I transferred money via internet banking – and it disappeared | Consumer rights

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In October, I made an online payment for the first time using my Nationwide Internet account. I thought I was paying my Marks & Spencer Mastercard bill but, in fact, I transferred £836 to Mark One Mastercard, a card I never owned. The website has a drop down menu and it must have knocked down a name without me noticing. Nationwide contacted HSBC, Mark One’s bank, and after a month says it has been unable to obtain debit authorization and therefore the matter is closed. CN, Kidderminster, Worcestershire

Your case is suspiciously similar to a saga investigated three years ago by my predecessor, Margaret Dibben, in which a NatWest client paid Mark One instead of M&S because of a drop-down menu. The difference is that at the time Mark One Mastercard existed; now no one has heard of it. HSBC tells me they are no longer the issuer of the card. Internacionale, the fashion chain that took over Mark One in 2009, ignores it, as do the Payments Council, Mastercard and the UK Card Association.

Which raises the question of why Nationwide has an outdated menu on their menus. Under Financial Services Authority rules, banks and building societies are required to take reasonable steps to recover a customer’s money if it has been misdirected, but are not required to do so. to reimburse. Invited by The Observer, Nationwide took the phone back to HSBC and had the brilliant idea of ​​giving the numbers and sort codes of the account that received the transfer. Armed with these new clues, he located the money and returned it.

“The problem was that we were looking for a card or an account in the name of Mark One,” an HSBC spokeswoman said. “The faster payments this transaction was are irrevocable. Any attempt to recover funds as a result of an error is subject to debit authorization from the recipient. We have contacted the recipient multiple times and have now been authorized to return the funds.”

Nationwide liaises with Experian, who administer its drop-down menus, to ensure they are kept up to date. The Payments Council would like anyone who has received misdirected funds to contact them through their website.

If you need help, email Anna Tims at [email protected] or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number.

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