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 www.ccla.co.uk.

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: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

    £350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

    Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

    £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

    HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

    £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

    PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz