Questions Of Cash: HSBC in error over fraudulent card transaction


Q. A fraudulent transaction showed up on my HSBC credit card statement in July last year to Cyb/Electro-manic.com for £153. I had never heard of this company or bought anything from them. The bank's card services section cancelled my card, issued a new one and promised they would investigate the transaction.

My card has never been stolen and I have never given my pin to anyone. I rarely use it in person, but often online – because I thought it was easier to get money back with a credit card if something goes wrong. Eventually the bank told me the transaction was shown as chip and pin verified so there was nothing they could do. But the transaction took place in Leicester – which I have never been to – and I had the card with me at the time on the Isle of Wight.

I looked into the company online, but none of its contact information worked and its website had disappeared. I spoke to the company hosting its website who said they had been contacted by someone else with a similar complaint. I asked HSBC who I could complain to, but the man repeated "there is nothing we can do because it is showing up as a chip and pin transaction". I asked if this could be a mistake, had there been a fault in the system, or could it have been a cloned card, but he repeated the same thing. I had to phone HSBC repeatedly and push for written confirmation of the decision. I still have not had a full written explanation of what HSBC did to try to resolve this. EW, Isle of Wight.

A. We have become sceptical of banks and building societies that blandly reject customers' claims about fraud. We are not convinced that sufficient investigations take place before claims are rejected and would be interested to hear more readers' experiences. In this case, HSBC has accepted that it simply got it wrong. The HSBC spokesman James Thorpe responded quickly and honestly to your complaint. "I'm afraid we'll have to hold our hands up and apologise to [the reader]: we incorrectly assessed the transaction," he said. "Her pin was not used: it was in fact a 'cardholder not present' transaction and we acknowledge that she didn't make it. We are writing to her and will offer to refund the transaction of £153 and, as a gesture of apology, offer a further £100." You are very satisfied with the result, but it is a shame it took nearly a year. We could find no trace of a business called Cyb/Electro-manic.

Q. I took out a £25,000 savings bond with Santander in September last year and gave instructions for the interest to be paid monthly into my bank account. This has not happened, despite repeated requests in a succession of emails and phone calls. I have now been given another phone number to follow this up with, but the line went dead after five rings. JH, Caterham.

A. Santander apologises and explains that it has had a systems problem affecting "a small number of customers, all of whom are in the process of full resolution". Your due interest has now been paid into your nominated bank account and, by arrangement with you, future interest will be credited to the value of your bond. In addition, you have accepted goodwill payments of £60 as full resolution of your complaint.

Q. You helped me three years ago when I was looking for a savings account to put money in for my grandchildren. They are French citizens, living in France, and I am a UK citizen living in the UK. One grandchild is nearly four, the other is three. You recommended Nationwide International, based in the Isle of Man, and I opened accounts for each of the grandchildren with them, which I have topped up for Christmas and birthdays. But the favourable interest rate has shrunk to almost nothing – 0.25 per cent. Nationwide International now offers a new account with a better rate of interest, but it is only available for balances over £5,000. The balances at present are slightly short of £2,000 for each child. Can you suggest a better alternative? I want the money to be held in the accounts until the children are 18. HH, Sale.

A. Gareth Flanagan, of Principle First financial advisers, says: "I would recommend the reader now place her savings into a cash ISA in her own name and suggest the Alliance & Leicester instant access cash ISA, paying 3.1 per cent. We have been unable to find any offshore accounts that are now open to UK residents. [The reader] could take out National Savings & Investments' children's bonus bonds for the children, even though they live abroad. NS&I would run money launder checks on the grandparent and parents. These should run until the children are 21, but can be accessed earlier. They are controlled by the parent until age 16, when the child gains control. There is no tax on proceeds.

We suggest the reader should assess the benefit of tax-free growth cash ISA products against other taxable savings accounts, rather than just go with the ISA automatically. If the reader is saving for the medium to long term, or building a lump sum for the children's future costs such as university, she should complete a risk profile, and ensure that she is investing the money efficiently across the correct asset classes, based on her risk profile. Other asset classes – such as fixed interest or equities – may be more suitable in the medium to long term."

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.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
News
Cumberbatch spectacularly photobombs U2 at the Oscars
news
Life and Style
Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
food + drink

Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

News
Will menus with calorie counts really deter junk-food addicts from eating junk?
i100
Sport
Today's Liverpool Echo back page
football
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
i100
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

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

    SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

    £350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

    Chief Financial Officer

    120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?