Barclays’ blunder cost me £1,700
I went to a Barclays branch to ask about a euro account.
The junior cashier explained it was important to open a euro account otherwise the money from the sale of our property in France would be changed into sterling at the rate on the day.
A week later, I went back to the branch with my wife and saw the senior cashier, who asked for ID for my wife. She said that it would only take a week for the euro account to be opened and we would get details in the post.
Our bank in France sent the money to the UK. We assumed that Barclays would put it in our euro account. Instead, it turned out that the local Barclays bank had never acted on our instruction. This meant the money was put into our sterling account.
The cashier said she vaguely remembers opening the euro account and sent the application to the euro department.
The euro department apparently never received the request, so we were never contacted.
It is clearly Barclays’ fault. However, it thinks it can get away with £200 compensation when we have lost a significant sum.
The money was changed at well below the exchange rate that I would have got from other companies. VD, WARWICKSHIRE
Because of the mix-up, the money went into your Barclays account and was converted into sterling at the day’s buying rate. Barclays said that its buying rate is calculated by applying a percentage charge to the day’s midmarket rate (or reference rate) corresponding to the value of the currency conversion.
In this case you were converting €148,000. Barclays applied a charge of 1.3pc of the day’s midmarket rate.
Further to my involvement, Barclays reviewed your case. A spokesman said: “We understand that Mr D made the payment into his Barclays account under the impression that it would be received in euros and not converted into sterling.
“We are refunding £1,699.87 to the customer so that the conversion is processed at the mid-market rate and have credited £200 to his account for the level of service provided.”
This figure has no commission incorporated in it. You are very happy with this outcome. have received several estimated bills.
Then recently I was sent the correct meter reading and could see I had been overcharged. I rang Scottish Power.
Ten days later, instead of a bill of about £40, which I was expecting, I received one for £725.
I am 83 years old and was horrified. I feared I might have calculated incorrectly.
I wrote twice to Scottish Power but it didn’t reply. Then I phoned to get help and eventually received a bill for £37. All this worry has worn me down.
I feel that Scottish Power has been very remiss. GF, BERKS
After I contacted Scottish Power it apologised for the level of service. It said the bill was based on estimated readings.
A £30 goodwill payment has been applied to your account and flowers sent by way of apology.
Nevertheless, it does need to fully appreciate just how terrifying such inflated bills can be, particularly for anyone on a low, tightly monitored budget, as it appears you are.
pay them myself once I reached 25 years of age. I left the bank after just over eight years to raise a family. By the time I could return to work, there were no vacancies.
I have tried several times to get a pension from the bank or a lump sum for the contributions made on my behalf, but have received rejections on each occasion.
The excuses for my not having a pension have ranged from “you did not work here for 10 years” to “you did not attain the age of 30 before you left”.
Does this really make sense? WG, WILTS
You had been earning £5 a week and had perceived the pension scheme as an important and integral part
of the remuneration package. However, this was an era that might be seen as the Wild West in the pension world.
As you stopped working for the firm before April 1975 and didn’t actually pay into the scheme, it is likely you indeed have no entitlement.
More information about these old pensions is available from The Pensions Advisory Service. Visit pensionsadvisoryservice. org.uk or call 0300 123 1047.