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TONY HETHERINGTON: The Deposit Protection Service Must Take Its Action


Tony Hetherington is the Financial Mail’s stellar investigator on Sunday, battling readers’ corners, revealing the truth behind closed doors and winning for those who have pocketed money. Find out how to contact him below.

JC wrote: Deposit protection schemes are backed by the Government and are supposed to protect tenants from rogue landlords.

However, more than three months after leaving the property, I am still waiting to get my deposit back from Deposit Protection Services in Bristol, operated by Computershare Investor Services.

Protection: Deposit protection schemes are backed by the Government and are supposed to protect tenants from rogue landlords

Protection: Deposit protection schemes are backed by the Government and are supposed to protect tenants from rogue landlords

Protection: Deposit protection schemes are backed by the Government and are supposed to protect tenants from rogue landlords

Tony Hetherington replied: When you asked the Deposit Protection Service to return the £1,425 you owed, staff at the Bristol firm claimed that you had entered the wrong information in your return request.

You have told me that you believe that instead of depositing money into your account with First Direct, they mistakenly sent money to First Direct’s parent bank, HSBC. When you try to track down the missing amount, you find that the DPS account that says it’s paid simply doesn’t exist. And after many tries, DPS couldn’t find your money, leaving you in a situation of running out of pocket.

At the heart of this is DPS’ claim that you gave them the wrong bank classification number.

On the other hand, you said it would be difficult for you to know the sort code number from memory, so you will have your bank card in front of you as you enter the details of where DPS will send money. What DPS has admitted is that when you called and asked about a delay in paying you, the DPS officer told you it was your right to contact your own bank and ‘ask them to pay you back. money’ – however, of course, your bank never received the money and was oblivious to the missing payment. DPS sent you £25 as an apology for this.

This was frustrating enough, but there’s a glimmer of hope in an email from DPS that tells you: ‘The bank has responded and completed the payment recovery form to get your money back and send it back to us. This process can take up to 36 days. ‘

But this spark was extinguished five days later, when another email from DPS made no mention of it and told you that no more DPS errors were found.

I asked the officials at DPS to investigate, and they insisted that you gave them a classification code that your bank doesn’t even use, so the payment went completely wrong.

They said the receiving bank accepted but could not credit any accounts.

When you contact DPS, it takes almost three months to track the amount and recover it. Now you’ve got £1,419, £6 short of what you expected, but you decided not to make a fuss about this.

You said to me: ‘I will maintain until my last breath that if I fill in my bank details, I have the card in front of me. I can understand if there are reversed digits – but a completely wrong sort code for a completely different bank? In hindsight, I should have taken a screenshot. ‘ Good advice!

The silence of the Scottish Widows before the policy of the late mother

Delay: Scottish widows pay £300 more with an apology

Delay: Scottish widows pay £300 more with an apology

Delay: Scottish widows pay £300 more with an apology

I write: My mother passed away on March 16 and I started making funeral arrangements for her. She has a life insurance policy taken in 1993 with a death guarantee of £1,651.

On March 22, I filled out the Scottish Widows burial form online and emailed a copy of the death certificate.

I heard nothing, so I called them on April 8th and they asked me to repeat all the information I submitted online.

Tony Hetherington replied: You told me that when you still heard nothing, you called the Scottish Widows again on May 4, and this time you were asked to send the death certificate again, but to an address other email. You also completed an online complaint form and received a letter dated May 10, saying someone would contact you, but no one did.

I have asked the Scottish Widows to look into the matter, and a spokesperson told me: ‘We regret the service that Mr. M has experienced on this occasion.’ Policy payments were made to you immediately, along with £16 and £300 interest as an apology.

I deposited £40,000 in my Halifax account… but where is it now?

BM wrote: I have a Halifax Fund Manager account that I have been using for years.

I estimate I have invested more than £40,000, but I cannot currently ask Halifax to give me any information on this.

Lack of funds: BM estimates he has invested more than £40,000, but now he cannot ask Halifax to give him any information about this

Lack of funds: BM estimates he has invested more than £40,000, but now he cannot ask Halifax to give him any information about this

Lack of funds: BM estimates he has invested more than £40,000, but now he cannot ask Halifax to give him any information about this

Tony Hetherington replied: You had a meeting with an advisor at your Halifax branch a few months ago. You asked about your investment, which you pay monthly, but the advisor replied that he had never heard of the plan. Since then, you have written to the branch twice without receiving a reply.

I asked Halifax what happened and a spokesperson admitted that branch staff would have been able to locate your investment account when you had provided them with enough information to do so. Halifax told me: ‘We regret the service Mr. M experienced as we believe we could have handled it better.’

Halifax now offers valuations showing that your investments span a wide range of funds and are worth just over £122,000.

And Halifax has offered you £35 ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ for not following up on your investments or responding to your mail. I can’t say this is generous, but I’m sure you’re relieved to see that your money is safe and has grown over the years.

My wife’s pension has been canceled

TT wrote: On 7 April we received our monthly bank statement and found that my wife’s pension had not been paid for five weeks.

We phoned the Department for Work & Pensions, and in 55 minutes we made three calls and were directed to three different departments.

Canceled: TT received his monthly bank statement and found his wife's pension has not been paid for 5 weeks

Canceled: TT received his monthly bank statement and found his wife's pension has not been paid for 5 weeks

Canceled: TT received his monthly bank statement and found his wife’s pension has not been paid for 5 weeks

Tony Hetherington replied: When you call for the first time, the DWP officer tells you – rudely says your wife has failed the security check. He tells you to call another department, but when you do this you are told that you really need to call back and ask one department to deal with the changes of circumstances, even though your circumstances never changed.

This time, you got lucky. A helpful young man explains that the DWP made a mistake and sent a letter to your wife to the wrong address. The letter was returned to the DWP, so the employee canceled your wife’s pension.

When I took a closer look at this, I found that someone at the DWP reversed the last two letters of your postcode. I suspect the rest of the address was auto-populated by the DWP computer, and this should suffice to send the letter to your house number but in a completely different way.

Officials say that because they were unable to contact your wife or to confirm her address with local authorities, ‘Mrs T’s account is temporarily on hold as a precautionary measure’. Your wife’s pension has now been withdrawn and wages are owed.

If you believe you have been a victim of financial misconduct, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email [email protected] Due to the large number of questions, it is not possible to answer individually. Please only send copies of the original documents, we are unfortunately unable to return them.



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