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What to do if you make an online transfer mistake

If you make a mistake when transferring money, it can leave you with a sinking feeling.

One of the best things you can do is act quickly to get things sorted. HSBC customers have 36 months to make a claim, but the sooner you do it the better chance you’ll have of getting the money back.

Here’s a look at how the process for reclaiming the money works.

1. Speak to your bank

The first thing to do is get in touch with your bank to tell them what’s happened. Make sure you have all your details (including details of the transaction) handy.

Your bank should act within 2 working days to contact the bank that has received the money and request the money be returned. If you know the person you sent the money to and feel safe to do so, you should approach them directly to get your money back.

2. The recipient is contacted

The recipient of the mistaken transfer will then be contacted by their bank about the transaction. They’ll have the opportunity to dispute your claim, but will need a reason to do so as the banks will conduct an investigation if they refuse to return the money.

3. You get an answer

If there’s no dispute, the money should be returned to you within 20 working days. If there's a dispute, you’ll be notified of the outcome of your bank’s investigation within 20 working days.

If you’re unhappy with the final outcome, you can write to your bank and ask for the beneficiary’s details to try and retrieve the money yourself. You can also get in contact with the Financial Ombudsman.

4. Avoiding a mistake in the future

Next time you’re transferring money make sure you double check the details so you know it’s going where you intend. It can also help to double check the details of the person you’re transferring to.

Tip: We have introduced a name checking service called Confirmation of Payee (CoP). It aims to protect against Authorised Push Payment scams and reduce the number of payments which are made by mistake.

When you make a one-off payment, set up a regular new one or amend an existing payment, it lets you check you’re paying the right person or business. That way, you can see if the name matches who they say they are.

CoP also allows a person or business sending you a payment to check your name matches your account.

What next?

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