wilkinson said that she was able to calm her son down over a cup of tea and cheered him up by discussing other options available.
"It was a real shock to him that the overdraft had been withdrawn," she said.
"We all knew it was a struggle surviving as a student - we could not help him as much as we would have liked because we earned too much to get statutory grants but not enough to give him much."
She said that later that day she drove him back to his student digs at Watkin Street in Swansea.
"I would not have taken him back to Swansea if I was not convinced that he was going to be OK," she said.
The following day, Mr Banks-Wilkinson went to work as normal and that night went out to socialise with colleagues from McDonald's.
His flatmate Charlotte Wilson woke at about 0930 GMT on 13 January and discovered Mr Banks-Wilkinson hanging from a vacuum cleaner's power cord from a beam in their bathroom.
Paramedics were called but he was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem examination found the cause of death was hanging.
The inquest had earlier heard Mr Banks-Wilkinson had a history of depression and around the time he had taken his GCSE exams had self-harmed.
He had been prescribed anti-depressant tablets in the past but it was unclear whether he was still on medication at the time of his death.
Recording a verdict of suicide, Coroner Philip Rogers said: "This is clearly a very sad case - the death of a young man was a promising future."