UK / UK man buys house after accidentally getting ₹1 crore in account; bank seeks refund

Vikrant Shekhawat : Nov 15, 2021, 08:14 AM
London: A granddad from Norfolk, UK was left baffled when his bank showed an unknown balance of £1,10,000 (Rs 1.09 crore).  Then, his confusion turned to disbelief when the bank told him he could keep the lump sum amount.

According to reports, Russell Alexander had queried it with Barclays and was mistakenly told the money was from an inheritance and he could keep it for good.

The money was deposited in his account in several installments. According to the report, he saw the first deposit of £30,000 on 29 December 2020. At that point, he contacted the bank via its website chat service but didn't receive a response. Then when he received another deposit after two weeks, he called the bank.

He claimed a bank worker told him a few weeks later that he could spend the money as it looked like direct inheritance funds.

Believing it to be legal money, he used the funds to buy a new home for £2,37,500 (Rs 2.36 crore). Before that he and his ex-fiance sold off their seven-bed property for the extra sum of money that was required.

Unfortunately for him, the happiness of owning a new home may soon come to a crashing end.

According to reports, the bank realised their mistake nine months after the cash started appearing in Alexander's account. It has now ordered the 54-year-old to pay it all back, including an extra £6,000.

Following the incident, the bank admitted the money was transferred by another person in error, adding Alexander was 'incorrectly advised that he could keep the funds’.

The grandad has said he has been living in a semi-derelict home with no heating ever since the bank took the house. He said he is short of funds to even fix the issues.

"I never would have bought [the house] if I didn't have the extra money. Barclays have stolen my future plans and left me living like a stowaway," he was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

"It's been sat there nine months and they said if I'd spent it they couldn't do anything, but because I didn't they've just taken it back. 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 to spend it," he added.

Alexander said the bank offered him £500 in compensation or as a way of an apology. It was something that left him 'totally outraged'.

"I’ve been a loyal customer for 40 years and they clearly told me twice the money was mine to spend," he said.