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
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

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

    £43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there