Longtime reader Steve Loucks, who works for the travel agency consortium Travel Leaders, just returned from London, where he found a shocker on his bill:
I used my ATM card twice, once through a Lloyds Bank and then through NatWest. Both times, I discovered today, each financial institution not only took out the amount I requested but they also placed a hold on my account for those same amounts (the latter hold doesn’t expire until tomorrow).
The red flag came today when I realized my bank had covered me for being overdrawn (fortunately, I have overdraft protection).
Have you ever heard about this happening before, and if so, why a bank would be allowed to double dip? For any unsuspecting traveler, it could wreak havoc on their banking accounts.
No, I haven’t heard of this happening. I’ve contacted both NatWest and Lloyds to get a comment. In the meantime, a search of their sites show no meaningful disclosure of the “hold” policy.
Hotel and car rental companies routinely place a “hold” against your stay, just in case you damage a car or destroy a room. But I can’t think of a good reason why a bank would do it for an ATM withdrawal.