Man who was told he could keep £110k put in his account ordered to pay it back

·2-min read
Russell Alexander was told he could keep the £110K he received unexpectedly (SWNS)
Russell Alexander was told he could keep the £110K he received unexpectedly (SWNS)

A man who was accidentally transferred £110,000 into his account and was told to keep it, has been left devastated after he was ordered to repay the amount.

Russell Alexander, 54, a handyman from Sutton in Norfolk was told by his bank that he could keep the fortune. He immediately alerted Barclays when he noticed the amount but was wrongly told the money was an inheritance and for him to keep.

Nine months later, however, Barclays took back the amount along with an additional £6,000 of Mr Alexander’s own money. The grandfather, who began renovating a home he hoped to rent on Airbnb now doesn’t have the funds for the project.

Mr Alexander had begun renovation work on the property before finding out the money had to be returned (SWNS)
Mr Alexander had begun renovation work on the property before finding out the money had to be returned (SWNS)

“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,” Mr Alexander said.

He added: “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.”

He was given £500 compensation from Barclays bank for the error.

Mr Alexander received the first payment on 29 December 2020 - a transfer of £30,000 with the reference ‘last of mums.’ He then received another payment on 15 January 2021 - again of £30,000 and finally a transfer of £50,000 in August.

Mr Alexander moved into a project house on 23 June, a property he bought after selling a B&B property he shared with his ex-fiance. The £237,000 project house required renovations including rewiring, a new heating system and plumbing which Mr Alexander was hoping his new funds could pay for.

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Mr Alexander said he’ll now have to work to earn the renovation money which will take him years (SWNS)
Mr Alexander said he’ll now have to work to earn the renovation money which will take him years (SWNS)

He 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’ve banked with them for 40 years. I’m disgusted that this is how they treat their loyal customers.”

A Barclays representative apologised to Mr Alexander for the mistake stating that the error was a result of selecting an incorrect recipient and insisted he was wrongly advised to keep the funds.

However, they confirmed the £6,000 wrongly taken out of Mr Alexander’s account will be returned promptly with lost interest. Barclays has urged their customers to report unexpected funds immediately regularly delete one-off payees from the app or online banking site to ensure mistakes like this do not happen again.

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