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Online Banking , Could a 'Mr Bates v The Post office situation happen

(26 Posts)
elfies Thu 04-Jan-24 11:30:28

Watching the wonderful mini series ' Mr Bates v The Post office', but it made me think . Could a situation like this arise with the online banking we're all being forced into . Anyone else worrying that something like this could happen , by mistake , or worse still by design .

Smileless2012 Thu 04-Jan-24 11:32:21

It's a worrying possibility elfies so I'm glad we don't bank on line.

ordinarygirl Thu 04-Jan-24 11:41:10

thanks for bringing this thought to the forefront but I don't think it will happen to the same extent as banks have staff and the postmasters were self employed.

Grantanow Thu 04-Jan-24 11:42:07

Never say never!

TerriBull Thu 04-Jan-24 11:50:21

It's a worrying thought, I remember mooting the security issue with a member of Barclays staff before setting up my on line account. They have their mantra "it couldn't be safer" I'm a cynic though we live in the age of hackers and banks rarely admitting culpability if they can slide out of compensation they will, let's nor forget banks are not their customers friend. On line banking is incredibly convenient misgivings still there though!

Callistemon21 Thu 04-Jan-24 12:00:46

Something very strange happened with an Australian bank recently when customers were unable to access their accounts online then later found that their balances were nil!

biglouis Thu 04-Jan-24 12:11:04

Ive been using online banking since it became available through my bank (then Alliance & Leicester) and before that by phone. I have rarely physically gone into a bank since these alternatives became available. I still dont have banking on my smartphone because I dont 100% trust it.

When A&L was taken over by Santander my debit card stopped working. When I rang up I was told that I had "failed their security" and would have to go to a bank in person taking some ID. I went by taxi and took my passport. It turned out they had got my date of birth wrong. They ended up having to pay my taxi fare both ways plus £100 compensation for the inconvenience of a disabled non driver having to troll to a bank over their error.

Banks DO make mistakes and yes, I milked it for all it was worth.

Sago Thu 04-Jan-24 16:02:11

Post Offices now act on behalf of many banks.

Wheniwasyourage Thu 04-Jan-24 16:58:04

Good for you, biglouis They shouldn't make that mistake again, I would hope!

AGAA4 Thu 04-Jan-24 17:07:59

I had a frantic call from my bank saying that £735 had been credited erroneously. I told her that of course I would pay it back but I was cooking dinner for my guests and I would do it later.
She insisted I pay it now but I wasn't going to rush off and rectify their mistake at their convenience. Mistakes do happen in online banking.

crazyH Thu 04-Jan-24 17:12:45

Banking online for years but never take it for granted -so. check regularly. Glad I did - one particular evening , noticed several payments to random people, totalling about £300. Not a lot in the grand scheme of things but nevertheless, unacceptable. Rang the bank and was fully refunded. So check your accounts regularly, is my advice

Callistemon21 Thu 04-Jan-24 17:14:01


Post Offices now act on behalf of many banks.

Yes, that could be a problem.

Blossoming Thu 04-Jan-24 17:33:12

Here is a link to the story Callistemon21 mentioned

Callistemon21 Thu 04-Jan-24 17:41:40


Here is a link to the story Callistemon21 mentioned

Thanks Blossoming

SIL saw his balance reduce to nil before his eyes - just like the postmasters' balances changed as they watched!

fancythat Thu 04-Jan-24 18:54:03

I see more and more people becoming concerned elfies.

Dinahmo Thu 04-Jan-24 18:58:56


thanks for bringing this thought to the forefront but I don't think it will happen to the same extent as banks have staff and the postmasters were self employed.

The implication of your last phrase is that the postmasters were somewhat at fault!

Kim19 Thu 04-Jan-24 19:13:54

Don't do online banking. Trust them not one jot. However, do investing online but have to have hard copy confirmation or I don't use the facilities. My sons both use online banking but go into it at least one time every day.

Smileless2012 Thu 04-Jan-24 19:18:28

I don't see that being implied in ordinarygirl's post Dianahmo. The postmasters were disadvantaged because they were self employed and as such, liable for any shortfalls.

We don't trust on line banking either Kim.

Cabbie21 Sun 07-Jan-24 10:53:25

What is it you don’t trust?
I think the greatest risk is being hacked but there are many precautions that the banks take and that we can take.

If you keep checking on a regular basis, the bank will refund any fraudulent transaction as long as the customer has not breached security rules.
With “ordinary” banking there are still computers involved: it is not done manually, so an individual opting out of online banking is still potentially at risk. But the whole financial world relies on computers!
Banks are regulated, and have an Ombudsman, whereas the Post Office seemed to be self- regulating- or NOT!

mae13 Sun 07-Jan-24 11:34:07

I banked with Santander when it was known as The Leicester Building Society, then The Alliance & Leicester and finally it was taken over by Santander. Not too happy about that as by then Santander was a monster organisation with a reputation for being "too big to fail." Really?
But as most banks have gone more or less the same way I've stayed with it.
Consequently, with the current scammer 'industry' out of control it's made me paranoid enough to check the account several times a day.
I well remember, about ten years ago, HSBC (or Royal Bank of Scotland) failed quite spectacularly holding up mortgage payments, direct debits etc, and it took almost three weeks to sort out!
It turned out the bank hadn't updated it's software - cost cutting - but it was the customers who paid the price. As usual.

Katie59 Sun 07-Jan-24 11:48:53

By coincidence we’ve been with Santander for 15 yrs and no issues, their security for online is quite tough

However although the Post Office errors were widespread and unlikely to recur, individual customers are vulnerable to being targeted. Banks are liable for mistakes they make so make sure you keep a receipt or record of all transactions. Be especially careful withe Travel Agents, Car Hire and Hotels, I’ve had to claim 2 recharges on Credit Card in the last year

Mt61 Sun 07-Jan-24 11:49:07

I do both banking on-line, looking at my banking app from the comfort of my bed to check balance, etc, but I still use cash as I don’t trust the banks wanting to control us down the line on what we spend, cash is legal tender & as long as there is a paper trail I don’t see a problem with using cash.

elfies Sat 13-Jan-24 11:25:20

Anyone else who can't understand how the new concept of money disapearing from your bank account if you don't spend it by a certain date . Is this pie in the sky, scaremongering or conspiricy whispers . What happened to rewarding savers ,and people saving for old age .

Cabbie21 Sat 13-Jan-24 11:31:26

Elfies, , what is this about? Where have you read this please? Sounds like a malicious rumour.

HousePlantQueen Sat 13-Jan-24 11:44:49

That sounds like a malicious rumour Elfies, put about by people who are anti-online banking. We bank online, it is very convenient, I can see at an instant how much is in our accounts, pay credit card balances etc., and by checking on a regular basis, I can spot anything untoward and act accordingly. I don't have banking on my phone though, don't see the need with contactless bank cards and online banking to pay for anything else. Those of you who don't trust online banking, how do you know your up to date balances or spot irregularities? Surely not by waiting for a monthly statement by post?