HSBC won’t stop hounding me
I have power of attorney for my twin sister, who lives in a care home for dementia sufferers. Eight months ago HSBC wrote requesting information needed to comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, (Fatca), which relates to the United States.
My sister has never had holdings in America and is British born and bred.
After trying unsuccessfully to telephone the number given for advice, I visited a local branch to explain we would ignore the letter. The branch assured me that this was correct.
Two months later we received a reminder from HSBC repeating the request.
A week later I visited the HSBC branch with the letters and the power of attorney for my sister. I was told the bank would need to see my sister.
On explaining this was not possible and again showing the power of attorney plus a passport, I was told that this was not good enough. JACQUELINE DUDLEY, BERKS
You visited the branch again where you duly presented a signed document from your financial adviser stating that the photograph on the passport was of your sister.
The assistant entered all the documentary proof that you had provided.
Your hopes that this was sufficient were dashed when you received another letter requiring the same information again. You wrote again with a certified copy of your sister’s passport. At one stage you wrote mentioning that you would be involving me if this was not sorted out. It made no difference and another letter then arrived saying the documents must be filed by a given date.
Further to my involvement, the process was completed. Considering the circumstances, HSBC offered a £500 gesture of goodwill.
HSBC apologised for the stress and inconvenience caused. It said it would be making changes to its power of attorney processes in light of this.
A month or so after the supposed resolution, you heard from HSBC’s fraud department asking for the same documents.
You explained that, bar her fingerprints, the bank had everything with which to identify your sister. HSBC said it was “extremely disappointing” that you were asked for the same information again and has offered an extra £50 goodwill.
It said it was urgently looking at ways to improve data sharing between teams to ensure this did not happen again. was a problem with the earthing.
The diversion did not restore the service and it turned out that TalkTalk had put a bar on your line.
The fundamental fault had been resolved but your phone still did not work because of the bar.
The compensation you were after was £3,500 in all for loss of business. Included in this was £370 for lost sales, £86 for staff wages, £30 for discarded dough balls and £57 for wasted meat and vegetables.
Further to my involvement, TalkTalk said it was prepared to credit one month’s service as a goodwill gesture.
Your monthly bill, you say, was just under £30. This was, TalkTalk said, a basic business broadband and telephone service.
TalkTalk pointed out that it doesn’t offer a service guarantee for a standard business line. It said that it obviously aims to repair faults as quickly as possible.
Sometimes though this can take longer than it would like, often for reasons beyond its control.
I don’t see this case as entirely coming into this category. It said that customers looking for more reassurance would need to take a more expensive Ethernet ( business-grade fibre optic) service.
I have suggested you look at any business insurance that you may have.
You could also consider having a mobile business number as a fallback if you can find one with reliable network coverage.
You were going to take this to the relevant dispute resolution scheme but are working so hard and the business is so busy you haven’t had time.
So things are not as bad as they might have been.