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Mistaken Payment went into account, Barclays won't return to sender!!


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Hello all


My sister in law accidentally paid £200 into my Barclays bank account instead of to my brother.


This was an old business account I have which I had not used for about three years. The charges and interest has mounted up in I to the extent that it is £1200 overdrawn.


I had not heard from Barclays at all for several years despite this being an unauthorised overdraft, no phone calls, no attempts to get me to credit the account, no letters. They just let it go. And so did I.


Anyway my sister in law contacted me straight away and I said the best way to tackle this was for her to contact her bank and ask for the money to be returned via the Industry standard process for mistaken payments. This process allows for the return of the money within twenty days if I do not object and of course I do not.


I then received a phone call from Barclays stating that they had received a request from my sister in law's bank (Lloyds) and they asked me how I intended to credit the account (with some £1200) so that they could return the money.


I told them that it was not necessary for the account to be credited. I told them they should follow the industry standard process and return the money. There then followed a lengthy and unsuccessful (on their part) attempt to get me to restore the account. I told them that whether or not I did so should not be linked with their duty to return the money in line with the industry code as I (clearly stated) I was not objecting to it's return. Eventually they agreed they would do so.


Much to my surprise my sister in law contacted me to say she had received a letter from her bank Lloyds saying they could not get the money back because I had objected!! This is entirely at odds with what I said to Barclays which was that I DID NOT object to the money being returned and that they SHOULD follow the industry Code of Practice.


(I am somewhat familiar with this situation and the Code of Practice as I had earlier in the year made a payment into the wrong account in our business much to the annoyance of my partner and researched what to do though in this case the recipient was known to us and he returned it less £17 for a bottle of whiskey!).


Barclays have taken no other action with regard to the account in the intervening two weeks except to keep it alive in their system and have just added another month of fee and interest charges. I have had no default notice, account suspension or anything else.


Can I ask fellow CAGers the following:


1. Am I right to believe that not withstanding the state or status of my account that if a payment is mistakenly made into it and I do not object to its return then that return must be done and within a twenty day time scale?


2. Presuming the answer to 1. is yes then what should I do now?


Many thanks for reading and I hope this thread will be interesting and entertaining!

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1. Am I right to believe that not withstanding the state or status of my account that if a payment is mistakenly made into it and I do not object to its return then that return must be done and within a twenty day time scale?


No the Code of Best Practice for returning payments made in error is done on a "best endeavours" basis and no guarantees are made. I suspect that Barclays stance is that because you're account is overdrawn and there is no money available to use then they are not able to return the funds. A solution to this is to bring the account back into credit.


As mentioned above, if your're not happy you you can make a complaint.


In the meantime, you owe your sister in law £200.

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This needs to the subject of formal complaints, by your SiL to her bank and by you to yours.


Your SiL needs her complaint to be in writing saying the money was paid in whatever circumstances to the wrong account and she requires the money to be returned.


Your complain needs to be that your bank has said, according to your SiL's bank, that YOU have refused to allow the refund. If your SiL has the letter confirming this, you have good proof.


But keep your communications in writing only.



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Thank you everybody for your comments and views. I am glad this thread attracted some interest.


Thank you slick132 for your post which I think is particularly useful and I will act as you suggested.


I will post back here with any developments.


Thank you stjane for your comments and be assured I will pay my sister in law the £200 as she needs the money and then see what happens.

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