In September we spoke about the failure of banks to return money that’s accidentally been paid into the wrong account. Since then some banks have taken action to help their customers get their money back…
Which? reader Tony Moss entered one incorrect digit when trying to transfer £742 into his Royal Bank of Scotland account. As a result his money ended up in the loan account of someone who’d left the country, leaving their debts unsettled.
Despite complaining to both the Financial Ombudsman Service and small claims court it was only once Tony appeared on Nick Ferrari’s radio show on LBC and drew attention to his situation that his money was refunded by RBS.
After we exposed the lack of protection available to bank customers who misdirect payments, online banks began to take steps to improve things.
Banks change their T&Cs
Of the banks we spoke to, First Direct, HSBC and Nationwide said they would make changes to their terms and conditions. They’ll now make it clear to customers that mistaken payments can be returned.
Barclays, RBS and Santander told us they have no plans to change their terms, meaning customers’ rights remain unclear. And Lloyds has said it is looking into the issue.
It’s great to see three banks breaking ranks on this issue. Although we’ve yet to see how well these changes will work in practice, they appear to be committed to resolving this issue and clarifying customers’ rights. It would be nice if other banks took action too.
Your misdirected payments
In our last Convo, we asked you to tell us your experiences of misdirected payments. Paul shared his top tip to avoid any mishap:
‘If making a transfer from my bank (setting up payee) I always test that the money is going into the account it should by sending a transfer of £1, then if it goes to the wrong account you haven’t lost much.’
But Bridge_Coach raised a warning with this technique:
‘There is one problem that I have found when using this technique – several times, large payments have been blocked by the fraud department of the bank and I have had to go through a lengthy telephone process to prove my identity.’
Have you ever accidentally sent money into the wrong bank account? Was your bank helpful or was it left to you to get your money back?
Have you ever accidentally transferred money to the wrong account?
No - luckily not, touch wood (91%, 252 Votes)
Yes - and my bank helped me get it back (5%, 15 Votes)
Yes - but I didn't get any assistance from my bank (4%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 278