One of the main features of a bank account is being able to make and receive payments, but how this is done can vary depending on the way the payment is made.
To help you monitor your account, a bank or building society must make the following details available to you for every payment made into and out of it:
In most cases this will be done through a passbook, monthly statement, online banking or mobile banking.
The time it takes for a payment from your account to arrive in the receiving account will depend on how you make that payment.
However, your bank must tell you the maximum time it will take to make a payment.
If a payment does not arrive in the receiving account by the time you expect, ask your bank to explain what has gone wrong.
Payments are made in the UK using a sort code and account number. If you provide the wrong sort code or account number when making a payment, your bank must make a reasonable effort to recover the money.
However, it may charge you for doing so and will not be liable for any losses you suffer.
If your bank made the mistake and sent money to the wrong account, it must refund the amount of the payment to your account, plus any charges or interest you pay as a result.
If a payment is made from your account for more or less than you asked the bank to send, it must correct the error and refund you for any charges or interest you have paid as a result of its mistake.
In some situations, such as when booking a hotel room or hiring a car, you may be asked to provide your card details without agreeing the amount to be debited.
If the amount eventually charged is more than you could reasonably have expected to pay, and you contact your bank about it within eight weeks of the amount being taken from your account, the bank must refund the entire amount or tell you its reasons for not doing so.
If the bank does refund you it will reclaim the money from the company that charged you. You should be aware that the company is then likely to ask you for payment in some other way.
Your bank can only refuse to make a payment if:
If your bank refuses to make a payment (such as by ‘bouncing’ a direct debit) it must generally tell you at the earliest opportunity that it is doing so and, if possible, explain why.
The bank can charge for not making a payment if the refusal is reasonably justified.
When you make a payment in pounds or euro from your account to another bank in the UK or the European Union, your bank must get the money to the receiving bank by the end of the working day after you told it to make the payment.
If money is paid into your current account, card-based account or instant-access savings account, it must be available to you and start earning interest as soon as the bank receives it where it was:
If money is paid into a cash ISA or a savings account with a notice period, it does not have to be made available immediately, but the bank must start paying interest on the same business day as it receives the funds.
The full amount of the payment must be credited to your account, unless you have agreed with your bank that charges can be deducted first.
When you deposit a cheque into a current account, think 2-4-6. When you deposit a cheque into a savings account, think 2-6-6.
Banks are not required to meet this timetable for clearing cheques but most always will and some even do it more quickly. If your cheque does not clear within this timetable, ask the bank to explain why.
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