Hi guys, thanks for the upswell of support but it came through a few hours later. I think because they have just one pot of money that all incoming funds get placed in, they rely solely on the matching of reference numbers. Some banks require you to put the reference numbers in yourself, others will do it automatically - this usually works fine but only if you begin the top-up process from within the freetrade app, not your banking app. The communications between certain banking apps and the freetrade app I think may be somewhat temperamental at times; which makes sense considering how many services there are out there to interact with. Nevertheless, this does not seem like the best way to do things, other apps have things set up differently. But this last bit is all guesswork.
As for why withdrawal takes so long, it is because they use the BACS method of fund transfer, which nobody uses any more because of its drawn out process.
I’d say wait five working days, then contact support with all the info you have, including reference number from your bank, then they can (and do from what I’ve heard) match up your money with your account on freetrade.
I wouldn’t worry too much as they are regulated by the FCA, arguably the most respected regulating body in the UK for such things.
All the best of luck to you guys.