Putting a value on taking action

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MRS W opened a children's account for her 15-year-old daughter who used the account to save before going to university.

The daughter decided to close the account and move her money elsewhere. She had pounds 10 taken from the pounds 53 in the account as a closing charge. Mrs W pointed out that had her daughter merely withdrawn the pounds 53 there would have been no charge.

The Ombudsman said the pounds 10 fee was not included in the bank's tariff, and in any event the account would have been closed six months later when Miss W became 19. The complaint was eligible for investigation.

Mrs W visited her bank after hearing the Ombudsman's initial positive reaction and came away with a cheque for pounds 10.

A bank lent money to an architect and his wife to develop two properties in 1988. A year later Mr and Mrs D queried the interest charged and were credited with almost pounds 11,000.

Two years later after the two properties were sold, he again queried the interest calculations. He received five further refunds totalling almost pounds 5,000.

Mr and Mrs D claimed compensation for inconvenience and the time spent arguing their case.

The bank accepted the out-of- pocket expenses for solicitors' and accountants' fees of pounds 617 but rejected Mr D's claim for pounds 25,000 based on pounds 25 an hour - the rate he charged his clients - for his own time, plus pounds 1,000 for inconvenience.

The total sum awarded by the Ombudsman was pounds 1,500 - pounds 1,000 for inconvenience and pounds 500 for Mr D's own time.

Mr and Mrs D rejected the bank's offer in line with the Ombudsman's decision.

Mr K's father-in-law died aged 87 having been a customer of the same bank for nearly 70 years.

He had pounds 27,000 in a deposit account earning 2 per cent interest.

Mr K complained that the bank should have directed his father- in-law to the bank's higher paying deposit acount which had been available for some time.

The bank said that the man was lucid, and it had written to all customers, including him, twice, to draw attention to its new high interest deposit account. The new account would not have offered the same sweep facility that he was using to top up his current account to a balance of pounds 3,000.

The Ombudsman said the bank had taken reasonable steps to make information about the new account available, so that customers could make an informed choice.

The complaint was rejected.