HomeFinanceFour month battle to recover £5,000 sent to the wrong HSBC account 

Four month battle to recover £5,000 sent to the wrong HSBC account 



Four month battle to recover £5,000 of charity cash sent to the wrong HSBC account


A charity had to call in the police after another HSBC customer did not pay back £5,000 sent to him by mistake.

Theo Gavrielides realised he had entered the wrong account number immediately when the money failed to appear in his charity’s savings account.

But despite spending months trying to retrieve the cash, Theo, 40, was told by his bank there was nothing that could be done to retrieve it.

'Uncooperative': HSBC took over four months to return £5,000 to a charity after it was accidentally sent to the wrong account

‘Uncooperative’: HSBC took over four months to return £5,000 to a charity after it was accidentally sent to the wrong account

Theo, who runs the community charity Restorative Justice For All in South East London, says HSBC told him it had spoken to the customer who received the windfall and he had accepted it was not his.

The charity director says he was then told the recipient had given the bank permission to take the funds from his account — but HSBC still did not send it back.

He says: ‘It was very frustrating. It cost me so much in time and resources. It was taking me away from my job in supporting young people in the community.’

Theo says he spoke to police about the missing money but was told HSBC was not cooperating. 

It was not until four months after the transfer was made that three police officers visited Theo’s HSBC branch in Borough, South London. Three days later, the money was returned to the charity.

Theo says: ‘We have been totally let down by HSBC. As a charity, we expected the issue to have been taken even more seriously.’

Theo made a formal complaint to the bank, but received a paltry £30 in compensation. Unsatisfied he took his case to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which handles disputes.

In cases of so-called ‘fat finger’ errors, your bank will contact the receiving provider, or the account holder if they are with the same bank as you, within two days.

As long as the recipient does not dispute your claim, you should receive the money back within 20 working days.

HSBC says: ‘We cannot comment in detail on complaints that are with the Ombudsman.’

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