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An administrative error made by Edinburgh City Council that could potentially have left around 5000 resident’s bank accounts overdrawn, has led to the Council writing to those residents inviting compensation claims for any charges that have arisen due to being overdrawn.

The error occurred when the Council withdrew the direct debit payments two working days before the expected date for payment.

The major cause for concern amongst residents was that the direct debits are usually deducted from their accounts following pay day and in what is understood to have been many cases, deductions will have been made before funds are in the account which will attract bank charges.

The Council sent an apologetic letter to the residents and invited their compensation claims should they have been adversely affected by the mistake. The Council have undertaken to investigate the error to find out what happened and to ensure that no further mistakes are made in future. 

The problem does little to instil confidence in the Council payment system ahead of April 2010 when they will no longer be accepting cheques and standing orders are to be phased out leaving the only method of payment to be by direct debit.

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