Questions of Cash: My bank asked me to set up a password over the phone
Saturday 21 June 2014
Q. I have applied for a bank account with Britannia, but 14 days after my cheque was cashed I have heard nothing. Furthermore, the person on the end of the phone at Britannia wants me to set up a password with her knowing what it is. This is not secure and is different from other banks that use automated systems, with employees not aware of the full passwords. DS, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
A. You wrote to us on 23 May and the Co-operative Bank – which owns Britannia, a former building society – tells us that it opened your account on 21 May. It has backdated interest on your initial deposit to the date you applied to open the account, 7 May.
A spokesman adds: "The Bank takes the issue of security extremely seriously and we do our utmost to ensure customers are fully protected. The bank uses different approaches for registration of security information, which includes registering information online and customers providing details verbally or on a form. In some cases, verbal registration involves different information being taken by separate advisers to increase security.
"With Britannia, where many customers use passbooks and do not use online banking, we currently request customers to provide some information on their application form and then verbally."
We want to help our daughter buy a flat
Q. We would like to help our daughter, a self-employed writer in London, to buy a flat to give her some stability. We can provide a decent deposit, but as she earns a maximum of £18,000 to £20,000 a year, she can't afford large monthly mortgage repayments. We have looked at housing associations, but their criteria seem to rule out anyone who already has property and she has a stake in the family holiday cottage. It would be difficult for her to share a property, as she has a partner. Can you suggest a way forward? PW, London.
A. Ray Boulger, senior technical manager with mortgage broker John Charcol, responds: "The key to a possible solution here is not only the extent to which the parents are able to help but also their own financial situation, particularly in relation to any mortgage they already have. As their daughter is a joint owner of the family holiday cottage, this property has a mortgage that will be an additional restrictive factor.
"Your reader has indicated her daughter's maximum self-employed income, but her minimum over the last two or three years is just as important, if not more so. Unless the available deposit is very large, clearly the daughter's income on its own will be inadequate to buy anything in London, including probably on a shared-ownership basis.
"A possible way forward would be to make a mortgage application on the basis of more than one income. The implication of the letter is that the daughter does not plan to buy jointly with her partner, but if the partner has a good income this option might be worth considering.
"Alternatively, a few lenders will offer a mortgage on a 'sole proprietor, joint borrower' basis. The daughter would buy the property in her sole name as normal, but the mortgage would be joint with one or both of her parents. For this to work her parents would need to have sufficient income, taking into account any mortgage they already have.
"But depending on the parents' age, the maximum mortgage term might be restricted to less than normal because it depends on the age of the oldest borrower. One lender which offers this facility is Woolwich and the maximum age it will lend to is 70."
Not a solid case for suing furniture retailer
Q. I bought a solid oak wardrobe from Furniture Village in a sale for nearly £1,000, four years ago. Now the sliding doors no longer slide. Furniture Village accept there is a problem, but the item is discontinued and they are not prepared to fix it. They have offered me £100 and I get to keep my broken wardrobe, or £350 part refund, in which case I have to fork out twice that again for something similar. This seems like a raw deal. TS, by email.
A. A spokesman for the company says: "Furniture Village delivered the product in September 2009. The customer contacted Furniture Village four years later and we immediately arranged for a technician to visit to establish if a repair could be completed. In this case it wasn't possible and the product wasn't produced any longer. This is why we have offered our customer a number of different options to resolve the issue in line with the Sale of Goods Act.
You are unhappy with this response. You could take legal action under the Sale of Goods Act, but it is not clear to us that you would win the case. We suggest you investigate whether you can find a local tradesperson to repair the wardrobe.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
£60000 - £90000 per annum + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Global leading Energy Tra...
£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...
£45000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Harrington Sta...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
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