Bank debits wrong account

Sbongile Ndimande opened a savings account in her daughter's name in Julyto save for her child's education.

Sbongile Ndimande opened a savings account in her daughter's name in Julyto save for her child's education.

By December she had put more than R3000 into the savings account for her daughter, Phumzile. Phumzile's account is linked to her account.

Ndimande, who takes stock of her expenditure and investments every December, said this arrangement allowed her to manage her finances better.

"It allows me to draw a new budget and to cut down on unnecessary expenditure," she said.

On checking Phumzile's statements she noted that a debit order of R363 had been effected each month since October.

"It was very strange because my child cannot enter into binding contracts that would force her to sign debit orders," said Ndimande.

She was satisfied that she had not mistakenly signed a debit order and used her daughter's account for payment.

Ndimande later discovered that Phumzile's savings were servicing a loan taken by an African Bank client.

She asked her bank - Standard Bank - to cancel the unauthorised debit order, but was referred to African Bank who were debiting the account. But African Bank passed the buck back to Standard Bank.

Feeling frustrated, Ndimande approached Sowetan for help.

An African Bank employee told Sowetan they would cancel the debit order once Phumzile wrote an affidavit disputing it.

Though the official acknowledged it was ridiculous to get an affidavit from an 11-year- old, she said this was the only solution.

But the bank's consumer advocate, Marilyn Budow, cancelled the unauthorised debit order and credited Phumzile's account.

Budow said the account had previously belonged to their client who had given African Bank a debit order authority.

She said the deductions were intended to be effected against the client's account and not Ndimande's.

"We have refunded the instalments deducted as well as bank charges, all totalling R1842," said Budow.

Ndimande confirmed the payment.

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