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Russell Alexander, 54, from Sutton, Norfolk, was dumbfounded when huge payments started appearing in his bank account last December. The handyman contacted Barclays but says he was told the windfall was from an inheritance and that he could keep it.
Mr Alexander used other funds to buy a £237,500 home to do up and planned to spend his new cash on renovating the property.
However, nine months after he received the mystery money Barclays took it back – plus an extra £6,000 by mistake.
The grandfather claims he is now living in a semi-derelict home with no funds to repair it.
Mr Alexander said: “I’ve been a loyal customer for 40 years and they clearly told me twice the money was mine to spend.
“I planned to renovate the house to rent out rooms on Airbnb, but I’ll need to work now to earn the money and it will take years.
“I never would have bought it if I didn’t have the extra money. Barclays have stolen my future plans and left me living like a stowaway.”
Russell was stunned to notice a payment of £30,000 in his account on December 29 2020 with the reference “last of mums”.
He said he messaged Barclays twice on their website but got no response.
Further payments of £30,000 and £777 landed in his account on January 15 2021.
Mr Alexander queried them with the bank on the phone and he claims a few weeks later a member of staff told him the transfers looked like direct inheritance payments and that he could spend the money.
He moved into his new house on June 23 and another £50,000 was paid into his bank in August.
But a month later a customer of Mr Alexander’s former business rang him up and said he’d accidentally given the money to him.
Mr Alexander called Barclays who confirmed they had made a mistake. They took the money back on September 29 and offered £500 compensation.
The handyman said: “It made no sense to me when the money just arrived, but I checked with the bank twice and with an accountant – they all said spend it.
“I pulled the house to bits and planned to use the money to do it up, but now they’ve taken it back and I have to live in one room of a derelict house.
“I’ve had sleepless nights over this for weeks.
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“I don’t know what the matter is with Barclays. This is no way to run a bank.
“I’m disgusted that this is how they treat their loyal customers. I’ve banked with them for 40 years.
“After giving me nine months of false hope their £500 compensation is a total insult. They make billions of pounds a year.
“It’s been sat there nine months and they said if I’d spent it they couldn’t do anything, but because I didn’t they’ve just taken it back.”
A spokesperson from Barclays said: “We’re sorry to hear about this customer’s experience.
“It is evident that the sender of the funds had selected the incorrect intended recipient from their payee list when completing the online payment instructions.
“There is a verification page displayed to allow the customers to check that the details entered online are valid and correct before proceeding to confirm the payment is to be made.
“Unfortunately, when the recipient sought clarity regarding the unexpected funds being received in his account, he was incorrectly advised that he could keep the funds.
“Subsequently the funds were removed from the account following a claim from the original sender.
“However due to our error an additional £6,000 above the intended sum received was incorrectly removed. This will be returned to our customer together with lost interest.”
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