Lloyds Banking Group to refund missing ATM money

Cash machines can retract notes that are not promptly claimed. Photograph: John Devlin
Cash machines can retract notes that are not promptly claimed. Photograph: John Devlin
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Lloyds Banking Group is to refund thousands of people who did not pick up the correct amount of money from its ATM machines – five years after it reassured customers that any such payouts would be made automatically.

Customers who withdrew money from Lloyds cash machines but did not pick up the money have been sent letters saying the amount – plus interest – has been refunded into their bank account. Some of the withdrawals took place as long as almost 12 years ago.

If some or all of the money dispensed from an ATM is not taken within 30 seconds, the cash is retracted and sucked back into the machine, to prevent it from being stolen.

Other banks including RBS and HSBC carried out a similar refund scheme in 2012, but at the time Edinburgh-based Lloyds, which also owns the Bank of Scotland brand, said it did not need to do so as it refunded customers automatically. However, it is understood that it later discovered that some payments had not been made at the time.

The bank said it began to send the money to other banks in 2014, but that refunds to customers were being made gradually by the other banks.

A spokesman for Lloyds Banking Group said: “We made payments to a number of banks whose customers we identified as experiencing, and not being previously reimbursed for, a cash retract at one of our ATMs between 1 January 2006 and 31 March 2011.”

Even customers of other banks, but who have had problems at Lloyds ATM machines, are to be refunded.

One customer from Dalkeith received a letter from his own banking provider, RBS, saying he was to be refunded £30, plus net interest of £8.53 from a failed withdrawal he made from a Lloyds ATM in September 2009. Despite trying to reclaim the money at the time, both from his own bank and Lloyds, he was unable to do so.

The letter said: “Lloyds has undertaken a review of its historic ATM withdrawals and identified occasions where Royal Bank of Scotland customers did not take all of the cash from the ATM. We have been informed that this happened to you.

“To put things right, we are arranging, on behalf of Lloyds, for the amount of the withdrawal to be refunded to your account within seven to ten days of the date of this letter.”

It is understood that the average amount reimbursed to customers is £70.