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More protection for people who send money to the wrong account

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

People who accidentally send payments to the wrong account can expect to get their money back in 20 working days under new rules being adopted by banks and building societies.

The new procedures go beyond the voluntary code lending institutions signed up to in 2014, which standardised timescales for investigating payment errors.

Although the improvements cannot guarantee a customer will get their money back, they mean that for the first time, in straightforward cases where the recipient doesn’t dispute the return of funds, the money will be returned within 20 working days.

wrong payment

The changes apply to all banks and building societies that connect directly to Faster Payments, which processes virtually every mobile, online and telephone banking payment, or Bacs Payment Schemes, which is used by the majority of UK workforces.

Craig Tillotson, chief executive of Faster Payments, which oversees the new procedures, said: “Mobile, online and phone banking customers now send well over a billion payments every year. The most important advice is to make sure you get the sort code and account number correct when sending any payment but, if you do make a mistake, today’s announcement means more help is on offer, while also ensuring the recipient of funds is treated fairly too.”

The government welcomed the changes.

Harriett Baldwin MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “More people than ever are banking online, taking advantage of being able to make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so it’s vital that everything possible is done to prevent mistakes from happening. Today’s announcement is another good step forward, ensuring money gets back to the right place with less hassle than before, while also protecting the rights of everyone who receives a payment. We will continue working with the banking industry to make things better for customers.”

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