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; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Austen Lloyd: Company Secretary

    Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...

    Citifocus Ltd: German Speaking Client Specialist

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...

    Citifocus Ltd: Performance & Risk Oversight

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Director - SaaS (SME/Channel) - £140,000 OTE

    £90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game