[dropcap]On[/dropcap] a brisk September morning I set out with the goal of taking on the Irish banks. An arduous task perhaps,...
SEPA Direct Debit Refund
How to get a no-questions-asked refund for any bills or paymentsJoseph Harkins
The recent introduction of SEPA – the Single European Payments Area is an initiative by the EU to simplify Euro bank transfers. Part of SEPA is the ability for creditors to charge individuals bank accounts directly. While this concept isn’t anything new it has brought several improvements to the system and one little known benefit – the SEPA Direct Debit Refund.
Under the SEPA Regulations (specifically, Regulation 260-2012) all banks must facilitate refunds for their customers for payments taken by creditors. The refund procedure has two periods (1) up to eight weeks after and (2) from eight weeks to within 13 months of the date of the transaction.
First eight weeks after debit: The key part of this regulation is that within the first eight weeks any refunds requested must be made by the bank no questions asked. This means that you can reverse any payments taken from your account within eight weeks without having to deal with the creditor, ideal for avoiding dealing with any unscrupulous companies.
Eight weeks to 13 months after debit: Additionally, if you find any unauthorised transaction within 13 months of debit you can instruct your bank to reverse the charge. Unlike the eight week rule this usually triggers an investigation where you will need to provide some additional information to your bank before they will authorise the refund.
Procedure for requesting refund – thanks to AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC and Ulster Bank who provided instructions for requesting a SEPA Direct Debit Refund
- AIB: In branch only. Call into any branch and request a “Direct Debit (SEPA) Refund Request Form” from customer services. They will fill out the form on your behalf. If making the request within the eight week period ask them to tick the “Customer Request – No Reason Provided” box. I have been through this process with AIB, it was painless and had the refund in my account within 24 hours.
- Bank of Ireland: Post or in branch. Form available here. Fill out and post to BOI or request form in branch and it will be sent on your behalf. Tick option A for payments taken within eight weeks and option B for payments taken eight weeks to 13 months.
- KBC: Post only. Form available here. Fill out and post form to KBC. Fill out Section A on page 1 if within eight weeks or Section B on page 2 if eight weeks to 13 months.
- Ulster Bank: Telephone banking or in branch. Contact Ulster Bank via telephone banking or call into branch and request a SEPA Direct Debit Refund, they will take the necessary details and process the refund for you.