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A JEWELLER said he was made to feel like a criminal after being told his application for a bank account was turned down because of concerns he could be illegally importing diamonds.

Tim Platten's attempts at setting up an account with Metro Bank were rebuffed after bank staff claimed he could use it to store the proceeds from importing diamonds from illegitimate sources.

Fuming Mr Platten fears his attempts at doing business at a new shop he is setting up in Beaconsfield will be harmed as a result.

Mr Platten, who has owned The Jewellery Workshop in Market Square, Amersham, for the last 20 years, said: "I was declined on the grounds I might import diamonds from Israel, or South Africa, or south America.

"I was made to feel like a criminal.

"I'm a legitimate business. All my diamonds come through customs and excise from legitimate sources. What right do they have to say these things?"

Mr Platten, of Copperfields, High Wycombe, added: "I've had an account with HSBC for 20 years and not once have I had a problem."

A Metro Bank spokesman said: "At Metro Bank we are committed to supporting the local personal and business community. Unfortunately in this instance we were unable to assist Mr Platten."