Bets off in bank mix-up

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The Independent Online
A punter who was barred from placing a bet because of a mix-up over bank accounts watched as the two horses he fancied both won easily, writes Nic Cicutti.

The cost to Brian Wiltshire, a retired manager now living on the Isle of Skye, was more than pounds 1,000 in lost winnings.

Mr Wiltshire, who banks with Royal Bank of Scotland, was told by his bookmaker that his bet was being blocked because he did not have enough money in his account. He watched the afternoon races on TV in complete frustration as the two horses he wanted to bet on romped home.

Mr Wiltshire thinks RBS should pay out what he stood to make on the day. He said: 'The plain fact is that I did have money in my account, or should have had. It was only because it was not transferred from another account that my bet was turned down.'

His run of bad luck came when he tried to telephone a bet to a mainland bookie using his Switch card. He has a Gold cheque account at RBS, with a Switch card, and a separate deposit account. Money should be automatically transferred from the deposit account to meet any liabilities in the cheque account.

But the transfer only takes place at the close of each day's business. This was too late to allow him the pounds 110 he needed for the bet - even though he had more than pounds 5,000 on deposit that day.

He said: 'Having to watch both horses win their races and knowing how much money I might have won was truly frustrating.'

A RBS spokesman said he was unable to comment on individual cases: 'Our literature makes clear that customers have to select a minimum balance on their current account so that funds can be swept into it from their savings account, to ensure their balance does not fall below the chosen level.'

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