A disabled pensioner lost his £193,000 inheritance after he accidentally used the wrong sort code, of another customer who allegedly refused to give it back.
Peter Teich, 74, from Cambridge, was due to receive the payment after his 100-year-old father’s death.
He says he gave his correct name, address, and account number to his solicitor – but handed over the wrong sort code.
He told the Guardian it only took a matter of hours after the payment was supposed to have transferred before he realised something had gone horribly wrong.
Mr Teich immediately realised the error when his sister’s share of their inheritance showed up in her account – and his did not, the paper reports.
It turned out the money had gone straight to another Barclays customer who had a slightly different sort code.
When Mr Teich realised his mistake his solicitor contacted the bank, who he says initially said the money would be returned.
But the pensioner claims he then received a letter from the bank that instead his account would be credited with a “small token gesture of £25.”
Mr Teich said the bank had asked the person who received the cash for permission to return the money, but he had refused – and Barclays said it had no powers to force him to return the funds as it wasn’t its own error.
The responsibility as a result fell to Mr Teich to recover the cash, forcing the disabled pensioner to hire lawyers and go through a costly legal process.
He spent £12,000 in legal and court fees in his quest to get the other Barclays customer’s name, then forked out another £34,000 to get a freezing injunction to stop the man continuing to spend his cash.
The court finally ordered the customer to repay the cash.
But the pensioner’s legal battle wasn’t over yet. Mr Teich asked Barclays to refund his legal costs – but claims the bank refused.
Mr Teich took his story to the Guardian, and the bank backed down – agreeing to pay his £46,000 in legal costs along with £750 in compensation.
The Cambridge man was happy with the result, but criticised the behaviour of the bank, telling the newspaper: “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.”
Barclays told the Guardian in a statement: “It is evident that on this occasion we have failed to meet the high standards that Mr Teich can expect to receive from Barclays, and for this we have offered our sincere apologies.
“After taking a closer look at this situation, we can confirm that Mr Teich can expect the fees he has incurred to be refunded in full with interest, together with a payment for the distress and inconvenience this matter has caused.”