How to reverse a wrong Bank transfer after making transfer to a wrong bank account in Nigeria

There is nothing worse than to realize that you’ve just made a cash transfer to a wrong bank account. Despite most of the checks and confirmations put in place to prevent such occurrences, wrong transfer is actually very common.

If it has just happened to you, quick action is of essence as you might still be able to get back your money by taking steps.

You might have heard of instances where bank staff mistakenly credit a wrong account. In one such instance, an American woman was mistakenly credited with over a million dollars by a bank staff, she was eventually arrested and asked by a court to return the money.

However, the rules are different if you’re a private individual who mistakenly sent money to the wrong bank account. With money transfer now so easy, all you need is a 10 digit account number and bank name mistakes can sometimes happen. Here’s what to do if it does.

How to Get Your Money Back After Making A Wrong Bank Transfer

If you just noticed that you’ve made a bank transfer to the wrong person, or sent a wrong amount other than you intended, here’s what to do:

  • Contact your bank immediately either by phone call or email. If you know your account officer, put a distress call through as well explaining your situation and giving the following vital details; wrong beneficiary name, account number and bank name, date of transaction ( the day you sent the money), time of transaction, amount, your own account details including name, and account number.
  • Your bank, on receiving your complaint should immediately contacts the beneficiary’s bank with the details of the transaction and ask a LIEN to be placed on the wrong account.
  • The beneficiary’s bank, on receiving the mail/call from your bank, places a LIEN of the exact amount on the beneficiary’s bank account. (A lien means putting a hold on withdrawal on a bank account. The lien amount in this case will be roughly the amount of your complain.
  • The beneficiary bank contacts the beneficiary and asks for a consent letter to reverse the wrong credit to the sender.

Now from here, three things can happen.

  1. If the beneficiary agrees to give consent via email/text/call/writing, that is fine. The beneficiary bank will reverse the money to you. This is the best thing that could happen.
  2. If the beneficiary refuses to give consent for a reversal for some reason, you can go ahead to get an injunction from a law court instructing the beneficiary bank to ‘force debit’ the account and reverse the money to you. You will need legal advise and have to present proof in court.
  3. If the beneficiary already withdrew the money before his/her bank places the lien and the account is not sufficiently funded up to the erroneous inflow, you will have to wait till another credit goes into the account and the lien traps it. There’s not much the banks can do. The beneficiary bank will just have to keep trying to contact the customer to fund the account and give consent for a reversal – note that the bank cannot threaten the beneficiary, use any form of force on them, or release their personal information to you.

You are responsible for the accuracy of your transfer when making a transaction.

How to Avoid Making Wrong Transfers

Making a cash transfer to a wrong bank account can cause you a lot of stress, which is why it is important to be careful and lookout for the following:

  • Verify account number
  • Confirm the beneficiary bank
  • Re-confirm account name
  • Be sure about the amount

Tho the chances of making a cash transfer to a wrong bank account is very slim, these four steps are very essential to your successful transaction. There’s equally no shame in trying to re-confirm any of this information from the intended beneficiary because they will likely not take it easy with you if they don’t get credited within the next few minutes.


A writer! Columnist and an academic researcher
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