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    • squeekswhenwalking
    • By squeekswhenwalking 12th Jan 19, 4:28 PM
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    squeekswhenwalking
    Sue bank over lost account?
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:28 PM
    Sue bank over lost account? 12th Jan 19 at 4:28 PM
    Hi wondered what your thoughts are: in the late 1990's I had a TESSA (tax exempt special savings account) with N&P as a long term investment with £3000 in it. Fast forward a decade or so and I wanted to draw the money out. In the meanwhile the bank/bs has changed hands twice and is now Santander.
    They don't recognise the account number and there response is, we'd have transferred the money into an ISA.
    I paid for the archives of the TESSA to be sent, however they just sent me all of the ISA statements, which show that the money from the TESSA didn't end up in there.
    The ombudsman weren't any help.
    A friend has suggested I make a claim against Santander in the small claims court. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Page 1
    • masonic
    • By masonic 12th Jan 19, 4:32 PM
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    masonic
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:32 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:32 PM
    All they would need is your NI number to identify the account. If they've done that and come up blank, you'd want to be VERY sure of the facts before taking it as far as small claims.

    But you could, for free, raise a formal complaint and take that to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you don't get anywhere. edit: missed the fact you've already gone down that route.
    • fiestaman87
    • By fiestaman87 12th Jan 19, 4:49 PM
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    fiestaman87
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:49 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 19, 4:49 PM
    My father had an account 'lost' by Santander.

    I'm not sure of the details or amount (I would consider it rude to ask him) but knowing my father it wasn't a small amount. When they 'found it' he withdrew all of the money, closed the account and vowed never to use Santander again.

    I've had dealings with Santander (and previously Alliance & Leicester) for over 10 years and I've never had any issues with them.
    Total Savings: HSBC £2,500.00, Marcus £260.13, TSB £1,500.00, Virgin Money £1,250.19 - Total £5,510.32
    Save 12k in 2019 Challenge - £,1753.13
    Total Debt: Barclaycard (0% APR) £2,550.00, Santander CC (0% APR) £3,821.00, Santander Loan (3% - for car) £3,956.87, Mortgage £50,344.40 (1.5% APR) - Total £60,672.27
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 12th Jan 19, 5:11 PM
    • 97,596 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:11 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:11 PM
    A friend has suggested I make a claim against Santander in the small claims court.
    What evidence could you present the court that it still existed?
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Aretnap
    • By Aretnap 12th Jan 19, 5:47 PM
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    Aretnap
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:47 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:47 PM
    What evidence we you able to offer the Ombudsman and why did they reject your complaint? Can you offer more evidence to a court?

    (Assuming you made a formal complaint to the Ombudsman rather than just an informal phone call - if not that should be your first step.)
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 12th Jan 19, 5:49 PM
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    EachPenny
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:49 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:49 PM
    Hi wondered what your thoughts are: in the late 1990's I had a TESSA (tax exempt special savings account) with N&P as a long term investment with £3000 in it. Fast forward a decade or so and I wanted to draw the money out. In the meanwhile the bank/bs has changed hands twice and is now Santander.
    They don't recognise the account number and there response is, we'd have transferred the money into an ISA.
    I paid for the archives of the TESSA to be sent, however they just sent me all of the ISA statements, which show that the money from the TESSA didn't end up in there.
    The ombudsman weren't any help.
    A friend has suggested I make a claim against Santander in the small claims court. Any advice or thoughts? Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Originally posted by squeekswhenwalking
    So they had converted the TESSA into an ISA and Santander had a record of it? Or am I misunderstanding?

    If so, then it doesn't seem to be a case of a lost account, but that an amount of money has gone missing?

    Have you asked them for the TESSA documents again? That was after all what you originally requested.

    Also, about the timescale - you say a "decade or so"... that doesn't sound very accurate and covers a long period of time.

    Are you sure you didn't withdraw some or all of the money and have forgotten about it?

