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Serious banking question

April 5th, 2014 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

This is a serious question. I’m not trying to make a point about something, or make a joke or anything. It is something I noticed and don’t understand, and I don’t like not understanding stuff.

When I do internet banking I can see the balance on my account, and then another figure for amount available. Now I know that the amount available can be lower because of transactions that went through after the close of business, I’m OK with that bit, but sometimes the difference is a value I know I haven’t had for any transaction.

Example: the other day the amount available was exactly £10 less than the current balance. It confused me because I couldn’t think of anything I had spent exactly £10 on. I wish most of my bills were that small! Out of interest, I checked the next day and there were no transactions of £10, or of any amount. My balance was what it was the day before. I have now started checking the balance more often and noticed this a few times, often for an amount of £1.01.

Any ideas?

I know that in some circumstances a small nominal transaction can be made and reversed for security purposes. In other circumstances crooks make small transactions to be sure a stolen card or bank details are correct before they go for a serious bit of robbing. It was that thought that made me check the next day, only to find everything OK.

Do banks put through small but specific transactions out of hours and reverse them again for some sort of valid reason? If so I would expect to see the debit and corresponding credit the next day. What I really want to know is whether I should be reassured that they are doing whatever they need to for some obscure security purpose, or whould I be worried that someone is just prodding around and waiting until I have enough to be worth stealing?

They would have a long wait, but I suppose that if they pounced in the few minutes between me getting paid and all the direct debits coming out it might be worth their while.


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