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"I lost £193,000 but the bank offered me £25 in compensation"

(161 Posts)
chomalungma Sat 07-Dec-19 12:16:51

I don't even know where to start with this.
A solicitor was sending an inheritance to a client. The client gave the right details, but the wrong sort code.

The bank transferred the money. The mistake was realised but the bank was unable to get the money back and the person who got it started spreading it around and refused to refund it,

Turns out that one of the solutions is to ensure that the name matches the account as well. This is all to do with bank transfer fraud.
This won't happen until March next year.

In the meantime, he went to court to force the bank to reveal the name of the customer. Barclays fought it - but eventually they had to. He did eventually get the money from the customer via the court.

The bank refused to pay the legal fees for what the client had to do. But when contacted by the Guardian, they did. All £46,000 of them.

It's too easy to make transfer errors - even if you check carefully. Banks should check carefully to ensure that the bank account is the same name as expected and there should be a system if money is put in the wrong account and the bank knows there's been an error.

magicmallow Sat 07-Dec-19 12:18:35

this is crazy, isn't it!! and to think that two customers had the same account number!?

I'm glad the guy has sorted it out though.

chomalungma Sat 07-Dec-19 12:25:12

Someone I know had some money put in their account by mistake. The bank have been utterly useless in helping them get the money to where it belongs.

Fraggling Sat 07-Dec-19 12:28:02

I had an interview to work in a bank years ago and there was some stuff about cheques, checking the bank account number, sort code plus name matched.

I'm amazed at this story tbh. They don't check the name? Why do we have to bother putting it in then. Fucking preposterous lazy grasping bastard banks.

QueenOfTheFae Sat 07-Dec-19 12:28:48

this is crazy, isn't it!! and to think that two customers had the same account number!?

Theres only a finite number of account numbers, that's why you have the sort code?

I always ask people paying me (and vice versa) to pay a token amount before sending the big amount through....

Yes its good that they will be linking Names to accounts, but whos fault is it that the customer gave the wrong sort code? its the customers fault

icantfind Sat 07-Dec-19 12:29:13

I don’t really understand the law on this. If I found a purse that had £100 in it, and kept it- this would be theft unless I’d made reasonable attempts to find the owner.

Yet if I found £193k in my bank I can refuse to refund it?!

SnaccidentsHappen Sat 07-Dec-19 12:32:29

At the moment the name is for tour reference only, so that should you want to transfer to them again you can say transfer to x rather than a/c s/c. I understand that it's a lot of money and how upsetting and frustrating it would be but it was the person giving the wrong details in the first place that caused the issue, the solicitor did what was asked of them and then so did the bank. If the error was made by the solicitor or the bank then it would have been a different story

Fraggling Sat 07-Dec-19 12:33:17

Have you read the article

It is illegal to keep money that has been sent to your account inadvertantly

Fraggling Sat 07-Dec-19 12:34:36

If he hasn't had 40k spare to send on solicitors fees / the wherewithal to go through the courts he would have lost the lot.

And that's OK with you.


Sounds like someone who would keep the money in the same situation.

IndecentFeminist Sat 07-Dec-19 12:36:26

Surely the recipient could have been prosecuted?

chomalungma Sat 07-Dec-19 12:37:07

And that's OK with you

Who is that addressed to?

The bank should have revealed the name of the person, the person should have been forced to return the money.

It's not ok to keep money that is put in your account by mistake.

Ratbagcatbag Sat 07-Dec-19 12:37:23

I had £156 transferred to me last week in error. Someone who had purchased some tickets off me and paid in instalments over a year ago accidentally bank transferred his weekly rent into my account.
He went into panic mode and put a recall on it, but his bank told him the easiest thing (and quickest) would be me sending it back.
I confirmed with my bank that when I paid it back the recall wouldn't trigger etc. My bank explained that as he'd paid money into my account previously it would be virtually impossible for him to prove he didn't mean to transfer it me and realistically if I declined to transfer it back he couldn't do much. I was amazed. I obviously transferred it back within minutes once I had his bank details but scary how it had happened.

TSSDNCOP Sat 07-Dec-19 12:37:51

Yes accidents happen. But you can’t keep money that’s not yours due to what is human error.

ScreamingValenta Sat 07-Dec-19 12:38:34

Barclays should have frozen the other customer's account while the funds were in dispute. They could have opened another account for the customer who had the £193k to continue using any funds that weren't part of the disputed sum.

chomalungma Sat 07-Dec-19 12:39:04

its the customers fault

Yes - but anyone can make a mistake.

And it's not exactly difficult to trace where the money went - and to get that person to refund it.

TSSDNCOP Sat 07-Dec-19 12:39:25

OP fraggling is responding to snaccidents I believe.

ScreamingValenta Sat 07-Dec-19 12:44:03

And it's not exactly difficult to trace where the money went - and to get that person to refund it.

The bank needs to prove ownership, though, if the other person refuses to refund the sum.

Imagine it the other way round - someone transfers £193k to your account for (say) a private house sale. All the legals are completed. They then tell the bank the transfer was a mistake. The bank can't just give it back to them otherwise you'd be the one defrauded.

ginghamstarfish Sat 07-Dec-19 12:47:27

Banks shouldn't be allowed to give two customers the same account number in the first place!

Fraggling Sat 07-Dec-19 12:48:50

Ratbag that's awful

Frenchw1fe Sat 07-Dec-19 12:51:42

This is why I always do a £10. test run when transferring money to a new bank number.
When we moved house I think I checked the solicitor account details about 5 times.

ScreamingValenta Sat 07-Dec-19 12:53:13

This is why I always do a £10. test run when transferring money to a new bank number.

Very good advice.

Breathlessness Sat 07-Dec-19 12:53:57

It’s confirmed what I thought about Barclays.

Breathlessness Sat 07-Dec-19 12:56:31

I wonder why the person who wouldn’t return the money isn’t named?

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 07-Dec-19 12:57:23

This is why many solicitors prefer to still use cheques. Perhaps the solicitor in this case should have covered themselves by asking to see a bank document of the client to ensure they were transferring to the right account. Or yes, transferred a small amount first to check the client had received it.

(Didn’t have patience to wait for article to open so sorry if this was explained in it)

BlackCatSleeping Sat 07-Dec-19 12:57:43

I'm not in the UK, but where I live, when you transfer money, the recipients name comes up on the confirmation screen before you hit send. Does that not happen in the UK?

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