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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 14:06 GMT
Man defiant after bank blunder
David Hickey was given 300,000 euros instead of pesetas
David Hickey was given 300,000 euros instead of pesetas
A Dublin man whose bank paid a quarter of a million pounds into his account by mistake has said he is not prepared to give the money back.

The blunder happened when David Hickey asked the Bank of Ireland to exchange IR£1,500 into Spanish currency.

Instead of receiving the going rate of 300,000 Spanish pesetas, Mr Hickey was given 300,000 euros - the equivalent of almost a quarter of a million Irish pounds.

Mr Hickey, who is in the process of emigrating to Spain, said the first he knew about the mistake was when the bank called him in Spain to tell him they had sent an official to retrieve the cash.


I read the piece of paper of the transaction which said the bank was not responsible for any errors, so I thought: That's fine, it's my money

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Following the call, he went to the local police station to explain the situation.

He was handcuffed by the Spanish police and brought before a court.

Mr Hickey said he is not prepared to pay for the bank's mistake.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster he said: "I read the piece of paper of the transaction and there was a disclaimer notice on the paper saying that the bank was not responsible for any errors made during the transaction to your account.

"So I thought: That's fine, it's my money."

The Bank of Ireland has refused to discuss the case.

The Irish police have said it is not a criminal matter because it was a technical error.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Gerry Bradley reports:
"David Hickey said that as far as he was concerned the money had been given to him"
See also:

28 Sep 99 | Northern Ireland
Bank apologises for credit card error
29 Aug 01 | Business
Q&A: Euro cash launch
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