A car mechanic who found £193,000 in his bank account after a pensioner used the wrong sort code has insisted he tried to give the money back.
Peter Teich, 74, from Cambridge, was forced to wage a court battle for the return of his inheritance following the death of his father.
He mistakenly gave his solicitor the wrong sort code in April and the funds were transferred to the account of another Barclays bank customer in the Cambridge area, who he was told had refused to return it.
But Tim Gray, 42, who received the money, said he had no idea who the money belonged to and told the bank to take it back.
“The main thing is that I didn’t spend the money, I didn’t run off and buy a Ferrari, and I did try to give it back,” he told the Guardian.
Mr Gray said he thought the £193,000 had been left to him by his grandmother, who died three years ago, and used some of the funds to pay off his bills and credit cards.
“I know it sounds like a life-changing amount of money, but it’s not,” he said.
“I’m in debt to more than double that amount. I thought it was my money, a couple of friends said it must be my money, and I only spent a bit of it.”
He said he called Barclays four days later, after receiving a text from the bank, and was told the money was not his.
“I said take all the remaining money, but leave me with the money I’ve spent. But they said they wouldn’t take it. I said take it back, but he said no, and that his hands were tied.”
Mr Gray said he put £150,000 into premium bonds, but had to cash them in and borrow on his credit cards to pay Mr Teich the £193,000 back after receiving a court order.
He added: “I’m glad he’s got his money back. I feel sorry for the old boy, it should never have happened to him. I just want to clear my name,”
Barclays denied refusing to accept the return of the funds, telling the Guardian in a statement: “We have reviewed our contemporaneous record of the telephone conversation and it does not reflect the claims being made on this case.”
The bank earlier apologised to Mr Teich and agreed to pay the legal fees he incurred to get his money back.
The pensioner previously said in a statement: “I freely acknowledge my mistake in this unhappy saga.
“I provided the sort code of the wrong Barclays branch. But my error fades into near insignificance when considered in the context of Barclays’ conduct.”