Super Complaint into Cash ISA transfers launched - let the OFT know you views

edited 27 April 2010 at 8:33PM in ISAs & Tax-free Savings
87 replies 12K views


  • I started my first ISA last year (Birmingham Midshires) and I have to say I think the system is awful as is stands. I deal with fairly complicated issues at work every day but found information to be very poor and the transfer forms etc to be far too complicated and the whole thing very difficult. My particular complaints/suggestions for imporvement are as follows:

    1. The statement I receive does not have the interest rate on it looks like a toy statement! I also had to request a statement - all I recieved was a letter telling me that my ISA was due to mature. The interest rate should be clearly displayed on the statement so that you can quickly see when you have been dropped on to a low rate.

    2. The statement does not set out what I have paid in for each ISA year - it is therefore difficult to see how much allowance I have left for a particular year. Statements should be clearly set out with the amount held in each ISA year as it is an annnual allowance.

    3. Many account are restricted access, ie postal only. However, I had to ring for a statement all the time. If the account is restricted, the bank should be forced to account to the client using the method of restriction, ie if your account is postal only - the bank should send to you a statement at least quarterly BY POST so that you can keep track of what is going on.

    4. The Transfer forms from my new provider were very complicated. I can see there is an issue here as the concept is difficult to put down on paper - I suggest a model style easy to use tranfer form is designed and adopted by all the providers so that customers can get used to one style.

    5. For some reason banks tell us that internet banking is great for everything else but seem reluctant to use it for ISA's - both in terms of application forms and running the accounts. Odd.

    In conclusion the system needs to be made much more simple with clear reporting obligations placed on the providers. I am in no doubt that the providers are being deliberately obtuse in their current systems to maximise the amount of time they hold your deposits at the lower interest rate.
  • woodviewwoodview Forumite
    14 Posts
    Just completed two Isa transfers to First Direct e-Isa, Halifax took 12 days after bond matured, Nationwide took 5 days including Good Friday after bond matured.

    On both transfers they had the request to transfer weeks in advance.
    4 Posts
    I am an exixting customer and went to Nationwide last week with my transfer form and documents to transfer my ISA from their poorly paying one to the one paying 2.8% and was told I could have an appointment in about 2 weeks because there was no one there who could help me even they weren't busy and there were 2 employees who appeared to be doing nothing.
    Is this just poor customer service or have branches been told to delay transfers if it means paying a better rate of interest?
    I wonder if I should report Nationwide to the OFT?
  • glider3560glider3560 Forumite
    4.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    DENELEY wrote: »
    I am an exixting customer and went to Nationwide last week with my transfer form and documents to transfer my ISA from their poorly paying one to the one paying 2.8% and was told I could have an appointment in about 2 weeks because there was no one there who could help me even they weren't busy and there were 2 employees who appeared to be doing nothing.
    Is this just poor customer service or have branches been told to delay transfers if it means paying a better rate of interest?
    I wonder if I should report Nationwide to the OFT?
    If Nationwide are genuinely busy, then you won't get anywhere with the OFT.

    Nationwide's "ISA Transfer pack", which they provide in branch on request, contains all the forms you need and a freepost envelope so that you can fill the forms in yourself and post them to a processing centre.
  • HHHHHHHHoooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

    I feel compelled to add my support to help influence this area of a really poor banking system.

    I had a B&B ISA and wanted to transfer it to Abbey Santander (ultimately an internal transfer!). Went into a B&B branch in early April 2009 and completed all the paperwork. On 24th April 2009, I received a letter saying that my ISA had not reached maturity date (although it did not mention the date) so did I want to wait for the maturity date or loose 90 days of interest (no mention of any risks of waiting). I posted my reply on 29th April 2009 saying I wanted to wait for the maturity date before transferring. Then on 7th May 2009 they wrote to me again saying that my account had been closed and a cheque sent to the Abbey. However on the 19th June 2009 I then received a further letter to say that my ISA funds had come back from the Abbey as "the account you applied for with them is no longer available". "Your funds are now back in your B&B eSavings account" (no mention of the interest rate, or the name of the ISA).

