Legal to keep mistakenly wired funds?

My brother mistakenly made three fund transfers of amounts totalling $1,000 from his POSB Savings account to an incorrectly-entered account number over the period from March to May 2013.

After realising that the money had been transferred to the wrong recipient, he visited the POSB branch in Hougang and informed the bank of the situation.

The bank staff attempted to contact the recipient, but we were informed that they could not take action as the recipient refused to return the transferred amount. They suggested that we lodge a police report, which we did.

It has been two years since we lodged the police report and, despite our regular calls made to the police for updates, there has been no progress. The police even suggested that we approach the bank again for assistance.

The money was meant for our mother's living expenses and this entire episode has caused her a great amount of stress.

She has made several attempts to personally visit the police and bank to check on the status of the case.

Each time, they just tell her that there is nothing they can do.

Is there no way our police force and bank can help?

Does this imply that a person's ownership of mistakenly transferred funds is legal?

Connie Cheong (Ms)

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2015, with the headline Legal to keep mistakenly wired funds?. Subscribe