    It might be suggested that if you weren't checking the statements on at least an annual basis then it could easily be the case that you withdrew the money and simply don't remember doing so. How do you know for sure that you deposited the £3000 in the account to start with?

    On the face of the facts you've presented so far it sounds doubtful you would have any luck persuading a court that Santander owe you money, especially in the absence of documentary evidence and also given the possible time elapsed between you discovering the problem and now making the claim.
    • masonic
    • By masonic 12th Jan 19, 5:59 PM
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    masonic
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:59 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jan 19, 5:59 PM
    The ombudsman weren't any help.
    Originally posted by squeekswhenwalking
    Coming back to this, if you've had a final decision from an Ombudsman, the case will be summarised (anonymised of course). If you post the case reference people will be able to review and offer more specific help.
    • jimjames
    • By jimjames 12th Jan 19, 8:36 PM
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    jimjames
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:36 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 19, 8:36 PM
    Also, about the timescale - you say a "decade or so"... that doesn't sound very accurate and covers a long period of time..
    Originally posted by EachPenny
    TESSAs ceased to exist around 2000 so two decades or so. Bit of a long time to wait I think
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
    • short butt sweet
    • By short butt sweet 13th Jan 19, 12:45 AM
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    short butt sweet
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 12:45 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 12:45 AM
    i don't think they would have converted a TESSA into an ISA without your telling them to do so. when a TESSA reached the end of its 5-year term on a date after ISAs had been introduced (6 april 1999), it was possible to roll the original capital from the TESSA - but not the interest - over into a "TESSA-only ISA", which is then effectively just the same as any cash ISA. but they wouldn't (or shouldn't) do that without your telling them to do so at the time.

    even if it was rolled over, the interest from the TESSA would end up not in any TESSA or ISA, so presumably in some kind of ordinary savings account. and if it wasn't rolled over, both capital and interest would again end up not in any TESSA or ISA, so presumably in an ordinary savings account.

    so perhaps you should be asking them to look in their archives for ordinary savings accounts, specifically for an account opened 5 years after your TESSA started. you could try arguing that they've done the wrong kind of search, so they should do another search of their archives for no further charge. though i'm not sure whether that one would fly.
    • Reed_Richards
    • By Reed_Richards 13th Jan 19, 8:50 AM
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    Reed_Richards
    The problem with any "lost" bank account must be proving that you didn't withdraw the money (or transfer it elsewhere). It's an act of faith when you deposit money with a bank that the bank will keep good enough records so that they know when your money has been deposited-to and withdrawn-from your account and will report this information honestly. Is there a "statute of limitations" meaning that banks are not obliged to keep records for longer than a certain period of time? Because if not and it you have printed proof that your Tessa existed I cannot see that Santander have a leg to stand on and how the Ombudsman could have found in their favour.
    Reed
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 13th Jan 19, 11:45 AM
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    eskbanker
    Is there a "statute of limitations" meaning that banks are not obliged to keep records for longer than a certain period of time?
    Originally posted by Reed_Richards
    There is the Data Protection Act, which obliges all companies handling personal data in the UK not to keep it for longer than is necessary, and this is usually interpreted to mean 6-7 years in financial services.

    Obviously if an account is still open then a bank should have records of it, but if it was closed more than seven years ago then they probably won't....
    • John G Jones
    • By John G Jones 13th Jan 19, 12:08 PM
    • 531 Posts
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    John G Jones
    The problem with any "lost" bank account must be proving that you didn't withdraw the money (or transfer it elsewhere). It's an act of faith when you deposit money with a bank that the bank will keep good enough records so that they know when your money has been deposited-to and withdrawn-from your account and will report this information honestly. Is there a "statute of limitations" meaning that banks are not obliged to keep records for longer than a certain period of time? Because if not and it you have printed proof that your Tessa existed I cannot see that Santander have a leg to stand on and how the Ombudsman could have found in their favour.
    Originally posted by Reed_Richards
    There’s more than a statute of limitations, there are instructions to banks to destroy records when they are no longer needed.

