Why is Barclays so slow over lost funds?

I transferred £8,500 from my Barclays account to my mother in Ghana two weeks ago and the money has vanished. I’ve called Barclays three times and it’s told me to call back after three working days. This is giving me sleepless nights as the money is all I have. My mother is very ill and needs the funds for her hospital bills. FM, Edinburgh

Another sadly familiar story. Swift payments certainly move swiftly, but not always to the intended destination.

Barclays says that you initially gave incorrect details for the recipient bank account, but you corrected this as soon as you were informed that the payment had failed.

Over the ensuing 14 days the money sat in limbo while the two banks made desultory contact by Swift message, which can take three working days to elicit a response.

The money was miraculously discovered after media involvement.

“Our team did not act as swiftly as we would have liked to transfer the funds to the correct account,” says a spokesperson.

“We have apologised for this delay and offered £100 for the distress and inconvenience caused.”

If you need help email Anna Tims at [email protected] or write to Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include an address and phone number.

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