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HSBC will now refund customers who left money at the ATM after RBS agrees to pay customers back 10mBank will refund 300,000 customers after changing 'retraction' policyMost banks automatically refund cash to those who forget to take itUntil recently RBS would wait until complaint received before acting
00:17 GMT, 27 December 2012
HSBC will offer refunds to hundreds of thousands of customers who made ATM withdrawals but forgot to pick up their cash.
Those who left money in HSBC cash machines between 2005 and 2011 will receive compensation after the bank pocketed the money instead of refunding it to customers’ accounts straight away.
HSBC’s move follows that of state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland, which also owns NatWest. The company recently promised to return 10million to 300,000 people.
Justice: Money saving expert Martin Lewis says it is more common than we think to leave money at the ATM
Notes are sucked back into an ATM if they are not collected within 30 seconds.
When this happens, most banks return the credit to customers’ accounts, as it has not physically been removed – but until recently HSBC and RBS took the money themselves, putting the onus on customers to claim it back.
This system left most victims under the impression that their cash had been taken by a passer-by.
Both banks changed their policy in early 2011, and now perform automatic refunds when notes are not collected.
Cashback: RBS is paying back millions to customers who forgot to pick up cash at ATM machines
Refunds for the six years before the
switch will now be made to all affected ATM users, regardless of which
bank they have an account with.
RBS is tracing all withdrawals made at
its ATMs since January 2005, while HSBC is going back to May 2005. The
banks say this is as far back as their records go.
Both companies are also relying on their rivals to trawl through their own data to find affected customers.
Lewis, founder of the Money Saving Expert website, said: ‘It may seem
odd to some that people leave cash in ATMs, yet a mixture of
forgetfulness, hurry, and sleep deprivation mean it’s more common than
‘It’s good to see these banks putting this right – after all, they’ve been taking the cash out of people’s accounts.’
addition to returning money that customers never collected, RBS is also
providing a goodwill payment equal to the interest that would have been
earned in its top savings account at the time of the attempted
Its first batch
of letters detailing the repayments were sent out in August.
it has not yet calculated how many customers are affected, or how much
money is due, but it has confirmed that it will, like RBS, provide
‘additional goodwill payments’.
Cash boost: Most banks automatically hand back the cash to customers who forget to collect their money from automated banking machines
An HSBC spokesman said: ‘The bank is now working with its industry body towards proactively refunding customers.
is no need to take any action – we will contact HSBC customers directly
and will contact non-customers via their own bank, to advise details of
banks have been heavily criticised for not repaying money that customers
are entitled to.
There is growing evidence that they flout clear rules
that businesses can only refuse to refund a customer if he or she has
acted ‘fraudulently’ or had been ‘grossly negligent’.
In some cases,
including when a current account has been hacked or a wallet is stolen
from a locked car, customers are having the blame pinned on them and are
controversy over RBS’s ATM policy comes a month after it confirmed it
had put aside another 400million for refunds for mis-selling payment
The bank has now set aside a total of 1.7billion
for the cases.
Payback: RBS and Natwest are writing to customers who may be owed money over the past nine years from its 9,000-strong ATM network