Airstud
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Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:33 am

"Typo costs woman thousands" I think is what the Yahoo headline said; and I'm a typo-prone dude who'd prefer not to lose thousands, but when I clicked on the link the story showed up in "Shine," which is Yahoo's chick-news section. I found that thought-provoking, because this woman's error could just as conceivably have been committed by a dude.

The woman wanted to transfer her monthly pay from an account at HSBC into her and her huz's joint account at another bank, but she fat-fingered the account number and the money went in to a total stranger's account at Nationwide. Apparently the woman did this every month for like a year and a half.

Here is where I usually say something haughtily misogynistic. Consider it said.

Now, some thoughts and questions:

1. The recipient is a total selfish jerk for not saying anything to Nationwide about these mystery deposits. Yes, it is true that the woman's money is her own responsibility and if she misdirected the transfer that's her tough chuff, but I'm talking about the recipient's behavior, and I think a broader perspective is necessary. The recipient didn't know for instance that this wasn't being done, say, by some elderly person with faltering faculties.

2. The article says that under British law, wrongfully presented dough can be reclaimed up until six years after the wrongage, but the money was withdrawn at ATM's so "nothing can be done." Well then legally, what's the deal? If the law says it can be forcefully re-forked over to the rightful, if ditzy, owner, then how is there not a financial liability to the ditz, on the part of the wrongful recipient? Does the law really say, "Hey, you have to give that money back to the person to whom it rightfully belongs; unless you used it to have yourself a good time, in which case rock on, dude."
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Aesma
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:23 am

She should be able to have his salary blocked and used to pay her back.

I discussed something similar with an uncle recently, he owns a company and one of his employees was receiving double his salary for some time by mistake (mistake of the bank) and said nothing, then when it was discovered and he refused to pay back, the bank took things in its hands (with the accord of a judge, of course). This was his employee but the mistake happened when he was employed elsewhere, and his current salary was being used (not all of it).
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RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:57 am

Quoting Airstud (Thread starter):
and if she misdirected the transfer that's her tough chuff

Dude, you stole my phrase!

Quoting Airstud (Thread starter):
Well then legally, what's the deal?

I think she may have to launch civil proceedings. Many banks/building societies in the UK are notoriously unhelpful in these circumstances. It sucks.
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moo
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:34 am

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 2):
I think she may have to launch civil proceedings.

Yes, she may be able to bring a civil prosecution for theft, but she will also have to bring a civil suit to force the recipient into repaying her.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 2):
Many banks/building societies in the UK are notoriously unhelpful in these circumstances. It sucks.

Why should the bank or building society get involved in this? It wasn't their mistake that caused this issue, so why should they spend a not inconsiderable amount of money in building a legal case on behalf of the account holder?

Both banks involved in this case have no power to do anything internally - the sending bank cannot retract the money as it was sent to another bank, and the recipient bank can only do what the sending bank requests with the money it sends. Neither bank here was in the wrong.
 
smittyone
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:22 am

Presumably she now knows who the recipient was?

Time for her husband and a couple friends to drive over and start breaking his stuff until he pays up (aka New Jersey solution).
 
David L
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:30 am

So for two years she only checked that the money was leaving her own account but not that it was reaching the target account. Given that the target account was a joint account held by her and her husband, it seems mighty odd that the problem wasn't spotted for so long.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:44 am

I was going to say that it may have been possible that the recipient didn't notice. Then I saw the amount and realized that was unlikely. The person who got the money is a thief.
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RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:45 am

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Why should the bank or building society get involved in this? It wasn't their mistake that caused this issue

Because they are best placed to help, and should at least have a vague interest in helping people who make genuine mistakes, in the name of basic customer service.
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moo
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:46 pm

Quoting Smittyone (Reply 4):
Presumably she now knows who the recipient was?

She has an account number and sort code - thats it. The banks won't give her any more information without a court order.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
Because they are best placed to help, and should at least have a vague interest in helping people who make genuine mistakes, in the name of basic customer service.

Right, but this is going to take legal action to resolve - why should the bank go that far?

