The Banking Ombudsman has rejected a man’s complaint regarding a bank’s refusal to reimburse him for money taken from his account. The bank found that the man had given his friend access to his card details, resulting in a loss of $71,000.

Following a break-up, the man and his friend would often go out drinking together. On those occasions, the man would give his card to his friend to use. The friend memorised these card details, and used them for various online shopping transactions, amounting to $12,000.

The friend also made withdrawals from various bank branches and made automatic bank payments totalling $60,000 from the card. The man complained to the bank, and requested reimbursement  for the transactions.

The bank denied the request, stating that the man was responsible for the transactions because he had given his friend access to his card details. The bank withdrawals were also authorised by card and PIN, and the bank had taken additional steps such as checking a passport and obtaining a signature.

The bank stated that the man had breached the terms and conditions of the bank by giving his card details to his friend and enabling the transactions. The bank refused to reimburse the money.

The man brought a complaint to the Ombudsman to investigate the matter.

The man accepted that he could not dispute the transactions made online, given that he had given his friend access to his card details. However, he requested that he be reimbursed for the money withdrawn from various bank branches.

The Ombudsman decided that given the various checks the bank had performed to gain authorisation of the transactions, it was difficult to conclude that the transactions had not been authorised by the man. The signature obtained by the bank was a match with others they had on file for the man.

The Ombudsman declined the man’s complaint. No compensation was ordered to be given to the man, but the bank offered him $1,000 as a gesture of goodwill.

It is important to keep your financial details safe. If you believe you have been treated unfairly, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

 

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.

Alan Knowsley and Hunter Flanagan-Connors