Bank Error In Your Favour: Part 2

Around 2 years ago I did a post on what you should do if you found a bank had made a mistake in your favour; crediting your account with money that wasn’t yours.

The advice back then was to own up, as the financial obudsman and/or lawyers would rule in favour of the bank unless you could prove that you thought “in good faith” that the money was yours.

This has been illustrated by a recent court case where a woman was wrongly credited with £135,000, and she decided to go and spend it.

Sarah Jane Lee, 20, from Blackburn in Lancashire, had a bank balance of £6.59 when she discovered that a mistake by the Abbey bank had caused the figure to rocket to £135,000. She allegedly spent the money, giving tens of thousands to friends and buying a holiday, various appliances and a new sofa. But it’s now end-of-the-line time after she admitted “retaining wrongful credit” and 11 specimen charges of theft.

The BBC website has more information on the legal ins & outs, and there’s also some interesting stories in the comments. The basic advice is to report the error immediately, and to leave it unspent.

4 thoughts on “Bank Error In Your Favour: Part 2

  1. What is the legal position if your bank credits your account correctly on the instructions of a third party who then contacts you to say they made a payment in error.
    It’s not your own bank asking for the money back, so they can’t just get it out of your account. It’s a third party bank that made the mistake. If you have no contract with them, can they still say you are stealing money that they have decided to put into your account?

  2. I had recieved a large amount to which the bank lost this cheque…then 12.000 was also deposited I in good faith thought it was also part of an inheratance but one week later they said the BANK had made an error and for me to pay back all of the amount
    They closed my savings pronto and said I had gone over an agreed overdraft
    How could I go over I am on benefits !!!!!!!!!

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