Questions Of Cash: Do all banks offer investor protection?


Q. I thought that, following the Northern Rock affair, there was now full investor-protection up to £35,000 under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and 90 per cent protection for larger amounts. But I have looked at the ICICI Bank website. There it says that only the first £2,000 is protected in full, and thereafter 90 per cent of the next £33,000. Can you help me understand the situation? TP, by e-mail.

A. Since October last year, should a bank fail, the FSCS will meet in full the first £35,000 of any loss – but nothing above this. The protection levels you quote as being specified by ICICI are those that prevailed before October last year. ICICI Bank is regulated by the FSA and is therefore subject to FSCS protection and when we checked its website it correctly reported the protection that now applies. In the special case of Northern Rock, the full value of all deposits has been guaranteed by the Government "for as long as the current period of financial market instability lasts". The Chancellor is currently reviewing depositors' protection arrangements for all UK banks and building societies.



Q. I loaned a friend of mine £3,000 15 years ago. Eventually, a few months ago, I got the money back from him. But soon after, my friend went to a Citizens' Advice Bureaux about his many debts and on their advice declared himself bankrupt. I have now been told I must repay the money my friend gave me. My friend had not intended to make himself bankrupt at the time the money was repaid to me. What can I do? AN, by e-mail.



A. You should be able to retain the money if you can legitimately claim that you demanded the money from your friend, also pointing out that, as you state, you were unaware of the possibility of him becoming bankrupt. You need to demonstrate that you were not given a "preference" in the treatment of your debt in the run-up to the bankruptcy. Philip Long, head of corporate recovery at accountants PKF, explains: "A preference in bankruptcy occurs where the individual does anything which has the effect of putting the friend into a position which is better than the position he would have been in if that thing had not been done – see Section 340 of the Insolvency Act 1986. The trustee in bankruptcy must show that the bankrupt had a 'desire to achieve' the preference unless the friend is an 'associate' – basically a relative – in which case, the preference is assumed to have taken place. The usual defence for the friend would be that it was he that demanded the money back from the individual, and that he was unaware of the financial desperation of the impending bankrupt."



Q. I purchased a Nikon digital camera through Amazon in September 2006 for £188.40. I returned this immediately to the seller (not Amazon) by special delivery, paying £7.40. I repeatedly e-mailed the seller requesting a refund, but got no reply. I then e-mailed Amazon, which also did not reply. Eventually I contacted the Post Office, which said the item was waiting in its sorting office to be delivered, but that the seller would not take re-delivery. SS, by e-mail.



A. Our repeated attempts to get resolution – or even any sort of answer – from Amazon got nowhere. Luckily for you, Royal Mail has now lost the package and has agreed to refund you in full.



Q. In February last year, £703.11 was taken from my Alliance & Leicester account, and a week later it was credited back to me. In August, the bank told me it was reviewing my overdraft facility, but I had by then closed my account and told A&L this – but it claimed I owed £700. I have requested bank statements to see how it arrives at this figure, but it wants to charge me over £4 a time to provide the information. GS, Edinburgh.



A. The sequence of events is, says A&L, "complex", and the explanation you sent us was sketchy. According to A&L, you appear to have confused activity across two credit card accounts and your current account. A&L's records show that your current account was in credit by £168 until payments of £267 and £604 were made to your two credit card accounts, producing an overdraft of £703. A&L says that you have since explained that you expected a credit to be made into this account from another bank which would clear this amount, but that this credit did not materialise. In all, you were charged £75.17 for having gone overdrawn, which A&L says represents correctly applied charges. However, because of the confusion and because you have agreed to clear the substantive balance, A&L is writing off these charges and administrative costs of £8.



Q. I became fed-up with the service with British Gas and in April last year told BG I was transferring to a different supplier and it should cancel my direct debit from May. My final gas bill showed a balance due of £35.48, a payment of £28.50 was taken in May by direct debit, leaving me owing £6.98. But BG has demanded the £35.48, sending threatening letters and demands from a debt-recovery firm, despite my repeated letters explaining I did not owe the money. BG has offered to reduce the bill to £24.84, but I only owe £6.98. TC, Wallingford.



A. BG says that the final bill of £35.48 had already taken into account the direct debit about to processed: consequently the amount due was the full £35.48 shown on that bill. However, BG accepts it did not properly explain this to you and as a gesture of goodwill has written-off the £35.48. The debt-recovery agents have been informed.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

    SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

    £22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most