There's basic customer service, and then there's spending a not-inconsiderable sum of money on taking legal action on behalf of a dopey customer.

If the issue involved accounts held at a single bank, then I might expect more to be done - exchanging of letters using the banks customer services team as an intermediary etc - but its not, and that creates a huge legal issue for the banks involved if they do actually want to take this on.

This girl screwed up, plain and simple - let it be a lesson to us all, check what you have entered and check the receiving end to ensure the payment went through.
 
smittyone
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:34 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 8):
She has an account number and sort code - thats it. The banks won't give her any more information without a court order.

That makes sense, for some reason it sounded like she'd actually been in contact with the person. Bad assumption on my part!

Quoting moo (Reply 8):
This girl screwed up, plain and simple - let it be a lesson to us all, check what you have entered and check the receiving end to ensure the payment went through.

True.

I guess the good news is that being a douche is its own punishment.
 
YokoTsuno
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:33 pm

".... I had set up with HSBC and could see that, on setting it up, I was one digit out..."

I still don't understand how can this could have had happened, when she only made a single-digit error. I always believed including (an) error detection digits(s) was a world-wide practice for account numbers.
 
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Tugger
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:03 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 3):
Why should the bank or building society get involved in this? It wasn't their mistake that caused this issue, so why should they spend a not inconsiderable amount of money in building a legal case on behalf of the account holder?

Here could be the "why" (from the linked article):

Quote:
"The payment was set up clearly to my name, my sort code but with one account number digit being incorrect…...

The bank is aware of the intended recipient and had the error been the other direction they would have taken action. If one is required (that they check and recover incorrectly posted monies for errors they make where the data shows someone else was the rightful recipient, then they also owe it to their customers to check, verify, and notify if the data does not match. There is some level of responsibility but of course it is not the banks alone and nor does the bank itself owe her the money, just that in the beginning they owed her the "fact check" on the data for the transferred money. It is not that hard, an automated process would easily handle it.

In essence their current process, or lack thereof, has badly impacted two of their customers where each is now possibly unable to manage the amounts involved, (the recipient does not have the money to pay her back and her ability to fund her needs is dramatically impacted).

And do know, I am not at all excusing the recipients responsibility. That person should have reported it immediately and should not have taken advantage and should be liable to pay everything back. What I am saying is that a simple fact check by the bank in the beginning would have solved this and it could be considered unreasonable to think the bank would not check and double check this type of data.

Tugg

[Edited 2013-02-13 10:09:05]
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dc9northwest
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:15 pm

I can't feel sorry for her.

One month or two, assuming she gets paid monthly, ok... One and a half years? Really?

The guy/gal who got the money wasn't in the right in keeping it, of course, but IMO, if you're stupid, as the woman who didn't check the money was going in the right place for 18 months must have been... Too bad! I feel very sorry. Not.

The best outcome would be that this money all goes to charity. Obviously neither the woman nor the guy with the other account deserves it.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:20 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 8):
There's basic customer service, and then there's spending a not-inconsiderable sum of money on taking legal action on behalf of a dopey customer.

I'm certainly not suggesting they take legal action for her. I am suggesting they could, for example, locate and approach the othe customer before it gets to that stage, but often this is not done.
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Moose135
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:31 pm

Quoting Smittyone (Reply 4):
Time for her husband and a couple friends to drive over and start breaking his stuff until he pays up

So in addition to possible legal fees for a civil suit to recover her money, she'll be paying legal fees for her husband's defense attorney in a criminal case. That's smart.

It took her a year and a half to figure out the mistake? Apparently she has more money then brains if she didn't miss it in all that time.
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moo
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting YokoTsuno (Reply 10):
I still don't understand how can this could have had happened, when she only made a single-digit error. I always believed including (an) error detection digits(s) was a world-wide practice for account numbers.

Nope - credit and debit cards have checksums, almost no bank accounts have them.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
Here could be the "why" (from the linked article):

The bank is aware of the intended recipient

Thats not a 'why', thats an excuse.

