A FORMER SNP councillor who had £18,000 raided from his bank account by fraudsters has been refunded after a month-long ordeal.
Richard Lewis is one of 1,300 TSB customers whose accounts were hacked by fraudsters who took advantage of the bank’s recent IT failures. He had been told he would be charged up to £30 a day if payments continued to leave his account.
Financial regulators are currently investigating TSB after a change to its IT systems in April left up to 1.9 million customers struggling to make transactions and see their balances online.
The conductor and composer was told by TSB that an attempt was made to use his bank card in Swansea on May 16. The bank confirmed his cards would be deactivated and he was told he would not be able to access his accounts for two days. But, just 24 hours later, he was left horrified when the bank confirmed that £18,000 had been taken from his account.
Richard said: “I was in cold sweats because I wanted to find out what was happening. I just thought it was a straight case of fraud and that it would be sorted out.
“It’s fabulous that I have then money back, but it is ridiculous that it has taken this long.
“I’m just lucky that my wife’s account was unaffected and we’ve been able to get by, otherwise it would have been more catastrophic.”
Richard had been increasingly frustrated after logging three complaints online, making regular trips to his local branch and spending hours on the phone.
Despite this, the father-of-two was offered just £100 in compensation from the bank, which he felt was “insulting”.
He added: “I was pretty miffed when they offered me that and I have declined it. It is extraordinary to be put through something like this and to be offered that much. It is basically rubbing salt into the wounds.
“My account was frozen for a month and I had no updates from TSB apart from letters about overdraft charges.
“However, I would like to thank the staff at Lothian Road who have been great in difficult circumstances.”
A TSB spokesperson said: “We’re really sorry for any inconvenience or distress that we have caused Richard.
“We have spoken to Richard to apologise and to try and put things right, and can confirm that he has been fully refunded. Our commitment is absolutely clear: no customer will be left out of pocket as a result of the recent IT issues.”