An Ontarian says he has been fighting for months to get back $ 19,000 after making a “simple mistake” trying to transfer money between two of his bank accounts.
Milton, Ont. Roberto Guardado said he had just bought a new home and that in September he was trying to transfer money from his Bank of Montreal (BMO) account to his CIBC account so he could make the down payment. .
He said he called BMO to arrange the wire transfer, believing it would be the easiest way to transfer the funds to CIBC.
Guardado said he has two bank accounts with CIBC, one for his personal savings and one for businesses. He was trying to transfer the money to the savings account.
He said that while making the transfer, he correctly read his CIBC savings account number, but mistakenly gave his CIBC business account transit number.
The five-digit transit number helps the bank identify which branch the money is sent to.
The error resulted in Guardado’s money being sent to a stranger’s CIBC account, he said.
âI noticed the money was out, but it didn’t go to my CIBC account,â Guardado told CTV News Toronto. “So I got home that day and started to search my computer, then realized I had given the wrong transit number.”
He said he immediately called BMO, who told him they would open an investigation.
Although he called the bank every few days for an update, he said it took him five weeks to get answers.
Guardado said he was told his $ 19,000 was deposited into someone else’s account and the person withdrew it.
He said BMO and CIBC told him nothing else could be done to get his money back.
âI couldn’t believe I had made the mistake,â Guardado said.
Guardado said he called the police but was also told that because he initiated the transfer there was nothing to investigate.
âThe police told me that because it was not considered fraud, there was nothing they could do about it,â he said.
“JUST A SIMPLE MISTAKE”
Guardado said that while he fully admits that the mistake was his fault, he does not understand why the bank cannot help him reverse the transfer quickly.
âIt was just a simple mistake and my money ended up in someone else’s account,â Guardado said.
Due to the money lost, Guardado said he had no choice but to forgo the sale of his new home.
Shortly after CTV News Toronto contacted CIBC and BMO about Guardado’s situation, he said he received a call from the banks telling him his $ 19,000 would be returned to his account.
CIBC spokeswoman Trish Tervit confirmed on Saturday that she had resolved the issue with Guardado.
âIt is important that when transferring funds between financial institutions, the sender makes sure that the recipient’s account number is correct, as misdirected funds can be difficult to retrieve,â Tervit added.
Guardado said CIBC told him it was a “one-time situation” that is resolved on an ad hoc basis.
Meanwhile, a BMO spokesperson said they had had a “good conversation” with Guardado, but could not comment further for reasons of confidentiality.
With that stressful two-month chapter now over for Guardado, he said banks “have to come up with a better system” for cases where people make mistakes.
âIt was a stupid mistake on my part, but the process to fix it has to be easier,â he said. “I was so stressed that I lost weight and couldn’t sleep. It bothered me so much.”