A bank customer has told how he tried to sell his shares - only to be told he was dead.

Michael Bishop claimed he was forced to take identification into his Halifax branch to prove he was alive after his shares were transferred to the name of an unknown Greek.

But Michael, 27, said: "I actually thought it was quite funny to hear I was deceased but inconvenient because I couldn't sell my shares when I wanted to."

The problem started when Michael, of Hamilton Close, Leigh, tried to sell £1,500 of Halifax shares. He contacted Halifax Share Dealing - only to be told he was dead. Michael said: "When I came to sell them, I was told I was not alive. Halifax wouldn't believe I wasn't dead."

The Halifax was convinced Michael had died in October. He also discovered his shares were being held in the Greek name of Christos Halulu.

Michael said: "At first Halifax blamed a computer error but then said they had documentation proving I had died. It's very strange."

Michael claims he was advised to take his passport and birth certificate into his local Halifax in the Broadway, Leigh. Staff apparently scrutinised them before agreeing he was indeed alive and well.

A Halifax spokesman said the firm was "holding its hands up".

He added: "This was a keying error on our part in relation to Mr Bishop's account and we apologise. The customer's shareholding has already been corrected and the shares are intact and in his name. We will be writing to the customer offering compensation for the inconvenience."

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