Why is San­tander so slow to help?

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - READERS’ LETTERS -

My mother is 90 years old and in very poor health. I

have power of at­tor­ney to look after all her fi­nan­cial af­fairs, in­clud­ing tax.

As well as my mother’s cur­rent and sav­ings ac­counts with San­tander, to which I have on­line ac­cess, she also has a sav­ings in­vest­ment with what is known as the In­vest­ment Hub. I asked for the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion from San­tander in or­der to com­plete the 2017-18 tax re­turn. San­tander said it was not im­me­di­ately avail­able but would be in Au­gust. I rang San­tander after that

You fill in your mother’s tax re­turns on pa­per, for which the sub­mis­sion dead­line is Oct 31. Mind­ful of this, you wrote to me for help.

In­vest­ment Hub is cur­rently not set up to ac­com­mo­date pow­ers of at­tor­ney. San­tander ad­mits this is very un­sat­is­fac­tory.

It came back to me say­ing: “We’re sorry that the cus­tomer was af­fected by a de­lay in re­ceiv­ing the con­sol­i­dated tax cer­tifi­cate. This was caused by an in­cor­rect clas­si­fi­ca­tion ap­plied to shares held by a small pro­por­tion of cus­tomers on our In­vest­ment Hub.”

It told me that a week after my in­volve­ment you were is­sued with the cer­tifi­cates. In fact an un­dated let­ter had gone to your mother with the tax cer­tifi­cates at­tached rather than to you. This de­mon­strates fur­ther how the In­vest­ment Hub ar­range­ments do not work sym­pa­thet­i­cally for pow­ers of at­tor­ney.

As to your query about on­line ac­cess, San­tander recog­nises that it didn’t han­dle this as well as it could have done.

It says: “We’re aware and agree with the cus­tomer that there is an ob­vi­ous dis­con­nect be­tween hav­ing a power of at­tor­ney over some­one’s fi­nan­cial af­fairs and not be­ing able to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion on their in­vest­ments. We are look­ing to im­prove the abil­ity of those with power of at­tor­ney to di­rectly ac­cess in­for­ma­tion as part of our de­sire to con­tin­u­ally im­prove cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.”

It has sent your mother £100 to apol­o­gise for the de­lays and for how it han­dled your queries.

The bank urges any cus­tomers who want to com­plete a pa­per tax re­turn but are still wait­ing for their tax cer­tifi­cate to con­tact it ur­gently, given that there is very lit­tle time left.

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