Questions of Cash: 'HSBC sold my 94-year-old father a six-year plan'
Saturday 10 January 2009
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: email@example.com
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Barclays's new life insurance heralds a revolution on the high street
How to protect your assets if the stock markets begin to head south again
Head across the Irish Sea for bargain houses
Bargain Hunter: Timing is everything in making big savings on beer, wine and whisky
Mark Dampier: Don't listen to stock market doom-mongers - sit back and enjoy the sun
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...
£500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000