Annual Financial Awareness Campaign
18-24 March 2024

Laura requested recall of transactions made to an unregulated investment company

Laura explained that large sums of money had been transferred from her bank account to an online, third-party investment company that she understood at the time to be a legitimate company. The funds were transferred through a crypto-exchange company by way of a beneficiary bank in another EU country. Laura later discovered that this investment company had misrepresented itself, and that it was not a regulated investment company, and while it took her money, it did not actually invest it. Laura explained that the bank should have known that the investment company with which she had engaged was unregulated, and she wanted the bank to return the disputed payment transactions to her bank account.

The bank stated that Laura had initiated and executed two international payment transfers totalling €7,400 and €10,000, to the crypto-exchange company, using the bank’s online banking service. The bank stated that Laura had required a unique security code from a card reader to complete each of these transactions.

As the complaint was not resolved in mediation, the FSPO began a formal investigation. A Summary of Complaint was issued to the bank by the FSPO.

In its response to the Summary of Complaint, the bank acknowledged that in its initial attempt to recall the payment of €7,400, it had mistakenly entered an incorrect code on the Swift Messaging system, which resulted in the beneficiary bank not actually receiving this recall request.

The bank also acknowledged that it had supplied Laura with inaccurate information when dealing with her query and that it had delayed in responding to one of Laura’s letters querying the matter. The bank acknowledged that during a telephone conversation, it had also given her misinformation.

The bank offered Laura €3,500 in full and final settlement of this dispute in recognition of the time and effort taken by her to pursue this complaint and in acknowledgement of the service issues identified. Laura accepted this offer.