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Old 04.10.2018, 13:04
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Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

A Swiss-Turkish dual national transferred money from his Swiss bank account to his Turkish bank account, using the same e-banking he has successfully used many times before, and which usually takes about 2 to 3 days. This time, however, the money didn’t arrive. Not even after 10 days.

The Turkish bank tells him that between his Swiss bank and them, two intermediary banks were involved, but they couldn’t tell him which. The Swiss bank says the same. Ditto, too, not being allowed to tell him which intermediary banks. Moreover, the Swiss bank told him that he has to specifically apply for his money to be sought (he has now done so) but also that, if one of the intermediary banks has blocked the money, it can take a year (!) or more to get it released.

The money was to have been for a property purchase in Turkey, which contract has no escape clause, so I’ve been told (though I found this surprising). In the absence of that earmarked money arriving punctually, he’s had to finance the deal by other means. (That, however, is not the topic of this thread.)

In the meantime, the exchange rate fluctuations have caused him to lose a significant amount on the transfer, because it didn't go through when it was supposed to have done.

Moreover, his money is… somehow disappeared/blocked.

My questions are:
  1. Does anyone else knows of such situation, or could please recommend what to do?
  2. Is the Turkish bank or the Swiss bank responsible for the search process?
  3. How can he find out which bank has blocked his money?
  4. Is any of the four banks likely to be responsible for covering his exchange rate loss?


P.S. As far as I understand, the money was legal, correctly taxed, etc. in Switzerland, before he set about transferring it.
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Old 04.10.2018, 13:15
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

The ordering bank needs to send a MT199 to their correspondent bank to ask for information, takes awhile. That bank, depending on whether they have the funds or not, may contact the next correspondent bank.

All in all, my experience, it can take several days up to 2 weeks before you get an answer.

Most likely reason nowadays, OFAC or any other sanction / KYC related trigger.

If they won´t tell you which correspondent bank is used you can try and figure it out but there is no real necessity, as that bank won´t answer your questions anyway.

Good luck (very annoying thing, have had this several times now at work)

Last edited by roegner; 04.10.2018 at 13:34. Reason: grammar
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Old 04.10.2018, 20:48
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Sadly, we have also had the same for one of our clients.


The money went out from CH and never arrived. Same issue with correspondent bank - they won't talk to us. At first, no one could say what happened. Then Swiss bank blames the German correspondent bank, German bank blames the receiving bank. Receiving bank won't tell anyone who they blame.



Money was converted from Euro to receiving currency before sending. ONE MONTH later, it comes back... in Dollars. Exchange losses X 2.



In the mean time, we sent it again. Same thing happens... it disappears. Only to come back a month later in another currency.


After many months of wrangling, it is finally determined that the sending bank made a typo on their instruction. This triggered an AML/KYC issue. And when we repeated the transaction... yes, they just copied and pasted it.


We are still haggling over who pays what to cover the currency losses. And waiting for a proper apology.


Unfortunately all you can do is kick, kick, kick.


Regards


Ian
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Old 04.10.2018, 20:53
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Ian, you should ask them for the SWIFT messages transmitted as that only will clearly say what the instructions were.

Most banks are very reluctant to do that, but then use the "what you said"

kick, kick, kick
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Old 04.10.2018, 21:02
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

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contract has no escape clause, so I’ve been told (though I found this surprising)
There might be one in the legislation, who knows. There is an escape clause in swiss code of obligations if you can't fulfill a contract for no fault of your own.

Quote:
In the meantime, the exchange rate fluctuations have caused him to lose a significant amount on the transfer, because it didn't go through when it was supposed to have done.
Quote:
We are still haggling over who pays what to cover the currency losses. And waiting for a proper apology.
Sue the bank for damages, if you can afford it. Talking to customer service will bring you exactly nowhere when you want money from them, they are trained to jerk you around
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Old 07.10.2018, 01:15
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Thank you very much, all.
I have passed this info on.
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Old 11.10.2018, 01:58
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Good news!

I've been told that the sender of the money has received it safely, in his bank account in Turkey.

He has been given no information, neither by the Swiss bank nor the Turkish one, about what went wrong. He still rather hopes to find that out (to see whether he could, in future, do anything differently so as to prevent the same thing happening again). Also, it'd be nice to be able to find out whether there is any chance at all of recovering any part he may have lost due to exchange rate dates…

For now, though, he is mainly just super-relieved! It's a happy day for him.
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Old 11.10.2018, 14:28
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

@OP: Are you some sort of a legal advisor?
Asking just out of curiosity, as I see a couple of threads starting with "person A and person B"
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Old 11.10.2018, 14:33
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

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He has been given no information, neither by the Swiss bank nor the Turkish one, about what went wrong.

I won't put much hope on learning what went wrong. They're probably too busy blaming each other and when the dust settles down, too embarassed to admit the mistake or a weakness in their system.
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Old 11.10.2018, 14:34
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Or you get a "bla bla bla" answer that doesn´t help you at all.

Blame compliance, OFAC, KYC and all that....
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Old 11.10.2018, 14:37
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

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@OP: Are you some sort of a legal advisor?
Asking just out of curiosity, as I see a couple of threads starting with "person A and person B"
Oh, would that I were! Then I might have a string of nice law degrees behind me, and wouldn't need so much input from here, nor be so glad of the many contrasting opinions, and of the posts, for example by aSwissInTheUS, Mullhollander and Urs Max, (and many others) who post the links to the actual laws and rules relevant to a situation.

The "Person A and Person B" format is because I believe in protecting the privacy of the people I know, whose questions I am asking. We've had other threads on this forum (and on others) which, in my opinion, have gone way too far in revealing intimate details about persons who could be traced. Some posters do that about their own lives, some do it about the private lives of other people, mostly simply from not having thought through the significance and longevity of publicly viewable online information. My "Persons" are deliberately anonymised such that no-one could identify (and hurt) those individuals about whose situations I'm enquiring. In addition, I find that this approach helps me to formulate my questions more clearly than they might otherwise have been.
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Old 11.10.2018, 20:53
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

Having met Doropfiz recently, I can attest that while she is not some legal advisor, she is a very kind person who goes out of her way to help others.



And she is very good at finding stuff out and working out Swiss bureaucracy!


Regards




Ian
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Old 12.10.2018, 09:21
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Re: Internationa bank transfer - money "lost" or "blocked"

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Oh, would that I were! Then I might have a string of nice law degrees behind me, and wouldn't need so much input from here, nor be so glad of the many contrasting opinions, and of the posts, for example by aSwissInTheUS, Mullhollander and Urs Max, (and many others) who post the links to the actual laws and rules relevant to a situation.

The "Person A and Person B" format is because I believe in protecting the privacy of the people I know, whose questions I am asking. We've had other threads on this forum (and on others) which, in my opinion, have gone way too far in revealing intimate details about persons who could be traced. Some posters do that about their own lives, some do it about the private lives of other people, mostly simply from not having thought through the significance and longevity of publicly viewable online information. My "Persons" are deliberately anonymised such that no-one could identify (and hurt) those individuals about whose situations I'm enquiring. In addition, I find that this approach helps me to formulate my questions more clearly than they might otherwise have been.
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Having met Doropfiz recently, I can attest that while she is not some legal advisor, she is a very kind person who goes out of her way to help others.

And she is very good at finding stuff out and working out Swiss bureaucracy!

Regards

Ian
Admirable!
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