Questions of cash: Bad service from Bradford & Bingley


Q. I am unhappy with the service provided by the Bradford & Bingley Mortgage Advice Centre.

Q. I am unhappy with the service provided by the Bradford & Bingley Mortgage Advice Centre. B&B recommended a Bristol & West mortgage stating in writing that the interest rate was 6.29 per cent. On receipt of the written confirmation from Bristol & West I found the interest rate was 6.84 per cent. I also ordered a homebuyer's survey which was not completed in time for the house price negotiation. Eventually I was given a valuation, instead of the survey. I have refused to pay B&B its fee of £990 for arranging the mortgage, but it is now demanding payment - despite receiving £1,238 from Bristol & West for the mortgage introduction fee.
AH, Leeds

A. Bradford & Bingley acknowledges its error in advising you of the wrong interest rate, apologises and will pay compensation of £1,592 to cover half the higher borrowing costs. B&B has agreed to write off £500 of its fee. B&B said once the compensation is taken into consideration you have obtained a very good deal. We believe it could do more to resolve your complaint, but B&B says you agreed to its compensation offer and refuse to make any further concession. Bristol & West accepts the error in providing a valuation instead of a survey was its responsibility and has refunded you the full fee.

Q. I bank online with NatWest and in August accidentally transferred £225 to Citibank - with whom I do not have an account. I reported this a week later to NatWest who after another week requested Citibank to return the money. Citibank said it would take 10 working days for the transfer. It did not happen, causing a further four days delay while a replacement cheque was raised. I was then told by Citibank that it would send me a cheque to my home, but this also did not happen. Citibank then said I needed permission from NatWest to have the cheque posted to me, but still I did not receive it. I have now had a BACS transfer into my account, but no apology or explanation. I am disabled with Multiple Sclerosis, dependent on welfare benefits and the loss of this money for six weeks caused financial hardship.
DB, by e-mail.

A. The CitiCards division of Citibank apologises to you and is sending an ex-gratia payment of £50. It accepts it did not post one cheque as promised, but does not know why its cheque to NatWest did not arrive.

Q. I'm 29 and have a personal pension. I recently remembered an old company pension fund has more than £1,000 in it. How can I get hold of this?
SS, by e-mail

A. You will have to be very patient. Pensions adviser Carl Melvin of Pension Transfer Solutions says: "There is no way to get the cash out of the old pension until you are 50. It is also too small to transfer to your current pension as the value is too low and the cost of advice would be prohibitive."

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