Questions Of Cash: 'No one took the blame for a faulty cash machine'

Q. In January, I went to an Abbey cash dispenser to withdraw £400. The transaction was processed, but the cash not supplied. I went into the bank branch, which told me the cash dispenser was managed by Securicor. The branch said I should contact my own bank, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo in Rome, for them to get a refund. I emailed my bank branch, which told me this was not their responsibility. In February, I contacted Abbey again, which this time said my bank should investigate the matter as one of potential fraud. It added that Abbey had no responsibility. CM, Rome.

A. Abbey tells us the particular cash machine that you had problems with is classed as a "remote machine" and is therefore maintained by Securicor, not Abbey. The bank again insisted it is up to your bank branch to instigate an investigation and obtain a refund. Abbey's spokesman says: "I believe the overseas bank has made an error in suggesting they do not get involved, as the claim has to come from them." We passed this response back to you and you then made a further attempt at obtaining satisfaction from Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. This time, a different manager handled your enquiry and your refund is now being processed.

Q. In August last year, I mistakenly transferred £130 into the wrong bank account. I contacted my bank, Smile, which told me the recipient banked at Lloyds. It advised me to contact Lloyds. But Lloyds refused to deal with me, saying Smile should contact it. After three months, I was told by Smile that Lloyds was unwilling to credit my account as it was "unable to contact their customer". On the advice of the Citizens Advice Bureau, I lodged a complaint with Smile, following which I received a response from Lloyds that my previous letter had been sent to the wrong department, would be forwarded to the correct department and I would receive a response in four to eight weeks. After 10 weeks of hearing nothing, I phoned Lloyds and was told that my letter had not been forwarded, but would be sent urgently. In June, after a further three weeks, I contacted Lloyds again and after 24 hours I received a call from Lloyds stating that it was unwilling to deal with my complaint. I then went to a Lloyds branch, and was told I must get Smile to fill in a form for Lloyds to debit the money from their customer's account – and was threatened with forcible removal from the branch. Smile then told me I had been misinformed and Lloyds needed only to send a letter to their customer informing them that they were going to debit £130 from their account on a specific date. BH, East Sussex.

A. We contacted the Co-operative Bank, which owns the Smile brand. A spokesman responded: "In such circumstances, we would expect the other bank to contact their customer and request a refund. If this is not forthcoming, we would then expect them to send a letter advising the customer that the funds will be withdrawn on a specific date, then to remove the amount and return it to us. Colleagues here that action these types of requests have not come across a situation whereby the receiving bank has refused a recall of the funds before, especially when it is proven that the funds do not belong to their customer."

Lloyds has since taken a more helpful approach, saying that it has "now established contact with our customer, who has confirmed that the money was not due to them". The customer has given Lloyds permission to refund you, which it is now doing. But the bank argues that "in cases such as this, we are limited in the action we can take to retrieve money from a customer's account and we are not able to intervene in disputes between two parties".

Q.Four years ago, you suggested an interest-bearing account that could be used by treasurers of small voluntary organisations. You recommended Alliance & Leicester's Community Instant Reserve deposit account. I followed this advice and our modest funds earned a reasonable return of 4 per cent gross. From August last year, A&L reduced the interest payable and it is now a maximum of just 0.15 per cent. Can you recommend a savings account which will give voluntary groups a decent rate of return? AS, Fareham.

A. Kevin Curley, chief executive of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action – which supports voluntary bodies – recommends that small charities use CCLA. The CCLA COIF Charities Deposit Fund earns 1 per cent interest. For further information go to

Q. I am concerned that my mother – who is over 80 and has no savings – is not getting the financial support she is entitled to. What benefits might she be eligible for? LB, by email.

A. The now-merged charities Age Concern and Help the Aged have launched a national campaign called More Money in Your Pocket to help older people claim all the benefits they are owed. The charities explain: "Benefits your mother may be eligible for could include pension credit, council tax benefit, housing benefit, attendance allowance, disability living allowance and carer's allowance. Please call Age Concern and Help the Aged on 0800 00 99 66 or 0808 800 6565 – especially if you're not sure what's available to you‚ or if you haven't been able to claim money as you might be able to now. The service is free and confidential. Your local Age Concern can give you a free ben-efits check, or put you in touch with someone else who can."

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:

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

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
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
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

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