Santander pays £130m to tens of thousands of people and businesses in Xmas Day error

30 December 2021, 10:42

Santander is trying to retrieve the money
Santander is trying to retrieve the money. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Santander is trying to claw back a mammoth pay out after it accidentally sent £130m to tens of thousands of people and businesses on Christmas Day.

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The banking giant blamed a technical error after about 75,000 individuals and firms who had been paid by one of 2,000 businesses were accidentally paid a second time.

The Times reported that recipients included employees of the businesses and their suppliers.

The second payment came from Santander's reserves and recovery may prove tough because some of those paid have accounts at rival banks, which have been asked to retrieve it.

A spokeswoman for the bank said: "We're sorry that due to a technical issue some payments from our corporate clients were incorrectly duplicated on the recipients' accounts.

"None of our clients were at any point left out of pocket as a result and we are taking steps to recover the duplicated transactions in line with industry processes."

She said the payments, which could have included wages or supplier fees, happened because of a scheduling area which has been "rectified".

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Talks are under way to investigate the best way to get the money back, while The Times said rival banks are worried some of their affected customers could have spent the money and will end up going into their overdraft if they have to repay it now.