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Recently I have transferred money from Deutsche Bank, Germany to Standard chartered Bank, India. My transaction was not successful due to an Indian Government policy change for demonetization. The money was refunded to my account but both of the banks charged around 35 Euros each for the unsuccessful transaction.

Since the transaction was not my personal mistake, why shouldn't my primary bank (i.e. Deutsche Bank) bear the cost of the unsuccessful transaction?

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    The banks each charged because the transaction was unsuccessful, or they each charged even though it was unsuccessful? It seems odd that neither bank was aware of policy ahead of time. – Hart CO May 3 '17 at 15:47
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    It might be possible to reject the fee by the Indian bank under a fraud claim. – Joshua May 3 '17 at 16:28
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    I am not aware of any policy change impacting electronic transfer. Can you elaborate – Dheer May 3 '17 at 16:32
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    'the transaction was not my personal mistake' well, yes it was. You failed to read-up or phone one of the banks to ask them to advise on legislation that might affect the transfer. – AStopher May 3 '17 at 16:50
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    You're lucky both banks didn't charge you extra for the privilege of failing to transfer your money. – stannius May 3 '17 at 18:09
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Since the transaction was not your bank's mistake (but a decision by the Indian government) why should your bank bear the cost of the unsuccessful transaction?

Your bank charged a fee for a service that you were willing to pay for. You might be able to negotiate a full or partial refund, and I have done the same with my own bank for fees that I didn't feel were appropriate.

Your bank will agree or not based on how much they value your business. If you are an otherwise profitable customer, they may agree to refund the fee.

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    Next step: Claim a €70 tax refund on next year's tax return? – a CVn May 3 '17 at 14:57
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    Charging a fee on a service you can't provide seems wrong to me. – Hart CO May 3 '17 at 15:48
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    @HartCO If the money was sent to India, that seems to fulfill this bank's obligation with regard to the service that was paid for. The fact that India sent the money back is an unfortunate political event that has no moral bearing on the discussion of what the bank should do. – Nathan L May 3 '17 at 15:56
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    Both banks charged a fee, and the sending bank could have known ahead of time, as this is not some days-old policy. Most bank policies are not customer-friendly, I'm sure each bank's policy covers this type of fee for nothing, but that doesn't mean it's what the banks should do. I'll fly you to North Korea, oh, North Korea doesn't allow me to fly there, too bad, keeping your money. It's not like an envelope of cash was sent and then returned. I agree with you that all he can do is ask, but I don't think the banks are doing what they should do. – Hart CO May 3 '17 at 16:10
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    "why should your bank bear the cost of the unsuccessful transaction?" Because otherwise banks have a perverse incentive to allow their customers to attempt transactions that they know will fail and disincentivizes them from adding systems to detect these problems before money moves. And because it's more efficient to incentivize banking professionals to know the rules than their customers, particularly when their customers have no way to know the path the money will take and so literally can't be sure what rules will apply. – David Schwartz May 3 '17 at 18:13

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