Bank credited wrong account

We have three accounts with a high street bank: personal, business (farm) and a GFA (an agriculture-based investment scheme). We sold some cows and had a cheque for €20,000. We filled in a paying-in slip to put it in the personal account. They decided to credit it to the GFA one then took the money to pay off a loan that was overdue. They have agreed to return half to the account that should have been credited. Yes there was a debt on the GFA account (we had made offers to make payments) but were they acting legally by crediting the cheque to an account other than that specified?  S.P.

Normally a bank cannot credit another of your accounts in preference to the one stipulated. A bank can, however, in some circumstances take credits to repay loans if they ...

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