Are you due an ATM refund?

HSBC and the RBS banking group have both announced rule changes that mean hundreds of thousands of us could be due a refund of money we left in cash machines.

If you make a withdrawal from a cash machine but don’t grab all the cash it is retracted back into the machine after 30 seconds. Usually, this money is then re-credited back to your bank account. But that wasn’t always the case.

In the past HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), NatWest and Tesco Bank used to hold this money in reserve and you had to ask to get a refund. But now all these banks are in the process of issuing refunds to anyone who had money retracted at a cash machine and didn’t make a claim at the time.

Who will get a refund?

Customers of any bank who withdrew money from an RBS, NatWest or Tesco ATM between January 2005 and March 2011 and didn’t take some or all of their cash, or the money simply didn’t appear, will be refunded if they didn’t make a claim for the money at the time.

Anyone who has withdrawn cash from one of these machines after March 2011 should have received a refund automatically as RBS, who operates these machines, changed its policy to automatic refunds from that date.

RBS has also said it will give people an interest payment on their refund too. This will match the highest-paying RBS or NatWest instant access savings account over the period that you didn’t have your cash.

If you left money in an HSBC ATM between May 2005 and December 2010 you will now also receive a refund.

If you have ever left money in an ATM operated by another bank you should receive an automatic refund as Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, the Co-operative and Santander all have automatic recrediting processes. The only exception being non-Santander customers who use a Santander ATM – in that case you need to contact your own bank and tell them you didn’t get all the cash you asked for and they will take the case to Santander.

What do you need to do?

Absolutely nothing. RBS and HSBC are getting in touch with their customers to arrange refunds and if you used one of their machines but bank with someone else your own bank will be in touch.