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Fi­nan­cial trou­bleshooter Jes­sica Gorstwilliams is here to help you with your money prob­lems

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Readers’ Letters - WG, SUF­FOLK NB, SOM­ER­SET

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.

MD, OXON

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

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