HSBC cash machinesHSBC customers who forgot money at the ATM over the last seven years will now be refunded automatically due to a change in the bank's "retraction" procedures.

The move brings HSBC into line with other banks, including state-backed RBS which recently agreed to repay customers £10m after changing its policy.


Many thousands of Britons forget to take their cash at ATMs every year, and in most cases their banks automatically refund the money to their accounts when the notes are sucked back after a 30 second delay.

Until recently, however, both RBS and HSBC would wait until they received a complaint from the customer concerned before refunded the cash.

And as many of the customers affected believed that their money had been taken by a passer by, the banks' coffers were boosted by millions of pounds as a result.

Now, though, RBS, which owns NatWest, has promised to return £10million to 300,000 people who have lost out this way.

And this has in turn prompted HSBC to pledge refunds to hundreds of thousands of customers who left money in HSBC cash machines between 2005 and 2011.

All customers who left money behind at RBS, NatWest and HSBC ATMs since 2011 should have received automatic refunds anyway.

An HSBC spokesman told the Daily Mail newspaper: "The bank is now working with its industry body towards proactively refunding customers.

"There is no need to take any action – we will contact HSBC customers directly and will contact non-customers via their own bank, to advise details of any refund."

The other good news for customers affected by the banks' former policy is that both companies have also promised to provide "additional goodwill payments" equal to the interest that people could have earned on the lost cash.