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Which? Report - UK Banks - bad advice on ISA's


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UK banks including RBS, HSBC and Barclays are failing to give customers the right advice on transferring and managing cash ISAs according to research by consumer group Which?.


HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Yorkshire Bank and First Direct were among the banks and building societies which failed to give correct answers to three questions on cash ISAs in more than half of the calls Which? made as part of its investigation.


Which? placed 180 calls to 15 leading banks and building societies to assess the quality of advice on transferring cash ISA savings.


Only 16 of the 180 calls made gave correct answers to all the questions asked by Which?


Santander, Co-operative and National Savings and Investments (NS&I) came out best with their cash ISA advice although NS&I, which gave the most right answers, only answered 72% of the questions correctly.


RBS, Yorkshire Bank and HSBC gave the lowest number of correct answers, with RBS at the bottom scoring on 33%.


Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which? said banks and building societies were falling short in providing basic information about cash ISA transfers.


‘Without reliable advice, customers could be put off from moving their money or worse still lose out as a result of misleading information,’ he said. ‘We want to see better training for frontline staff as part of the big change that's needed in banking, so that banks put customers first.’


Which? said HSBC scored ‘particularly badly’ with advice on rules about transfer amounts and said one member of staff said you had to transfer a minimum of £10,000 despite the correct answer being £5,640.


Six out of 12 calls made to Yorkshire Bank resulted in being given the incorrect ISA limit with answers ranging between £5,340 to £5,620 and one member of staff said there was no limit at all.


Which? also said one RBS staff member gave ‘dangerously wrong’ advice in relation to transferring cash ISAs. The staff member told a Which? researcher that all they needed to do was withdraw their funds, close the account and transfer it to someone. Which? said this would lose the tax-free status of the ISA.





Sadly I am not surprised at this at all. 8-)

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