Barclays - ‘I lost my £193,000 inheritance – with one wrong digit on my sort code’

Nightmare stuff

Barclays did eventually make things right, but only after the other customer lost two court cases and themselves then being contacted by The Guardian

Despite the different sort codes they had two customers with the same account number to go along with no checks on names

Shame on the person who received the money as well

A real case here for that proposed checking of account names


Just read this article! Wow over a wrong sort code strange they have the same account number in the same area too :thinking: good on him fighting through the courts and getting his money back + compensation + interest

Thanks for sharing :slightly_smiling_face:

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What kind of person wouldnt return it? How did they sleep at night?


Goodness knows. But they’re surely not sleeping very well at all now.

[…] the court order forced the other Barclays customer to repay the cash.


Bank error almost in your favour


In a very comfortable hotel room, presumably.


I am sorry, I don’t want to hurt your feeling or personally you. We are naive if we think everybody in the world is honest and trusty.

There are some type of people who (in general) we avoid if it’s possible. One of them is ( We call them back home) people who would sell even his/her mother for some extra coins…

Anyway, I stop that negative part.
The good news is: Recently there are more and more news about situation where actually the money is going back on time to their owner, that’s great!
I remember I was always nervous when I transferred money from my account to a new person( Like new landlord account, new services etc). I always double check the numbers, the amount whatsoever. Anytime could be a wrong number… I wish that one day it is not impossible to get back what is yours.

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I’m wondering how he lost those 2 court cases should have been clear cut that he didn’t mean to send it to that account.

People would go to extreme lengths to get that kind of money back, I would be very wary of keeping it.

He won them. With his own money, not helped by Barclays till The Guardian shamed them

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The thing I don’t get was why it was not considered a crime for that other account to keep the money when it was obviously a mistake

Remember that court case two years back where a lady got a criminal conviction for picking up and keeping a twenty quid note in a shop?

“Theft by finding”

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My understanding of the law is that it is a crime to keep money that you know is clearly not yours. That said, I suppose you could just claim you didn’t know it wasn’t intended for you and that’s how it ends up in court.

There is supposed to be a new system coming online where entering account details shows the official name registered on the receiving bank account to the sender before the money is sent so you can check it is going to the right person. I think I’ve started seeing this appear in some online banking interfaces, and it certainly happens with Paym.

That’s my understanding, too.

The problem seems to come when your bank isn’t interested in helping you trace and reclaim the accidental transfer - and worse, hides behind data protection regulations to avoid helping you trace and reclaim it yourself, which appears to be what has happened in this case.

Such a stance appears to be pretty similar to that used for authorised push pushment scams, where the bank says “You approved the transfer, not our fault you made a mistake” and washes their hands of everything, which just isn’t cricket.

I read this and the first thing I thought is:
This is why you should always do a test first, any new account you’re not sure of. You send £1 to first (make sure it reaches your account first) followed by the full amount that way you can make sure everything is correct.
And £1 is a small loss in the grand scheme of this


I don’t think this was a case of a bank going screw you were going to use this law to screw you more. It’s probably just a case of they very simply cannot just hand out PII of other customers. And nor should they.

This is what I do. But in this case, the customer had given an incorrect sort code to his solicitor, who transferred the money.

There really should be a better system.

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The numbers based system is such a recipe for disaster

Thus far I have never made such a mistake (thankfully), but will admit temporary, but total, number blindness and paranoia when I do - I find myself checking so many times I almost make more mistakes as a result. I know I am not alone there as a friend admitted the same happens to him

Not saying it is perfect, but the “handle” and photo approach of, say, or Twitter would be preferable


Yikes, I’m surprised the solicitor can;t be done for negligence

I would always do that myself for new details if paying friends or family, but when involving businesses or other parties paying you I don’t think that’s going to happen often

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Please give me you sort code

Thanks for your sort code

Paying your sort code


The whole ‘modulus check sum’ thing in a sort code and account number should be a good first catch. Like, if someone fudged a single digit of my account number, generally the Modulus system will flag it.

It’s a shame it wouldn’t also work for single-digit transpositions in this case too.

We really need to get name verification though on transfers.