YP Letters: I lose out because of forged £20 note from ATM machine

Who is liable when ATMs issue fraudulent bank notes?
Who is liable when ATMs issue fraudulent bank notes?
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From: John R Mollett, Ruthven View, Leeds.

ONE of the £20 notes that I obtained from a “hole-in-the-wall” (ATM) dispenser at my nearby supermarket last week was refused by my local newsagent a couple of days later as being a forgery. I only returned to the supermarket’s customer service desk to seek advice on the matter but was told it becomes the responsibility of my bank and not, surprisingly, that of the operator of the ATM.

On subsequently referring it to my bank and showing it to the cashier, she retained it and instead gave me, not a replacement, but a receipt, informing me that it would be forwarded to the Bank of England for destruction. On studying the small print of this receipt later, I find it states the note will be ‘impounded, without recompense’. So I am now £20 out of pocket through no fault of my own, having followed the correct procedure.

This seems very unfair to me, and had I known this course of action would be taken I would have kept the note until finding an outlet that would accept it, thereby perpetuating the fraud. Considering the banknote came from a bank source in the first place, surely this is unacceptable treatment by the banks, who can more easily afford to lose £20 than I? Clearly honesty is not the best policy in the banking world!