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Mistakes happen and its very stressful when money is wrongly transferred to a wrong account. Soon after the wrong transfer, plenty of questions arise on how to contact the recipient, will I be able to get the money bank and if the Bank’s have power to reverse the transaction. In this article, we look at these questions, procedure and the legalities for reversing a money transferred to a wrong account.
As per the Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines, it is the responsibility of the remitter to provide correct beneficiary account number and details while making payment. Hence, in case of wrong transfer to an account, only the remitter is responsible and liable. The bank or any other person cannot be held liable or responsible. Further, the Bank’s also cannot reverse money from its end without approval from the beneficiary. Bank can only act as a facilitator.
The fastest or easiest scenario to get back wrongly transferred money, is when the account number of the beneficiary does not exist. In such cases, when the account number is invalid or does not exist, the money is transferred back to the remitter automatically. In case there is a valid account, the fastest and easiest way to get the money wrongly transferred is to send a written letter to the Bank. In case the remitter and the beneficiary are in the same bank, the process could be fast and easy, if the Banker agrees to act as a facilitator, talk to the beneficiary and request for re-transfer of the money wrongly credited.
In case the account was transferred to a wrong account with another bank, in addition to contacting your Banker (remitter’s Banker), it is also advisable to contact the Branch Manager of the wrong beneficiary and explain the situation in a written letter. In such cases, the Beneficiary’s Branch Manager could then contact the wrong beneficiary and request for re-transfer of the wrong credit to the remitter.
Wrongly transferred money cannot be easily reversed without the consent of the wrong beneficiary. To get the money back, the beneficiary has to accept that a wrong transaction is made.
In case a wrong beneficiary fails to return the money back, then a written complaint must be lodged immediately with the concerned Bank(s). Then a Lawyer can be engaged to provide a notice to the wrong beneficiary, requesting that the money be transferred back. If he or she refuses to give the money, even after a Legal notice, then a legal case can be initiated, though its a expensive and time-consuming route for resolution. Hence, its best to employ a legal route, only if the sum involved in large enough to warrant the legal expense and time.
RBI Guidelines clearly state that it is the responsibility of the remitter to provide correct account number and IFSC code. Hence, its important for a remitter to verify the account number of a beneficiary twice before effecting a money transfer.
Also, in case of transfer of large amounts of cash, it is also advisable to transfer a small amount of money like Rs.100, to verify that the amount is transferred to the right beneficiary. Thus, double check the digits after typing and for online payments, small amount test transfer is the safest mode to ensure that the beneficiary account is correct.