After searching for investment opportunities online, Joyce lost £100,000 to a scam, transferring money to an unregulated broker. When she alerted her bank, it was too late to get her money back. We established that the bank hadn’t asked sufficient questions about the transactions – and if it had, the scam wouldn’t have been successful. We told the bank to refund all the money Joyce had lost.

What happened

Joyce called us after she lost £100,000 to an investment scam, and her bank said it couldn’t recover the funds.

Joyce said she’d had made a number transactions over several months – after being told by an investment broker that she could get a good return on her savings. She said she’d only realised she’d been scammed when she couldn’t get any response from the broker.

Joyce told us she’d complained to her bank that it should have known she was being scammed, but it had told her it wasn't responsible. Unhappy with this answer, she asked us to look into her dispute.

What we said

We asked Joyce for more detail about what had happened. She told us she’d been searching for investment opportunities online, filled in a form on an investment broker’s website, and was subsequently sent details of investment opportunities.

Joyce said she’d initially invested £20,000 after talking to the broker on the phone – and was told she’d receive a dividend of at least 10% each year on the investment. Over the next few months, she said she was contacted by the same broker with other investment opportunities, making two further payments of £20,000, and another payment of £40,000.

Joyce said she’d been contacted by her bank at the point she made the transactions. But she’d told them the payments were being made by her, and the bank had let them go through.

We acknowledged the bank tried to get Joyce’s money back once she’d told it she’d been scammed. But we decided it hadn’t done enough to stop her losing the money in the first place. So we told the bank to refund the £100,000 in full, plus 8% simple interest from the date of loss to the date of the refund.