Questions of cash: A&L penalised my parish's pensioners
Saturday 12 January 2008
Q. I have been penalised £210 by Alliance & Leicester for being £9 overdrawn. The money was in a current account with no overdraft facility used by my church for the parish pensioners' holiday, and I accidentally went overdrawn by £9.47. The problem emerged while I was on holiday – I came back to letters informing me of two charges of £25 each. When I spoke to customer services, I was told I would be billed for a further 32 days at £5 a day. Communication was made worse by the postal strike delaying notification of having gone overdrawn until I was away. A&L says that as a result of the test case on overdraft charges it is obliged to make the charges and cannot exercise discretion. TL, Liverpool.
A. The waiver was put in place by agreement between the Financial Services Authority and the major high street banks – including Alliance & Leicester – in July last year. It aimed to provide greater consistency as to which customers had charges for unauthorised overdrafts refunded, and applies until the test case is heard. The waiver explicitly states that the circumstances of any customer with "genuine financial difficulty" must be reviewed without waiting for the outcome of the court case. Your situation caused financial difficulty for your parishioners, and should have been considered without reference to the waiver. A&L accepts that your situation was unfortunate and has refunded your charges in full.
Q. Until early December I had a current account with Abbey, which I terminated after two months of continual problems trying to get my debit card renewed. My new bank set up an account for me, but Abbey has not transferred my credit balance of £2,362.90. Repeated efforts at resolving the problem by phoning the bank's premium-rate call centre have been unsuccessful. DS, London.
A. Regular readers will know that you are one of many Abbey customers who have had difficulty in getting debit cards renewed. Abbey sent you a cheque for the full balance by special courier in time for Christmas, and has sent you a further £150 to apologise for your inconvenience.
Q. A British Gas customer who couldn't get their final bill before they moved out was given £500 compensation thanks to your help (Questions of Cash, 24 November). We have also had difficulty getting a final bill. Can you get us this compensation as well? VD, London.
A. Sadly not – and neither did the other reader we helped. There was a misunderstanding and the previous reader's bill was cut to £500, not cut by £500. Your compensation is similar. Your final bill should have been £543.16 and is being cut to £500. Our apologies for the confusion.
Q. I invested my savings in a Tessa run by Flemings, which was later taken over as a Tessa-only ISA by JP Morgan. It decided to transfer its Tessa accounts to the Cater Allen private bank. The result of this is that I am receiving an extremely poor 4.2 per cent interest. When I said I wanted to transfer to a better-paying Tessa-only ISA I was told I would lose my tax-exempt status. Is this correct? ET, Cranborne
A. We initially put your concerns to JP Morgan, who declined to comment as it had transferred the administration of your account to the Abbey-owned Cater Allen. However, the interest rate you are receiving is actually 5.25 per cent – it appears you misread the literature. You are now content with the rate you are receiving. But to answer your original question – yes, you can transfer a Tessa-only ISA (TOISA) to another provider. You would need to find a different provider offering a better rate, check what penalty (if any) you would have to pay your existing provider and arrange with your new provider to open an account. The new provider will undertake the administration. You must not close your existing account yourself, or you risk losing your tax-exempt status. Happily, you are now satisfied without the need to transfer providers.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; email@example.com
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 2 Greggs Google fail: bakery falls afoul of search engine's algorithms with 'unofficial' logo
- 3 Is this the end of apps? New research says a third of us don't bother to download
- 4 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 5 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£45000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Harrington Sta...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony