TSB customer threatened with £30-a-day overdraft charges after losing £18k in IT meltdown fraud


A COMPOSER who had £18,000 stolen from his account by fraudsters was sent a letter from TSB threatening overdraft charges.

Richard Lewis, from Edinburgh, blasted the bank after he received a letter which told him he would be charged up to £30 a day if payments continue to leave his account.

The 46-year-old slammed the bank for “only being efficient” when it came to the overdraft charges – as he had heard nothing from fraud investigators for nearly two months.

Mr Lewis is one of around 1,300 customers who have had their accounts accessed by fraudsters exploiting the IT disaster.

When TSB moved to upgrade their computer systems on April 20, 1.9million customers were hit by the computer meltdown and unable to access their accounts.

That dad-of-two was told by a TSB employee on May 16 that there had been an attempt to use his credit cards in Swansea, but assured him his cards were cancelled.

However, the next day Mr Lewis discovered – by text message from the bank – that a staggering £18,000 had been taken from his account.

Mr Lewis said at that point he began “freaking out” and asked to be put through to the fraud team but was on hold for 45 minutes before being put through.

Mr Lewis is one of around 1,300 customers who have had their accounts accessed by fraudsters exploiting the IT disaster.

The composer then went into his local branch and lodged three separate online complaints with the bank but heard nothing back.

However, months later Mr Lewis received a letter from TSB threatening charges would be applied to his account.

A copy of the letter from the bank has been published online. It reads: “Unfortunately there wasn’t enough money in your account to make the payments you arranged for today.

“Although your balance looks right, the money is not available to be used.

“As we have not been able to make these payments, we will be charging a returned item fee. Returned item fees are £10 per payment we do not make, up to a maximum of three fees a day.”

Speaking today, Richard said: “If you’re setting up a payment to a new payee, you usually get a text with a number in it that you have to put in to finish off the transaction, and then they send you another text saying it’s gone through.

“But I only got the text saying it had gone through, and £18,000 had been taken, and I started freaking out.

“So I called and was eventually put on hold to go through to the phone, and spent 45 minutes waiting to speak to someone.

“They froze my account, and said they are investigating but I’ve heard nothing since.

“The only thing they’ve been efficient about is sending me the overdraft charges letter.”

He added: “Luckily, I was able to use my Monzo card and I could get paid from my show I’m doing in Glasgow at Oran Mor. It’s either that or I go into the branch every time, and I can’t exactly leave the rehearsals to go and do that.

“I think the only way for them to fix this is compensation. I had that money put away because I live in an Edinburgh tenement, and like everyone else I was preparing for the inevitable roof issues and having to have that replaced.”

A TSB spokesperson, says: “We’re really sorry for any inconvenience or distress that we have caused Richard.

“We have reached out to Richard to try and put things right, and can confirm that he has been fully refunded.

“Our commitment is absolutely clear: no customer will be left out of pocket as a result of the recent IT issues.”

TSB admitted that attempts to compromise customers’ accounts grew from six to seven cases a day – to more than 200 a day during its peak in May.

Over 95,000 people have complained to the bank over the scandal, with most of them expected to receive compensation.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched an investigation into the bank’s IT failure.

A sceptical Mr Lewis reacted to the news of his refund today, saying: “I’m delighted, don’t get me wrong, but they’ve offered me £100 in compensation.

“Even when I had an absolute nightmare trying to get a bank account reopened at Bank of Scotland, that’s a convulted story in itself, they offered me £250.

“It’s a bit of a slap in the face, what do they think my hourly rate is, 20p an hour?”