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I recently received a sepa payment from a third party across Europe. As I needed to give back some of the money received, I tried to find the payee's iban but it wasn't among the transaction's data.

I contacted my bank (one of the new, "modern" UK online only banks).

They told me that as part of their policy, for confidentiality they do not disclose the payee's iban. I raised a complaint to no avail.

I was mostly surprised as:

  • the payee has entered in a transaction with me and, of course, knows my iban. I do not see why I shouldn't know his / hers. This unbalance of information doesn't seem entirely fair
  • I'm pretty sure in the past & by other banks this information was made available to me, but they were possibly swift transfers (I don't remember).

Now my only option is to complain with the Ombudsman (possibly to change bank!).

If possible, I'd like to know:

  1. Is there any specific sepa rule that specify that the iban of the payee needs to be hidden?
  2. Is this restrictive approach common to all banks?
  3. Is there any kind of solution?

I would like to contact the Ombudsman, but only if it makes sense. Any advise is welcome.

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  • 5
    Careful you aren't falling for the "oops, I gave you too much" scam...
    – Ron Beyer
    May 8, 2020 at 22:10
  • Do you not mean payer? If you received the money, you are the payee.
    – TripeHound
    Jun 4, 2021 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

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He knows your IBAN because you gave it to him, not the bank.
Why don't you try to get it from him?

I doubt that you have a right to get this information, but I cannot cite any laws.

On the other hand, in Europe's banking system, the only thing you can do with someone account information is send him money (not like in the US). I wouldn't have a problem publishing mine. Actually, many businesses piblish their IBANs on their website.

You can always reject the received money, which doesn't give you the IBAN, but the bank will get the money back to him.

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  • I do not dispute what you're saying, but I find the whole thing very odd. It means that sepa transfers cannot be used for business transactions: I wouldn't be able to do a return.
    – Enzo
    May 9, 2020 at 17:04
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    @Enzo If you have a business relationship with someone, what's wrong with just asking them for account details where a refund/return should be sent? For some companies, it might not even be where the money originally came from.
    – TripeHound
    May 9, 2020 at 17:30
  • That's not exactly true, you can also a Direct Debit. But it can be reversed by the payer.
    – glglgl
    May 9, 2020 at 19:58

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