Banking Category Banking: the easy, simple banking guide

How to dispute an ATM withdrawal

Around eight million ATM transactions are carried out each day in the UK – virtually all of them legitimate and run-of-the-mill. However, occasionally bank customers report that cash withdrawals show up on their bank statements that they say were never made.

This might be a case of fraud, them requesting a withdrawal but no money coming out, or a completely phantom withdrawal when they were tucked up in bed with the card in a safe place. Here’s how to dispute a withdrawal with your bank.

Be sure

The vast majority of claims that unauthorised money was taken from an account turn out to be mistakes on the part of the customer, so before you contact the bank make doubly sure you or someone you know didn’t take the money out. Ask your partner and close family and go through your diary and rack your brains for where you were at the time. It will save a lot of aggravation for everyone in the long run.

Contact your bank, but also contact the police if there’s a possibility that your card or details were cloned or if your card was stolen temporarily. You will probably be given an ATM dispute form to fill out if you visit in person, but you should also be able to do it over the phone and via the internet. If you tried to withdraw money and it didn’t give you any but your account was debited anyway, get the number on the ATM for reference.

Approach your bank or card issuer armed with the knowledge that new laws brought in in 2009 mean your bank has to refund you your cash unless it can prove you received the money. There is an audit trail they can follow, but they may not be obliged to give you details.

If your bank is not dealing with your request in an appropriate way contact the FOS on 0800 023 4567 from a landline, 0300 123 9 123 from a mobile, or email them at Make sure you have all the details about your movements and circumstances from the time of the disputed withdrawal and also the details of your bank’s response to your complaint. If they judge you to have been negligent in any way with your card they may not make a decision in your favour.

Things Needed

  • A telephone
  • Details of your movements and circumstances
  • An ATM number (where applicable)