ATM refunds will total £10m

RBS and NatWest write to customers to refund them the cash – plus interest – left behind while withdrawing from ATMs

Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest are paying a total of £10m to 300,000 customers who forgot to take their cash from ATMs, it has emerged.

It is the second bank compensation scheme to be announced in the past few days. It recently emerged that a blunder in the wording of loan statements by Northern Rock will cost the taxpayer £270m in refunds to 152,000 people.

Now RBS/NatWest has revealed it is writing to customers who it believes did not, for whatever reason, take all the cash they had requested, but nevertheless had their account debited.

Each year thousands of people fail to take the money they requested from a cash machine. In many cases they simply forget to collect it, and walk away.

Sometimes people are distracted and, after perhaps 30 seconds or so, the money is sucked back into the machine. This is known as a “cash retract”. In most cases, ATM operators reimburse the customer if a cash retract occurs, whether or not he or she has raised the issue with their bank.

Since March 2011, RBS has also refunded customers even if they did not contact the bank, but prior to that it only repaid those who got in touch.

Customers who lost money will now be refunded automatically, without having to contact the bank.

A spokeswoman for the bank, which is 82% owned by the taxpayer, said the letters started going out to customers in August this year, and everybody affected should have been contacted by the end of December.

They will receive a full refund of their withdrawal, with interest paid at the best rate available on an instant access savings account. It is thought the average refund, including interest, will be around £45.

The spokeswoman said: “We are proactively contacting our RBS and NatWest customers who, according to our records, at some point have not collected all of their dispensed cash. We will be refunding the value of their transactions in full, with an additional goodwill payment.” © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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