    We have quarterly online training in all of our policies and guidelines, and data detention & handling is a frequent one. Every piece of data has an expiry date associated with it, and it is irretrievably destroyed when it hits that date.

    If you search on this site you’ll see why; people get quite upset if a bank retains their records once they feel that they should not.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 13th Jan 19, 12:26 PM
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    tacpot12
    There is no statue of limitations for fund on deposit. The Bank should always keep your money and its record of who the money belongs to indefinitely. Banks do have the concept of dormant account, and in the UK after 15 years, the money might be passed to the Reclaim Fund for use, but your bank can always get it back from the Reclaim Fund if you come forward to claim it.

    Therefore Banks can under the Data Protection Act and GDPR retain your name, and any information that they can justify as needing to identify you (e.g. date of birth and last known address) indefinitely if they are holding your money on deposit. If you have closed the account, then your details should be removed once there is no possibility of a complaint arising from the account. The statue of limitations on legal claims kicks in here.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
    • squeekswhenwalking
    • By squeekswhenwalking 13th Jan 19, 3:03 PM
    • 177 Posts
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    squeekswhenwalking
    Thankyou for your replies, in answer to some of your questions, I have a paying in book and a deposit slip from 1999.
    I did make an initial enquiry with the ombudsman but whilst waiting for Santander getting the statements back to me and also not realizing there was a time critical part to their work, the ombudsman said I was basically too long getting the details and was time barred!
    Santander claim that the tessa was converted or paid into an isa but can show no evidence or details about which account if it existed.
    • squeekswhenwalking
    • By squeekswhenwalking 13th Jan 19, 3:05 PM
    • 177 Posts
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    squeekswhenwalking
    What evidence could you present the court that it still existed?
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Only the paying in slip and bank book
    • squeekswhenwalking
    • By squeekswhenwalking 13th Jan 19, 3:08 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    squeekswhenwalking
    TESSAs ceased to exist around 2000 so two decades or so. Bit of a long time to wait I think
    Originally posted by jimjames
    It was 1999 and a long term investment, I initially tried to sort this about five years ago. Fifteen years after the deposit. Had pretty much written it off as I'm getting nowhere but was recently suggested to me that I take the court route
    • eskbanker
    • By eskbanker 13th Jan 19, 3:20 PM
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    eskbanker
    What evidence could you present the court that it still existed?
    Originally posted by dunstonh
    Only the paying in slip and bank book
    Originally posted by squeekswhenwalking
    But the trouble is that these only prove that it did exist, not that it does, a crucial distinction when considering embarking on an evidence-based process.

    One avenue potentially worth pursuing, if not done yet, is to send Santander a Subject Access Request seeking all the personal data they have about you, and in particular all accounts you've held for which they still have records.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 13th Jan 19, 4:05 PM
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    EachPenny
    It was 1999 and a long term investment, I initially tried to sort this about five years ago. Fifteen years after the deposit. Had pretty much written it off as I'm getting nowhere but was recently suggested to me that I take the court route
    Originally posted by squeekswhenwalking
    Didn't National and Provincial cease to exist in 1996?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_%26_Provincial_Building_Society
    https://www.independent.co.uk/money/big-bang-for-two-building-societies-1307977.html

    There has been a previous thread about a missing National and Provincial TESSA, but the OP in that thread never came back with an update and hasn't been active since:-
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4112427

    You say "Santander claim that the tessa was converted or paid into an isa but can show no evidence or details about which account if it existed.", but earlier in the thread said "...however they just sent me all of the ISA statements...".

    So you do have (or had) an ISA with Santander - was this active in the relevant time-period and which bank/building society did you open that one with?

    You need to be clearer whether it is a lost account, or just 'lost' money.
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 13th Jan 19, 7:42 PM
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    Thrugelmir
    Only the paying in slip and bank book
    Originally posted by squeekswhenwalking
    What happended to the annual account statements?

    When did you last receive one?
    "You get recessions, you have stock market declines. If you don't understand that's going to happen, then you're not ready, you won't do well in the markets." - Peter Lynch
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