When banks HAVE to give you your money back no matter what they say.
Each week I’m sent many complaints about banks refusing to refund unauthorised payments.The latest is from reader Edward who paid £45 to an independent online trader for an electric toothbrush that never turned up. When £45 more was taken from his card without permission he immediately told his bank, NatWest. He feared the trader was acting fraudulently and, sure enough, a further £29.99 came off his card three days later. But NatWest refuses to refund the money claiming Edward, of Hartlepool, Co Durham, had been negligent in using his card to pay the fraudulent trader on what was obviously was a fake website. This is a familiar story. It’s as if banks don’t know the rules or blatantly ignore them. Here’s what you and your bank need to know about unauthorised payments:
When money can be taken out of your bank account.
There are three circumstances when money can be taken out of your account – when you authorize a payment, via a court order, or when you owe the bank money and they invoke their ‘right of set-off’.
If you did not authorise a particular payment you can claim a refund. In most cases, the bank must pay by the end of the business day after the day the problem came to light unless it has reasonable grounds for suspecting you have acted fraudulently.
The bank may ask you to answer questions and fill out a form confirming what has happened, but it cannot delay your refund awaiting its return.
The refund for an unauthorised payment must include any charges and interest you have paid because of the unauthorised transaction.
If you pay the wrong person, having used incorrect payment details, the bank holding that account must help with efforts to recover your cash. You may be able to take court action.
Refusing a refund
Your bank can refuse a refund for an unauthorised payment if they can prove you authorised the payment, you acted fraudulently in relation to the payment, were negligent in protecting access to your accounts or failed to notify the bank within 13 months of the unauthorised payment.
Dean Dunham – Sunday Mirror
For more information and tips about your consumer rights, please read our other articles in the consumer news section.