    I phoned B&B last week (April 2010) to find out that I have 2p LESS balance than I did a year ago??? They did explain their excuse as to why this was the case. The whole experience has been a disaster....I have been put off dealing with Abbey and B&B again, but my experience with other ISA providers like FD has been fine.
  • I filled in the appropriate form, downloaded from the bank's website, to request Northern Rock transfer my ISA to First Direct in mid January 2010. About 2 weeks later, Northern Rock wrote back asking me to fill in the enclosed form - exactly the same one i had downloaded! I did this, sent it off by first class post, and they sent me a letter saying they acknowledged my request and would get onto it. About 3 weeks later, I received a letter from First DIrect saying they had been told by Northern Rock that my ISA, which was a fixed term one, had been transfered to a 30-day notice account (which in fairness they did write to be about but which wasn't an issue because i'd originally applied for it to be tranferred WAY before the end of the fixed term). this meant Norther Rock wouldn't transfer it until after the 30-day notice. It's now April 7th and I'm still waiting for the transfer! The funds seem to have disappeared into the banking ether and I've just been told the balance won't be credite to my new First Direct account until at least 8th May! That's 4 months after i requested the transfer!! Ridiculous. The system needs sorting out - fast.
  • JamJarJamJar Forumite
    43 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    About time this was looked in to. I've transferred PEPs and ISAs over the years and have always been puzzled why it takes so long to complete the transfer and the methods (and excuses) the bank use to explain the delays.

    On my last transfer (A&L to Natwest) last year I kept all the correspondence as I had been lucky enough to build up a decent ‘ISA pot’ which meant that every day of delay was costing me around £7 in lost interest payments – which is scandalous!

    I’m wary about switching this year even though there are some decent products on the market which beat my current rate.

    The sooner this is resolved in the consumers favour the better and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to claim for all the lost interest earnings.

    Wishful JJ.
  • coolmanlrcoolmanlr Forumite
    8 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Transfered a cash ISA from Halifax Bank Of Sctland to Fidelity networks. It took 3 months. Needless to say I was (and still am) totally outraged. The money was on the halifax account the whole time, just Fidelity Networks did not make the transfer demand until about 2 months and a half and then it took two weeks for the transfer to occur.
  • chrismalechrismale Forumite
    30 Posts
    I too had problems when I transferred £19,000 just over a year ago from Kent Reliance to Halifax. When nearly a month had gone by and no sign of the new ISA I called Kent who claimed they had received nothing from Halifax. I then had to badger Halifax to resend the information as nothing was happening. Kent then claimed they still had 30 days to make the transfer as they had not received the docs initially! Also with previous transfers I have found that they regard the 30 days as a Target not a limit as it was supposed to be.
  • At one time you could, almost, rely upon the traditional Mutuals but even they have joined the smart marketing, small print jargon.

    Case in point .. Nationwide, for so long the 'we wont suck you in, and then change things' adverts and now they are as bad as every one. Wife & I have max holdings for all ISA years and for almost a year we didn't notice the derisory less than 1% interest on some, yes their statements gave the amount but not the %, they should be forced to state the % rate alongside the actual money amount in equal sized font and point out better rates of any similar ISA products.

    ISA providers get away with derisory interest rates, it seems because you do actually get the full amount and no tax. However the temptation is to move outside an ISA for better rates, even with tax deducted, but then the tax advantage is lost for ever. We keep on in ISA's hoping things will get better .. will they ?

    Eventually we became rate tarts opening various regular savers, constant circular direct debits in and out of various accounts, diarising end of the bonus periods, and similar. As newly retd. we can find the time and now do this with five different savings intitutions. What a pain and how on earth can this be a productive sensible use of resources, time, staffing etc. Other folks can not afford the time even if they wanted to do it. All savers, and elderly savers especially because we can not increase our capital are being ripped off. We are the ones paying the Govts. bank rescue package as our money is increasing their profits to pay back the Govt.

    Despite the truth in what Martin always says about low returns on Premium Bonds, and we are investing with the Govt. via them, on principle rather than let a bank insult me I have withdrawn substantial funds from some and gamble with ERNIE. With interest rates so low it is not actually costing me a lot to do so. If possible elsewhere we play one shop/ trader against another and pay cash for discounts.

    The Govt. had the answers and could and should have put conditions on the bank / building recue packages and I do not hold much hope that any Govt will make any of them play fair with savings rates.

    icon8.gif Still, despite everything, totally debt free, only every day bills, and money in the bank for that rainy day when the roof needs repairing
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