Financial troubleshooter Jessica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money problems
The vanishing £50 I sent to Denmark
I am writing to acquaint you with a problem we had when sending money to our son in Denmark. Through HSBC, our bank, we sent him £50, which is something we have done many times before without any trouble. This time, however, the money did not arrive. Some weeks elapsed before we discovered this as our son was slow in making enquiries about the money’s arrival.
The money apparently has to go through Danske Bank before being passed on to our son’s bank in Denmark. This time it could not be traced.
At our request HSBC made enquiries and was told that Danske Bank had been unable to find the money and the cost of making enquiries was more than the amount transferred, so it kept it. I wrote to Danske Bank in Copenhagen four months ago and received no reply.
My HSBC contact got in touch with Danske Bank and £55 (£5 for your costs) was paid at last. However, I remained uneasy that HSBC, of which you are a longterm Premier customer, had let you down over this relatively small sum.
With a further prompt and more questions it came back and said: “Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. While we will be raising the matter with Danske about its policy of not investigating items of less than 600 Danish krone [currently just over £70], we should have dealt with Mrs D’s issue differently to have made the situation easier for her.”
It has now written apologising to you and paid £50 as a gesture of goodwill.
Danske Bank explained that when it sends money between customers it is acting as an intermediary between one bank and another. If the account number is wrong Danske Bank is charged a fee by the end user’s bank. It is left to pay this and, for such inconvenience, it is its policy to charge a fee of its own. l
No one is quite clear what happened in this instance to this money. However, it said this policy was never meant to hit private customers. As a result of your experience it is looking to change procedures and now a dialogue with the other banks is ongoing.
Where can I go for consumer rights?
We have recently signed up for a phone we now feel is not what we thought it was. What are our rights on this? What is the easiest way to get free advice on my consumer rights? WG gives scant detail about how he acquired the phone and how long ago it was. I have tried calling him, without success. There will have been a cooling-off period, but this must now have passed.
Of course read, and possibly act, according to the terms and conditions. If there is breach of contract or misrepresentation, as he implies, and the phone cost more than £100 and he paid by credit card, consider a “section 75” claim under the Consumer Credit Act.
Danske Bank, based in Copenhagen, failed to track down £50