Santander has accidentally paid out £130million to thousands of individuals and businesses – and now it faces a battle to claw the huge sum back from customers at rival banks
Around 75,000 people and companies were mistakenly paid a second time from around 2,000 accounts with Santander on December 25.
The error affected both one-off and regular payments made from accounts with the high street bank.
Payments included wages or money from suppliers, with the money being sent to account holders at Barclays, HSBC, NatWest, Co-operative Bank and Virgin Money.
But because the cash has been sent to accounts at rival banks, Santander will have to communicate with other lenders to recover the funds.
There are also said to be fears that some customers who received double payments would have already spent the extra cash – making it harder to recover.
The issue was first reported by The Times this morning.
The newspaper says some banks are reluctant to claw the money back as it could push customers into their overdrafts.
As well as talking with rival banks, Santander is said to be looking at approaching some customers directly to get the money back.
Pay UK, which runs the main payment systems in the UK, is also holding talks on how to reverse the payments.
Some cash of the cash has reportedly already been recovered, although it isn’t clear how much has been sent back to Santander.
The money sent in error would have come from the lender’s own reserves, according to reports, and not from customer accounts.
This means no Santander customers should’ve found themselves out of pocket due to the payment glitch.
Santander has over 400 physical banks branches in the UK.
A spokesman for Santander said: “We’re sorry that, due to a technical issue, some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients’ accounts.
“None of our clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result and we will be working hard with many banks across the UK to recover the duplicated transactions over the coming days.”