The Commission received a complaint alleging misleading conduct and unconscionable conduct by the National Bank of Malawi. The Complainant by mistake sent an amount of MK14,000.00 to a wrong number.

However, the Respondent changed their position stating that they could not refund the customer because upon engaging the holder of the account to which the money was sent, she confirmed that the money is indeed hers, and that she was expecting money from the Complainant. This was disputed by the Complainant, who viewed the approach by the Respondent as unreasonable and prone to abuse.

The investigations found that the position by the Respondent was indeed unjustified and indeed prone to abuse. The investigations found that the priority consideration should be given to the sender of the money, as the person from whom the money is originating, and not the recipient.

However, the Respondent indicated that their position not to reverse transactions are influenced by a legal framework governing financial services.

The Respondent submitted that there are provisions in the law that do not allow banks to transfer money from a person account without express authorisation, and that this includes the money mistakenly sent into wrong bank accounts. Nevertheless, the Respondent made these claims without providing the specific provisions that provided for that, but committed to furnish the same to the Commission. The Respondent did not provide the information in spite of being reminded to do so.

Following deliberations, the Commission resolved that the Respondent should reverse the transaction and credit the Complainant’s account with MK14,000.00 which is the amount of money that the Complainant sent to the wrong account.