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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Background: On 27 Jun 2016 our company Kay-EL Asia Limited

Resolved Question:

Background:
On 27 Jun 2016 our company Kay-EL Asia Limited (“the Remitter”) remitted by SWIFT Transfer the sum of US$ 25,742.98 through Industrial & Commercial Bank Of China (Asia) Limited in Hong Kong (“the Remitting Bank”) to an account held within the RBS Group in the UK (“the Receiving Bank”). The Remittance Advice states clearly the Beneficiary Account Number and the Beneficiary Name & Address.
Our company subsequently learnt that we had acted on a fraudulent email/invoice purporting to have been sent by or on behalf of Fujan Furniture Industry and Trading Corporation, which was the beneficiary of the funds. Accordingly, the Remitting Bank sent a further SWIFT message to inform the Receiving Bank of the alleged fraud & requesting return of the funds.
We are informed by the Receiving Bank the following:
1) That the funds had been converted from USD into GBP & the sum of GBP19,038.64 had already been credited to the Bank Account Number as stated on the Remittance Advice..
2) That it was only able to recover GBP6,420.77.
3) That the Name of the Beneficiary differs from the Name stated on the Remittance Advice
4) That it has no obligation under UK Banking Regulations to ensure that the Name of the Beneficiary matches the Name of the Account Holder, as it works only with Account Numbers.
5) That it has not been possible to make contact with the account holders.
6) That it is not responsible to file any report to the Police.
7) That under Data Protection Laws, it is unable to disclose to us the name of the account holder, who has seemingly absconded with a large part of our monies.
Questions:
A) Is it correct under International Money Transfer Laws [SWIFT] that the receiving bank in the UK does not have an obligation to check that the Name of the Beneficiary matches the Name of the Account Holder to which funds are being credited?
B) Given that there is little or no chance of recovery of these funds from the 'culprit', are we able to hold the Receiving Bank responsible for full return of the funds on the grounds that the name of the account holder differs from the Name of the Beneficiary that is stated on the remittance advice?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

A) Yes - they just recognise the SWIFT number. It is up to you to check to make sure the name matches the account holder.

There are millions of transactions worldwide and it would be impossible to check this - which is why there is a swift number.

B) In reality no - there is little chance because this is a scam and they take the money straight out. Its not the Bank's fault you were given a fraudulent detail, therefore they are not liable.

However you could seek a Court order asking the bank to disclose the name and address of the account holder.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
34;It is up to you to check to make sure the name matches the account holder." - we do not know who the account holder is, so it would not be possible to check this. Whilst I understand that the name is ***** ***** when a transfer is made from a bank in the UK to another bank in the UK, I have been advised by a banker at HSBC that the rules differ for transfers made by SWIFT under MT103.
Expert:  Ash replied 11 months ago.

That is the FINCopy Service Identifier Code. That does not apply sadly.

But as I said, you can get a Court order to the RBS to disclose who the account holder was. That way you can get the details and go after them.

But the Police should be able to see where the money went and who the account holder is.

Under money laundering regulations in the UK you must have valid ID to open an account.

Can I clarify anything for you about this?
Alex

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

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