Questions Of Cash: 'Barclays and Santander don't want my money!'
Saturday 30 April 2011
Q. I took out an ISA with Nationwide a few years ago. On its annual maturity, I have always reinvested it with Nationwide as it has generally offered a competitive rate. It is currently a fixed-rate ISA of £3,833, which was opened on 7 March 2011. I've not paid into any other ISA in that tax year. I had another £2,000 to invest in March and saw Barclays offering a 3.25 per cent ISA. When I went into the Newton Abbot Barclays branch I was told I couldn't open this ISA as I've already invested for this tax year. I said I thought the Nationwide one didn't count as it was reinvested money. She checked with a colleague and came back still saying no. I walked to nearby Nationwide and its staff said I could invest it. I went next door to Santander and saw it was offering a similar ISA to Barclay's. But the staff there also said I couldn't open a new ISA. So I withdrew the £2,000 and opened a new ISA with Nationwide. It seems some companies just don't want my money! SM, Newton Abbot.
A. The rules on ISA investments can be confusing and your story shows the importance of clarity when explaining existing ISA investments to potential new ISA providers. Nationwide treated your £3,833 ISA as a continuing investment, which was rolled over on an annual basis. Therefore, as far as Nationwide was concerned, you were not using up your last year's ISA allowance when the money was "reinvested", as you put it.
However, both Barclays and Santander say that when you went into their branches you referred to the Nationwide ISA as having "matured" – as you did in your inquiry to us. That seemed to imply that the ISA had been closed and a new ISA opened. On that basis, Barclays and Santander declined to open a new ISA.
As of the new financial year, the annual ISA allowances are now total tax free investments of up to £10,680, of which up to £5,340 can be saved in cash with one provider and the remainder invested in stocks and shares with either the same or a different provider. An existing ISA must be transferred – rather than closed and a new one opened – if you want to take advantage of a better ISA interest rate without using up the current year's ISA allowance.
Q. I have had various mortgage deals with the Halifax for over 25 years. My existing fixed-rate interest deal comes to an end in February 2012. I asked my branch how much would be outstanding then, so I can pay off the mortgage using funds I have in various one-year bonds. Before I can reinvest those monies, I need to know how much to put aside to pay off my mortgage. But Halifax says it cannot give me the figure in advance. MS, Loughborough.
A. A spokesman for Halifax confirms that it is unable to provide a definitive amount. He says: "An exact figure is of course difficult to provide so far in advance. There are numerous variables that could potentially change the remaining amount before February 2012, whether it be potential fees or indeed overpayments, both of which would increase or decrease the final amount. Giving a figure would therefore be a little misleading, given that any estimate could be significantly different from the actual sum in February 2012."
However, Halifax accepts that it could have given you a more helpful explanation and an indication of what the amount was likely to be. Halifax therefore apologises, has now provided an estimate of the likely final balance and offers you a £25 goodwill gesture. It stresses that the final balance figure is only an estimate and "should not be used as a precise figure for redemption purposes".
Q. In 2004 I bought two DVD players for my children for Christmas. They were a Philips brand, purchased from Argos and very expensive – £200 – but I mislaid the receipt. Within two years of purchase one of the DVD players ceased to work and I contacted Philips on the website by filling in a form. I got no response, tried again and again got no response. Eventually Philips told me I would have to pay for a repair – at a cost of another £100. I located the receipt and wrote again to Philips. My letters were ignored. In late 2010 I spoke to a trading standards officer who told me that Philips should repair the DVD player or make a refund. I wrote to Philips again and then got a note to say that I should take the matter up with Argos. KT, Leigh-on-Sea.
A. We contacted Argos, which said that as the goods were bought such a long time ago it was not prepared to arrange a repair. We then contacted Philips, which agreed to replace the faulty DVD player in recognition of its failure to handle your initial complaint in a quick and efficient manner. Unfortunately, however, it was only when a replacement DVD standard player was delivered to your home that it became clear that you had bought portable DVD players. Philips has therefore now, in addition, sent you a free portable DVD player and allowed you to keep the previously dispatched DVD player.
A spokeswoman for Philips says: "The last contact we had with [the reader] was back in 2007 when the product was well out of warranty having been bought in 2004 and we advised a repair with one of our preferred repair companies. Obviously this wasn't acceptable to [the reader], but I'm not sure what happened in the next four years! However, as a gesture of goodwill we [have sent the reader] a new DVD player as a free replacement." This seems pretty generous to us. We assume you have received the second free DVD player, though Philips has not received acknowledgement of this: nor have we.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@ independent.co.uk.
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Greece crisis: Alexis Tsipras accepts troika bailout proposals with conditions
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 French woman dies in freak bungee jumping accident
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...
Day In a Page
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.