/ Money

Ever transferred money into the wrong account?

Picture of a pound coin

Our survey reveals that if you enter the wrong account details when transferring money, you may not get it back. Have you accidentally transferred cash into the wrong bank account?

What happens if you enter the wrong payment details when trying to transfer money online? Our survey of more than 5,000 people found that, while only 6% had inadvertently sent money to the wrong account, 16% of those who did couldn’t get their money back.

Affected by misdirected payments?

TonyTake Tony Moss – he entered one incorrect digit when trying to transfer £742 into his Royal Bank of Scotland account. His money ended up in someone’s loan account who’d left the country, leaving their debts unsettled. Tony was told by RBS that his money was irrecoverable – this was confirmed by both the Financial Ombudsman Service and in the small claims court.

Eventually Tony appeared on Nick Ferrari’s radio show on LBC and drew attention to his situation. His money was promptly refunded by RBS. Tony’s story shows the value of pursuing your provider in this situation – though he had to go to worrying lengths to get his cash back.

Can you get your money back?

The Payments Council recently introduced a Code of Best Practice on ‘misdirected payments’. This requires banks to act swiftly on a customer’s behalf if such a payment is reported. But the guidelines can’t guarantee that you’ll recover their money.

To protect your money, always double check you’ve entered the right details. And make sure to check your account’s T&Cs for your bank’s policy. Though money spent by recipients who can’t pay it back is untraceable, transfers to an invalid set of account details will bounce back.

We want to raise awareness around this issue, and we need your stories around misdirected payments to help. So if you’ve experienced misdirected payments, tell me your stories below.

Daniel Chery says:
12 December 2019

I paid my rent by faster payment to what i thought was my landlords account.. it took him two months to notify me of the missed payment. At which i immediately checked my account to find the error.
I contacted my bank and they set up what they called a request for money to be returned, in essence they said they can only ask for the money back (they need permission) it takes 20 days for this request to be answered at which time it may be as simple as no..
I really think there needs to be a better way to get back money as its actually unlawful to spend money that is not yours