Questions of Cash: 'HSBC sold my 94-year-old father a six-year plan'


Q. My late father sought investment advice from the HSBC in 2006, when he was nearly 95 and in poor health. Yet the HSBC adviser recommended two six-year savings products from HSBC: a Guaranteed Capital Account and a Capital Protected ISA. My father took this advice. He died last year and my sister and I are executors of his estate.

I wrote to HSBC in May asking why he was advised to take out long-term investments at his age and state of health. HSBC rejected my complaint saying that the prepared summary of financial needs purports to show that the investment was suitable; that my father was provided with the product brochures and key features documents; that he was provided with the required cancellation notices; and that my sister was present at the discussions, to go through the options available and that she agreed with these investments.

My sister says she was present merely to ensure our father could hear the advice and sign the documents, not to agree the investments. The adviser should have stated unequivocally that these investments were not suitable for our father. They earned just 0.0095 per cent. MS, by email.

A. We share your astonishment that HSBC should recommend these products and that it did not immediately uphold your complaint. It has again reviewed its advice – and changed its conclusion. The bank says: "Although we went through the correct sales process with the customer and the type of investment was correct, the six-year term was probably too long to best meet his needs."

Accordingly, HSBC has agreed to pay your father's estate £1,100 – the difference between the investments' actual return and what they would have earned in a Premier Savings Account over the period.

Q. I have a Sky Visa credit card, which I pay off every month. It has never been in arrears and never incurs interest. Yet my credit limit has just been cut from £9,500 to £1,450. We did not even know about this until both my wife and I had the embarrassment of having transactions refused at the till. I had apparently reached my new credit limit. We were only told in writing the following day, giving us too little notice of the change. The new credit limit does not suit my pattern of spending. As a result, I will be forced to make interim payments during the course of the month. If they really want to cut my spending limit, then £3,000 would be a more reasonable sum. But when I took this up with Sky, it rejected my case, saying its decision is final. DA, Exeter.

A. The Sky card is issued by Barclaycard. Like most credit card issuers, Barclaycard is in the process of reviewing credit limits, cutting these where it believes customers are "over-stretched" and withdrawing cards that are not regularly used. But the explanation for your problem is different. There was an information-feed problem with Barclaycard's IT system, leading to its system losing access to your recent credit history and wrongly cutting the credit limit for yourself and many other customers. Your credit limit has now been fully reinstated.

Q. I bought a Hitachi hi-fi from Curry's for £129.99, but was unable to tune the DAB radio, the manual didn't help and the shop I bought it from said they could not provide support for a radio unit. Hitachi's helpline said it was also unable to provide support for a radio unit. Curry's has refused to exchange the unit or provide a refund because I changed the mains plug – which has no effect on the performance or the tuning operation. Curry's has offered to visit me to show me how to tune it and check the installation, but they would charge £89.99 for this and it is not value for money. LY, Ottershaw.

A. At our request, Curry's has agreed to check the unit at its store, explain how to tune it and will make a refund to you if the unit is faulty.

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

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
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

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

    £21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

    Ashdown Group: Head of Client Services - City of London, Old Street

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders