Bank takes Brit for a ride

By: Natasha Smith

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BRITISH RESIDENT, Les De Vine, battled BPN bank for two months, after 94.35 euros was deducted in charges from a money order for 273.6 US dollars.

He finally received 52 euros last Thursday, but, in his opinion, he is still owed 29.85 euros. “This situation does not seem to end,” he said, adding that his quest was no longer about the money.

Les, who lives near Alcobaça, Leiria, paid a money order from a US client into his BPN account on January 5. Before depositing it, he said he asked the bank teller how much it would cost and was told that it would cost 15.50 euros to clear it.

Without being advised by the bank how long it would take to clear, he said that his account was credited more than a month later, and it was only credited by 103.6 euros.


He went to the bank on February 9 to ask why so much money had been deducted from the original amount deposited. The teller checked her records, then made a phone call to the bank headquarters. Allegedly, Les was told that “the Americans” had deducted the money and the bank manager confirmed this.

Days later, Les received a breakdown, which showed a commission charge of 50 euros, DHL charges of 20 euros, 15 euros for sending a fax to the US and 7.35 euros in IVA. This money had been charged by BPN and not by “the Americans”, concluded Les. He went into the bank and saw his account manager. After spending 10 minutes on the phone to headquarters, his account manager admitted that BPN had deducted it. Les said that he was lied to and believes that BPN has broken EU law by not supplying him with full facts and costs.


Les says that he will continue to fight until he receives the rest of his money and feels frustrated by the poor communication at the bank.

BPN’s F. Alves Marques said the problem was the result of an “operational error” and confirmed that the money had been credited to Les’ account.

If you have had a similar problem with banks in Portugal, we would like to hear from you. Email [email protected] or write to Apartado 131, 8401-902 Lagoa.

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