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Customers question bank account investigations

11 December 2009 11:43:07

Opinions on new bank account refund rules differ.  image
Opinions on new bank account refund rules differ.
The application of new rules governing savings and bank account transactions is being questioned, with some customers complaining that unauthorised payments are not being immediately refunded.

Newton Abbot resident Paul Cardwell was told by his bank that he would only get his money back when an investigation lasting up to two weeks was completed, the Daily Mail reported.

This is despite UK Payments Administration suggesting that a delay of more than three days or so is "pushing it".

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations, which have been in effect since November 1st, state that banks must give a refund if a customer "claims that an unauthorised transaction has taken place", unless they can show "some good reason" for not doing so.

Banks reserve the right to refuse the repayments if the consumer has been careless or negligent in protecting their PIN, or if they are suspected of committing fraud.

However, the FSA also says the firms are only allowed to refuse a refund pending the results of an investigation if they have "prima facie evidence" of "deliberate or grossly negligent behaviour" on the customer's part.

Mr Cardwell originally asked for a refund when he made a failed attempt to withdraw £250 from a cash machine and later found that his account had been debited anyway.

Speaking to the newspaper, a representative of Mr Cardwell's bank said: "The FSA has indicated that there is an implication that an investigation will be carried out first where appropriate and that the 'immediate' relates to the conclusion of that investigation rather than the point in time at which the customer raises the issue."

Also commenting, UK Payments Administration director of communications Sandra Quinn said: "The investigation of fraud has to be completed within a matter of days. Any more than two or three and you are pushing it."ADNFCR-2196-ID-19507870-ADNFCR ADNFCR-2196-ID-19464191-ADNFCR

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