A grandfather says his future plans were “stolen” after a bank mistakenly told him he could keep £ 110,000 that a stranger accidentally deposited into his account.
Russell Alexander, 54, was surprised to find mysteriously £ 30,000 in his bank account last December. Weird payments kept popping up over time – which resulted in the Sutton, Norfolk craftsman contacting Barclays, who falsely told him the money was his.
In June he bought a new home with his own savings for £ 237,500 and kept the £ 110,000 aside, expecting it to fund major repairs before opening the property as a B&B.
But in September a former client of Mr. Alexander announced that he was the accidental benefactor and Barclays withdrew the money from Mr. Alexander’s account.
A stunned Mr. Alexander said: “I would never have bought” [the house] if I didn’t have the extra money Barclays stole my plans for the future and left me like a stowaway. ‘
He added, “It’s been nine months and they said if I had spent it there was nothing they could do but because I didn’t, they just took it back.”
Russell Alexander, 54, says he stayed out of his pocket after a stranger deposited £ 110,000 in his account and his bank accidentally told him he could keep it
Mr Alexander had planned to use the money to renovate a maker house he had bought, but says that it has now remained in limbo
“It didn’t make sense to me when the money was just arriving, but I checked with the bank twice and with an accountant – they all said spend it.
“I tore the house to pieces and wanted to use the money to fix it, but now they have taken it back and I have to live in a room in a rundown house.”
Mr Alexander blames the bank and said he now lives in a dilapidated house with no heating and no money to renovate.
Barclays has admitted that the money was mistakenly sent from a different sender – and Mr Alexander was “falsely told that he could keep the money”.
A shocked Mr Alexander added that he was “totally outraged” by the bank’s offer of £ 500 in compensation.
He said, “I’ve been a loyal customer for 40 years and they made it clear to me that I could spend the money twice.
“I planned to renovate the house to rent out rooms on Airbnb, but I have to work now to make the money and it will take years.”
In the house that Russell Alexander bought with the £ 110,000 he accidentally got
Mr Alexander is a former B&B owner himself and ran a hotel business with his ex-fiancée, whom he separated from in March of last year.
He says the debacle over his finances began on December 29, 2020 when a mysterious payment of £ 30,000 with the note “last mother” landed in his account – which meant nothing to the craftsman.
On January 15, he received further payments of £ 30,000 and £ 777. At that point, he checked with Barclays for the amounts, and a few weeks later a bank clerk called to say the transfers looked like direct inheritance payments to him and he could spend them.
Five months later, Mr Alexander bought his own money from a property sale to buy a new house worth £ 237,500. He said he put the pot of mysterious cash aside to help finance the extensive repairs.
Mr. Alexander moved into his project house on June 23rd. His new home has to be completely rewired, the heating and sanitary facilities have to be replaced, as well as the roof and the foundations, he says.
Another £ 50,000 landed in his account in August – bringing the total mystery payment to £ 110,000.
But in September a customer of Mr. Alexander’s former business called him and confessed that he was the one who had accidentally given him the money, and Barclays took the £ 110,000 back.
The bank mistakenly took an additional £ 6,000 from Mr Alexander’s own money which was later returned.
Mr Alexander called Barclays who confirmed they had made a mistake and offered him £ 500 in compensation, he said.
Mr Alexander had plans to convert the Macher Up property into a B&B after mysteriously £ 110,000 landed in his account
“I have had sleepless nights for weeks because of it. I don’t know what’s wrong with Barclays. You can’t run a bank like that.
“I am disgusted that they treat their loyal customers this way. I did banking with them for 40 years.
“After giving myself the wrong hope for nine months, your £ 500 compensation is a total insult. They make billions of pounds a year.
“It’s been there for nine months and they said if I had spent it there was nothing they could do, but because I didn’t, they just took it back.”
In September, a customer of Mr. Alexander’s former shop called him and confessed that he had given him the money by mistake
A Barclays spokesperson said, “We’re sorry to hear about this customer’s experience.
“It is obvious that the sender of the funds selected the wrong intended recipient from their recipient list when completing the online payment instructions.
A verification page will be displayed for customers to verify that the information entered online is valid and correct before confirming the payment.
‘Unfortunately, when the recipient sought clarification about the unexpected arrival of funds in his account, he was incorrectly told that he could keep the funds.
“The funds were then withdrawn from the account based on a claim from the original sender.
“However, due to our mistake, an additional £ 6,000 over the intended amount received was incorrectly removed. This will be refunded to our customer together with lost interest. ‘
They urged customers to report unexpected funds immediately and to regularly delete one-time payees from the app or online banking.