What are banks’ obligations in a wire fraud case?
Unfortunately, banks generally have very few obligations unless they’ve done something wrong. And the problem is, the consumer who’s been a victim of a wire fraud of wire intervention will never have and idea as to whether the bank followed all the procedures that they should have followed because the bank certainly isn’t going to offer that information up of it will mean that they will be liable for a large loss.
Generally speaking, you have to get involved in the discovery process to take a look at what the bank employees actually did when initiating the wire and to make sure that they did all that they were supposed to do. And that they didn’t do anything that they should not have done.
One example would be if a bank is required by an agreement, an account opening document, to verify wire instructions via phone and someone doesn’t do that or someone makes a phone call that doesn’t get verifying identification information then the bank may be on the hook for some or all of that loss by virtue of their own negligence.
But the larger point is that the average consumer that walks into a bank and initiates a wire isn’t going to know all the steps the bank did or did not take. And that requires, unfortunately, generally a lawyer to get into those records and look. Which also requires, generally, some sort of adversary proceeding or a lawsuit to be filed to give the consumer the right to those documents, those banks’ policies and procedures to find out if the bank was at all negligent in terms of initiating the wire and not verifying that people are who they say they are.
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