Inheritance sent to the wrong customer

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This week’s news included the story of a man who entered a lengthy legal battle when his inheritance money was sent to the wrong customer by a bank.

Barclay’s transferred the £193,000 meant for Peter Teich to someone else. The customer then refused to give the money back. The mistake happened when Mr Teich gave his solicitor the wrong bank sort code. He was then forced to hire lawyers to recover the inheritance he was due to receive from his late father.

Mr Teich’s father, Mikuláš, died at the age of 100 in August 2018.

‘Token gesture’

When Mr Teich originally challenged the mistake, he was given a “small token gesture” of £25 from Barclays, as the bank claimed the money could not be returned. The 74-year-old had to spend £12,000 in legal and court fees in order to obtain the name of the other Barclay’s customer, which he was given in June.

He then needed to spend another £34,000 to get a court injunction to force the other Barclay’s customer to pay the money back. The inheritance money was returned to him in July.

However, when he asked Barclay’s to cover his legal costs of £46,000 the bank refused. Mr Teich’s wife, Veronia Becko, said the bank only caved in after media pressure, paying the legal fees and offering a further £750 for Mr Teich’s inconvenience.

Last two digits wrong

The former building industry and charity sector worker had given his solicitor the correct name, address and account number for his bank account.  However, the last two digits of his sort code were wrong.

Mr Teich said he freely acknowledged his mistake, but that the error faded into insignificance when compared to the way Barclays bank responded.

In a statement to the Guardian newspaper, the bank said it was evident that on this occasion it had failed to meet the high standards Mr Teich could expect to receive from Barclays and they offered him their sincere apologies.

It confirmed Mr Teich could expect to receive the legal fees he incurred in full, together with interest and a payment to compensate for the distress and inconvenience caused.

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