NatWest refunds fraud victim £20,000 – BBC Watchdog

NatWest customer Arthur had been defrauded following a violent mugging in December last year (2017) which left him lying unconscious in hospital.

Arthur, aged 19 at the time, guessed that the fraudsters spied on him before the attack to obtain his PIN and used his finger – whilst he was unconscious – to unlock his phone. The attackers then used his stolen card with transactions amounting to over £20,000, including a £8,300 purchase at a designer clothing store.

NatWest had disputed Arthur’s claim of a refund, claiming there were inconsistencies with his testimony and it was in line with company policy not to issue him a refund.
However, after being contacted by Watchdog, the bank reversed its decision, telling the BBC: “The case raised by Arthur was a complex one and there existed a number of inconsistencies between the version of events presented to us by him and the results of our own internal investigation.

“Following a further review of the case, we have taken the decision to refund Arthur in full and would like to apologise for any lack of clarity presented to him regarding our initial decision.”

Watchdog’s investigation found NatWest failed to provide any evidence to suggest that Arthur had been negligent leading to the fraud, something which is required by the Payment Services Regulations.

“It is not for Arthur to prove his innocence. It’s for the banks to prove Arthur is in the wrong,” says Arun Chauhan, founder and managing director of Tenet, a trustee on the Fraud Advisory Panel and a regular contributor to BBC Watchdog and Rip Off Britain.

“They accept he’s been assaulted and they accept the transactions were by a third party so unless they can prove gross negligence or fraud on Arthur’s behalf, he needs to be compensated.”

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