Evidence shows customer unlikely to have signed blank withdrawal slip

Processing payments,
In 2020, Peter went to a bank branch to transfer $2,000 to his son as a birthday gift. Peter said he gave the staff member clear instructions to transfer $2,000 only, but he discovered two years later that the entire $7,000 balance in the account had been transferred to his son.
April 2023

The bank found the withdrawal slip Peter had signed. The amount specified was $7,000. Peter disputed this evidence, saying he had signed a blank withdrawal slip, and the staff member must have filled it out incorrectly once he left the branch. Peter said the bank’s failure to follow his instructions had cost him $5,000.

Our investigation

The signed withdrawal slip was strong evidence in the bank's favour, but we also found other evidence that weighed against Peter's version of events. Peter said he had signed the blank slip because he was in a rush to leave the branch. He said he wanted to avoid traffic because he faced a two-hour drive from the city he was visiting to his home town. However, when we examined Peter's bank statements, we discovered he had stayed in the city for several days afterwards.

Other factors also made it unlikely Peter signed a blank slip. On the back was a handwritten note recording his driver’s licence number and expiry date. This was consistent with the bank's standard procedure of requiring some form of identification before processing a large transfer. It seemed unlikely Peter would have handed his licence to the staff member, waited for the details to be written down, and then signed the slip without waiting for the staff member to fill out the withdrawal amount.

We concluded Peter had in all likelihood authorised the $7,000 payment.


We did not uphold Peter’s complaint.

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