Westpac shortens six-week wait on lost funds to 24 hours

NOT BANKABLE: Margaret Nancarrow with the butt of the cheque she deposited. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1213jkbank1

NOT BANKABLE: Margaret Nancarrow with the butt of the cheque she deposited. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1213jkbank1

MARGARET Nancarrow says she will take her business elsewhere after a banking error at Orange’s Westpac branch temporarily misplaced more than $45,000.

The Orange resident took a Commonwealth bank cheque containing her share of her mother’s estate, $45,986.04, to Westpac on November 24.

She received a receipt for the transaction, but days later, the money was still not in her account.

“When I went to the Commonwealth Bank to see if it was presented, they said they paid it out,” she said.

“Westpac told me it would take six to eight weeks to sort out, which I don’t think is good enough in these days of electronic banking.

“I have the butt of the cheque with the number and the account stamp on it.”

Mrs Nancarrow said she had relied on having the money to complete maintenance on her house.

However, following inquiries from the Central Western Daily on Tuesday, the money was transferred to Mrs Nancarrow’s account by Wednesday.

Mrs Nancarrow said she had not been given an explanation as to why it had turned up so quickly.

“They were telling me six to eight weeks, then it changed to five working days, then hey said the money would be in my account by closing time,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said she was happy with the result and was told an internal investigation would be conducted at the branch.

A spokeswoman from Westpac said the bank recognised it had made a mistake.

“[We] are very sorry for the inconvenience this banking error caused our customer,” she said.

“We are committed to fixing our mistakes when we make them, and made it our priority to have this resolved.”

The spokeswoman said the money had been deposited into an account with similar BSB and account numbers and an internal investigation would look into how the error occurred.