Portsmouth woman’s anger over mystery of the missing £10,000

Sudabeh Akbari had to wait weeks for �10,000 of her cash to be returned. Picture: Allan Hutchings (143646-185)
Sudabeh Akbari had to wait weeks for �10,000 of her cash to be returned. Picture: Allan Hutchings (143646-185)
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FRUSTRATED Sudabeh Akbari has criticised her bank after they took her money and left her in limbo for weeks when she asked to transfer £10,000 to a relative.

Ms Akbari, of Copsey Grove, Drayton, needed to urgently transfer £10,000 to her cousin in London so they had the money for Christmas.

Due to technical errors with the process it took three weeks before the money made its way back to Ms Akbari’s account – without ever reaching her relative.

Ms Akbari said: ‘I wanted my money. My cousin needed the money. It was urgent.

‘I don’t know why they didn’t put the money into my cousin’s account. The bank should be a trustworthy place, which they have not been.’

To start the process, Ms Akbari called in to her branch of Lloyds in Cosham, on December 16 who advised her to use a process called the Clearing House Automated Payment System (Chaps).

Chaps is an electronic bank-to-bank technology that should have seen the money transferred across the same day, even though her cousin banked with Nationwide.

When her cousin did not receive the money a few days later, she went back into the branch to complain.

After becoming exasperated with the noncommittal answers from the branch manager, Ms Akbari came to The News.

Several phone calls to Lloyds revealed the money was with the holding bank, an intermediary in the process, HSBC.

Numerous phone calls to HSBC eventually led to the money being transferred back to Ms Akbari on January 5, much to Ms Akbari’s dismay.

Now she wants to highlight the stressful experience, which she said cast a bad mood over the holidays.

She said: ‘I wanted it to be express. If I wanted it to be slow I could have taken it there myself. This was money for my family. They gave me £50 for the stress but it is not good enough.’

Melissa Jobson, from HSBC, said there had been no error on HSBC’s part and blamed Lloyds for indicating to them that the money had been transferred in error.

She said the money became caught in compliance checks, delayed due to the Christmas period, which they have to follow when returning a payment. Adam Pledger, from Lloyds, said Ms Akbari had made a request to cancel the payment on December 22. He said that the money had left Lloyds as planned on December 16 and became held up at HSBC. He said: ‘We understand the frustration and inconvenience this will have caused Ms Akbari and are extremely sorry.

‘We will be looking to provide Ms Akbari with a refund for her charges as well as appropriate compensation for the inconvenience caused.

‘We will also ensure it doesn’t happen again.’