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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Can I get money transferred to the wrong account? The Financial Ombudsman explains

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A transfer to the wrong account number may result in total loss of money – warns the Financial Ombudsman. There are, however, legal options for recovering them. In the first place, the client’s bank is obliged to provide assistance to the client.

The Financial Ombudsman recommends that when making a bank transfer, make sure that the entered or pasted recipient’s account number is correct.

“Transferring funds to the wrong number may result in a total loss of money. However, if such a mistake happens to us, let us not break down. As clients of financial institutions, we have legal possibilities to seek reimbursement of our own money” – the Defender points out in the announcement on the recently published guide which was created on the basis of specific cases reported by clients to the Ombudsman’s office.

Transfer to the wrong account number. What to do?

The Defender points out that both the sender’s bank and the receiver’s bank are not responsible for incorrect indication of the receiver by the sender of the transfer. Providing the correct bank account number is the responsibility of the sender of the transfer.

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As he emphasized, if someone has already sent a transfer order to the wrong bank account, he should first contact his bank.

“The payer’s bank, i.e. our bank, is obliged to take appropriate actions to enable the payer to recover the funds. Importantly, these actions are only taken after the customer notifies the bank. First, we should immediately notify our bank about the wrong transfer.” – emphasized the Defender, noting that it is the bank that has information and tools that can help in this situation.

RF underlined that no complaints are submitted at this stage, but only informs the bank about the situation and asks for action.

The bank should inform the recipient of the transfer about the error and indicate a special account number for the return of funds. He is also obliged to provide us with the recipient’s personal data if the recipient of the transfer does not decide to refund our money within one month. Thanks to this, you will be able to pursue your claims in court.

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“If the recipient has an account in our bank, he will contact him directly. If he has an account in another bank – our bank will contact the recipient’s bank to take the above actions” – describes the Ombudsman’s message.

If the bank does not take the required actions or does not provide relevant information, it will be a reason for lodging a complaint. If it is not taken into account, you can turn to the Financial Ombudsman.

The Financial Ombudsman will analyze the entire case from a legal perspective, provide advice, and may also intervene in relation to the bank if it has neglected its actions under the law.

In turn, if the recipient of the transfer does not return the funds within one month of notification, and the means of amicable settlement of the dispute do not bring the expected result, you can go to court for a refund of our money.

“We should remember that in this situation we are not suing any of the banks (neither our bank nor the recipient’s bank are in this case a party to the dispute), but the recipient of the transfer, who received the funds not due to him” – emphasized RF.

Financial Ombudsman’s Guide

In the detailed guide on this subject issued by the Financial Ombudsman, available on the Ombudsman’s website at https://rf.gov.pl/faq-bledny-przelew/, there are descriptions of real cases taken from the life of clients reporting to the Financial Ombudsman and a number of advice on how to act in specific situations.

“We will find out whether in the event of a wrong amount being transferred to the savings account for our child, we can ask the bank for a refund of the surplus. We will learn the differences between an incorrectly made transfer and an unauthorized payment transaction. We will find out what our rights are in such an unfortunate situation and what formal requirements are must be met in order to bring an effective case to court on a random recipient “- indicates the sample topics of the guide in the RF communication.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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