Question: Early in 2011 we opened an eSaver account with Santander because of their good rate of interest for the first year. All transactions were to be done over the internet, with deposits between £1 and £2,000,000.
After we sold our house, we invested nearly £250,000, which was paid into our current account. We tried to transfer the whole sum into our eSaver account, but found we could only transfer £25,000 per day.
Answer: After many emails, phone calls and letters we received £50 compensation for lost interest. We were told we could transfer out £175,000 for our new house in one go. But the most we could transfer was £99,999 a time, so it had to be done over two days, again losing interest. We understood the deposit was to be paid by BACS faster payment. The next day we found the amount was over the limit for this, so we had to make a CHAPS payment. The deposit arrived with the solicitors late, so the purchase was delayed two days. The terms and conditions do not make clear these restrictions on the accounts. DM
Santander spokeswoman said: "For security reasons it may be necessary to carry out additional checks on substantial transfers to help mitigate the risk of fraud. We are sorry that this was not explained clearly when [the reader] contacted us. On this occasion we have fallen short of the service our customers should expect to receive." In recognition of this, Santander is providing an additional goodwill payment of £100.
Question: I have had problems with NPI - my pension fund manager - which has taken two and a half months to deal with my request for an annuity. During this process we were informed that the value of my pension fund had fallen by 7.38%. GB
Answer: You accepted an offer of an annuity from Just Retirement, through the financial advisers Hargreaves Lansdown. But after you accepted the offer, you were unable to get your pension benefits transferred for several weeks to Just Retirement. NPI, part of the Phoenix Group, apologises for these problems and says that these began with a transfer application form not being sent to you because of an IT problem. A further delay followed because you requested your fund value being converted to cash, for you to transfer to Just Retirement. This option was not possible.
However, NPI failed to advise you of this or reply to your request. NPI should have told you that you could instead switch your pension fund into its pension deposit fund, one of its features being that the value of the fund is guaranteed not to fall. Had you been given this option, the value transferred to Just Retirement would have been £217,553, rather than £202,998.
A pension commencement lump sum could have been paid to you of £54,388, rather than the £50,749 that was actually paid. In addition, you would have received a gross annual annuity of £12,589 payable from August 9, not the £11,871 you have been receiving for the period beginning September 16.
On this basis, NPI will transfer an additional £10,102 to Just Retirement for your pension fund, which will increase your annuity by a gross £59 per month. As well as this, you will be paid an extra £3,638 as your pension commencement lump sum. You will also be sent a further £1,614 to compensate for the loss of growth and income and also for your inconvenience.