The bank is aware that you want to send money to an account number and sort code - the sending bank cannot verify the "intended recipient" by name, as they do not have access to the account details, and the receiving bank may not even have access to that field, as its not a standard BACS field, its used more as a reference against the transfer, not as a field that controls the transfer.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
had the error been the other direction they would have taken action.

What do you mean "in the other direction" - what "other direction"?

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
they also owe it to their customers to check, verify, and notify if the data does not match.

Its an inter-bank transfer - as I note earlier, the sending bank does not have the information to check names so I'm not sure just what you want them to do. The recipient bank accepted it as it was a valid sort code and account number - the name of the account DOES NOT COME INTO IT because that could be any sort of deviation (and that is PRECISELY why we have sort codes and account numbers...).

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
In essence their current process, or lack thereof

In essence, HER SCREW UP and FAILURE TO CHECK FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME is what caused the issue here - I have no sympathy at all.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
(the recipient does not have the money to pay her back and her ability to fund her needs is dramatically impacted)

That should teach her.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
And do know, I am not at all excusing the recipients responsibility.

I can count a large number of times in your post where you do precisely that.

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
What I am saying is that a simple fact check by the bank in the beginning would have solved this and it could be considered unreasonable to think the bank would not check and double check this type of data.

The bank doesn't have access to the data that you would like them to fact check. The sort code and account number is valid - thats how banks work. Just how much should she get right before the transfer should happen?

Quoting tugger (Reply 11):
That person should have reported it immediately and should not have taken advantage and should be liable to pay everything back.

They still are liable - accepting and spending moneys that you know are the result of a non-deliberate act is theft. There are many many cases where banks have themselves made mistakes and deposited money into the wrong account, and the unintended recipient has then spent the money - in those cases, the banks take legal action and the recipient can get prosecuted for theft. It doesn't matter that it is in your account, if you know it is not yours then to spend it is an illegal act.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 13):
I am suggesting they could, for example, locate and approach the othe customer before it gets to that stage,

The news articles suggest that this has been done - the recipient has already spent the funds and cannot repay. Thus its time for legal action, and the only one that should be paying for that is the person that screwed up. Her.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 15):
The news articles suggest that this has been done - the recipient has already spent the funds and cannot repay. Thus its time for legal action, and the only one that should be paying for that is the person that screwed up. Her.

Fair enough in that case. I have certainly heard of instances where even these basic steps are not taken though.
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RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:52 pm

Another thing that occurs to me is that if it took her that long to notice, they're obviously not exactly living hand to mouth!
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YokoTsuno
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:21 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 15):
Nope - credit and debit cards have checksums, almost no bank accounts have them.

I am not sure about the UK but from previous remittances I am certain that several EU countries, and I always thought the EU as a whole, use IBAN bank account numbers. These numbers definitely include a checksum which makes it impossible to get a single digit wrong.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:27 pm

Quoting YokoTsuno (Reply 18):
I am not sure about the UK

No such thing for UK domestic bank transfers. It is very easy to get it wrong if you're not paying attention.
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smittyone
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:01 am

Quoting moose135 (Reply 14):
So in addition to possible legal fees for a civil suit to recover her money, she'll be paying legal fees for her husband's defense attorney in a criminal case. That's smart.

Not if you mail their fingers to ten relatives.


(Was being facetious when I said 'New Jersey solution' sorry I left out the   ).
 
Nimish
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:43 am

Quoting moo (Reply 15):
The bank is aware that you want to send money to an account number and sort code - the sending bank cannot verify the "intended recipient" by name, as they do not have access to the account details, and the receiving bank may not even have access to that field, as its not a standard BACS field, its used more as a reference against the transfer, not as a field that controls the transfer.

Luckily that's not the case in Indian domestic inter-bank transfers - the name is used and is checked, and and if there's a spelling wrong, the money bounces back to the senders account in hours.
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mad99
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RE: Wife Puts Her Pay In Stranger's Account-repeatedly

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:36 pm

Obviously the amount was small to her and didn't mean much.

Here in Spain, a footballer transferred to an English team so he parked his Porsche 911 at the airport and left. The police phoned a few months later saying that they had found his car and he didn't even remember having it!

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