Questions Of Cash: 'Santander say I'm no longer covered: what do I do?'
Saturday 16 April 2011
Q. I have been contacted by Santander regarding my investments. In November 2009, I invested in three property and stock market Guaranteed Growth Plans for a fixed term of five and a half years. I was told when I took them out that Santander was covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. I have now been informed that this type of fixed term investments is no longer covered by the FSCS. Apparently this is the result of a change in government policy. I have been given the option of taking my money out because of these changes. I have also been contacted by the Yorkshire Building Society to explain that my savings with them, also in a fixed term bond, are still covered. I am wondering whether to move my investments. JP, Abergavenny
A. Santander explains: "As part of the FSA's review into structured investment products [published in October 2009], it was identified that the explanation of Financial Services Compensation Scheme cover for those products was a potential issue across the industry. Santander reviewed and clarified the likely extent of FSCS cover in documentation for these products from January 2010. Santander has proactively written to customers who took structured investment products with us after the onset of the financial crisis to clarify the extent of the FSCS and how it relates to their investment. We provided these customers with the same information as is now in the current standard documentation. Santander has taken the action it feels is appropriate to ensure our customers understand what cover they have. It is up to other providers of these products to decide whether they feel they need to change their wording, or indeed contact customers who took out structured products with them since the onset of the credit crunch. Santander UK plc is a large and well capitalised bank, with a variety of funding sources and a prudent approach to risk. The current ratings for Santander UK plc from the three main ratings agencies indicate that in their opinion it is a secure company." Santander customers can obtain further information on its special helpline number, 0845 600 3570.
Q. In August last year I booked a Superbreak cruise, which involved a stay in Bruges for five adults, for my 60th birthday celebrations. I was due to depart on 18 February this year, but I was notified on 15 February by Superbreak that the holiday was cancelled because there had been a fire on board the P&O ferry. I tried to rebook the same day, but nothing was available on the preferred dates. In the end I decided to rebook the holiday in March and was surprised to find that I was going to be charged £300 more. I was expecting compensation for such a late cancellation, not an increase in the charges. To make it worse, I checked the P&O update web page and found that the ferry had sailed as normal. All I want is my holiday, including the hotel, at the original price, but all I have been offered is £20 off another holiday. I complained to Superbreak, but my complaint was rejected. MR, Worksop.
A. Ian Mounser, Superbreak's sales director says: "[The reader] is now rebooked at the original hotel at the original price. The cancellation was based on information given by P&O. Subsequently it seems that she could have travelled as arranged." Superbreak apologises.
Q. I have just booked flights for my husband and myself to visit Malta in September, travelling via Air Malta. I authorised payment by Barclaycard, but just before I clicked for the final authorisation of payment I realised I had not included luggage. I went back to include the luggage, found there was no extra charge for this, checked the dates were still ok and then approved the payment. But afterwards I realised the final payment was less than I had expected, checked the details again and found that the flight dates had defaulted back to the cheapest options. These would involve us flying very early in the morning, which was not acceptable and not what we thought we were buying. I asked Barclaycard to cancel the transaction, but it said authorisation for this could only come from Air Malta. When I spoke to Air Malta, it agreed to amend the dates, but said this would cost an additional €130 (£115), plus taxes. To make things worse, I had to pay 50 pence per minute for a 17-minute international phone call to speak to the company. I have now booked the correct flights through ebookers, but I am stuck with the original and useless tickets at the cost of £216.82. DG, Brighton.
A. Air Malta has conducted a detailed investigation into the problems you encountered. It agrees that when you clicked the "back" button during the booking process, some of the booking parameters were reset to default positions. However, Air Malta says the booking process does allow customers to review their purchase prior to confirmation and payment. It also says that it could find no problems with its normal UK call centre service at the times you called. You tell us that Air Malta has now provided you with a full refund.
Q. The John Lewis Partnership issues vouchers every quarter, based on purchases used on its card. Unfortunately my vouchers for last month, worth £35, were thrown away by my wife into the paper recycling. I have asked the Card Services phone line for replacements, who told me they were sorry but nothing could be done. Can you help? TP, London.
A. HSBC operates the card for the John Lewis Partnership. It has agreed to arrange to replace the vouchers. It apologises that this was not done when you phoned.
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.
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Weekly Money: Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 19-23 January
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
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
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