Questions Of Cash: NatWest ignored me over old account
Saturday 12 May 2012
Q. Both my parents have passed away. While undertaking the house clearance I came across a National Provincial bank account book in my name. It was opened for me at the age of eight and clearly intended for me to benefit when older. The bank book shows over £800 and there is no record of any withdrawals.
I provided my local NatWest branch with copies of the bank book in 2009. I received a reply from NatWest that failed to confirm that the account had been closed. I responded in July 2009 that their explanation was clearly established upon a best guess. My letter was not replied to, nor was another letter from October 2010. I have never received evidence that the account was closed. NatWest has obviously decided to ignore me. JW, Carmarthenshire
A. We have discussed this problem for several months with RBS, the parent bank of NatWest (formed by the merger of the National Provincial and Westminster banks in 1968). RBS tells us it has carefully checked its old records. These show the account was closed in 1997, 11 years after your father died and before you were aware of its existence. RBS retains detailed account information for 10 years, which it says is fully compliant with its legal obligations. Its summary records merely show the account was closed by a person using your surname.
You have requested further information regarding the account, including who was entitled to make withdrawals from the account opened in your name, but RBS no longer has this information. RBS accepts it could and should have done more to answer your enquiries sooner and more efficiently. Consequently it has transferred £75 into your account as a gesture of goodwill. But it is adamant that the account was properly closed. A spokeswoman said: "Our complaints team have now concluded their enquiries in the light of the additional information provided and have located a closing statement proving that the account was actually closed 25 April 1997. The reason for closure was given as 'no further use'.
A cheque was issued at the time to [a person with the reader's surname] with the closing balance of £4.06. All our records were computerised by the early 1970s. After that time there would be no need for customers to produce a book when making a deposit or withdrawal... We know some customers kept their passbooks as a personal record and the bank did not ask for their return... In recognition of the inconvenience caused by the delay in him receiving a full response regarding this matter, we have credited his account with £75 as a gesture of goodwill." You tell us that you are not satisfied with this – we suggest you pursue the matter with the Financial Ombudsman.
Q. My partner flew from Germany to Dublin on Christmas Eve 2010, travelling with his two young children, to visit me over the holiday. His Aer Lingus flight was delayed, causing them to wait nine hours at Hamburg airport and to spend Christmas Eve at a hotel in Dublin, instead of being at my home. They were not given any vouchers for food and drink during the delays, which is required under European Union law. My partner and I have complained repeatedly, but he has not received any compensation. MW, Ireland
A. You state that you and your partner have repeatedly provided Aer Lingus with the details of the bank account the payment was to be made into. Aer Lingus says this information was not received. When you contacted us we provided this information to Aer Lingus' media relations team to enable the payment to be made. When we checked a few days later on progress, once more Aer Lingus denied having received the account details.
We are promised that a payment for €124 (£100) has now been approved, in line with the amount requested by your partner. This should be received within the next week. It has taken us several weeks to obtain this payment and you requested additional compensation because of the continued delay.
However, Aer Lingus does not accept that the delay is its fault and has not complied with your request. A spokesman for the airline said: "Aer Lingus, in accordance with EU Regulation 261/2004, reimbursed reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for additional accommodation costs. Aer Lingus cannot accept liability for consequential costs such as car hire and recommends that any individual affected in this way contacts their personal travel insurers in order to pursue this portion of their claim."
Q. My building society's lawyer has phoned me to discuss my mortgage application. Before he will speak to me he says he requires me to answer security questions to confirm my identification. This is a terrible cheek. How am I supposed to know who he is? I should not be expected to provide security details that could open the way to someone committing a fraud against me. I put the phone down on him. I think this practice could well be illegal. CW, London.
A. We asked the Information Commissioner's Office for its view, but it does not share your opinion regarding the legal situation. A spokesman for the Information Commissioner said: "The Data Protection Act places a series of obligations on financial companies who hold and process peoples' data. This includes having appropriate measures in place to keep this information secure. Asking a person security questions to access details related to their account helps to stop unauthorised access to this information. Therefore the building society may instruct their lawyers to adopt this approach when speaking to their clients. If they do adopt this approach then it is good practice to inform their customer that these checks will be made. If the person has any doubts that the individual they are speaking to is not a representative from their building society, then they should contact the company to confirm, before handing out any of their information."
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Simon Read: There may be trouble ahead for cohabiting couples who don’t make a will
Money Insider: Would £150 make you switch banks?
Why the City Watchdog is concerned with the credit card industry
Bargain Hunter: Find the deals that have real value beneath the Black Friday hype
Gold-plated pensions – the key to retirement freedom?
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...
£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
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