Mum-of-three Julie Harrington was left fuming with building society staff after the £50 she left in a cash machine was lost, found – and lost again.
She withdrew £50 but forgot to collect the cash, only realising five minutes later when she tried to pay for something.
Charity worker Julie returned to find the money gone and went into the branch to see if anyone had handed it in.
Julie was astonished to be told that a man had brought the cash in but an assistant had refused to accept it saying: “It’s a public cash point. We can’t take the money.”
The man was given no other advice and walked out with the cash.
Julie said: “It is the attitude I am concerned about. Surely banks and building societies have a duty to help people look after their money?
“This man had done the right thing by taking the money into the branch but they wouldn’t accept it and gave him no other option than to leave with the cash.
“He was being kind and honest but the society staff wouldn’t have anything to do with it.”
Julie said the assistant she spoke to then rang head office – to ask if it should be reported as a “financial crime.”
Julie added: “How ironic was that? It wasn’t a crime until they let the man who wanted to return the money walk out of the branch with the cash!
“I fully understand I made a stupid mistake but I am not the first and won’t be the last.
“Had nobody entered the branch looking to return the cash I would have taken it on the chin. But the fact that this honest soul wanted to return the cash – and tried – and the YBS tellers did not even think to facilitate this return is appalling behaviour from a bank.
“They could have asked for his telephone number. He couldn’t have been far away as all this happened within five or 10 minutes.
“And after my utter disappointment at their behaviour, they didn’t even ask for my name and telephone numbers should the man return.
“I fully understand handling cash is delicate but there are ways they could have dealt with this. It was probably all on CCTV anyway. Is it really the bank’s policy to just effectively say ‘tough’?
“I’d just like to thank this man for trying to do the right thing.”
The cash withdrawal took place at 10.25am on Saturday, May 7 at the branch in Corn Market.
A Yorkshire Building Society spokesman said: “Our standard process when money has been left at a cash machine is to log and verify what’s happened and do our utmost to ensure that the customer is refunded.
“On this occasion this process was not followed. Colleagues at the branch have been reminded of our procedures.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to Ms Harrington and will offer her a full refund.”