I last wrote about our experiences with HBOS in This is not the bank you want, but tonight has proved that things really could get worse.
Towards the end of April we opened a new account with Halifax to try and get a better savings rate for our money. The account was, like so many these days, an online only account. To get the better rates of interest this seems like a reasonable compromise and given we already had internet banking setup didn’t pose any problems. We setup the account and arranged the transfer of some money from our older savings account that was paying 1/30th the amount of interest! All seemed to go OK and the account said it was setup.
When I checked our accounts online earlier this evening I was surprised to find no mention of the new account. I had received no confirmation or details of the account, but as it was an internet only account that wasn’t unexpected, but for it to not be listed was a surprise. When I tried calling their support telephone number I was greeted by a message telling me that it could be 20 minutes before they answered. Deciding to persevere I waited and after 30 minutes I was finally connected to an operator. After explaining the problem his initial reaction was
"I think I know what the problem is. We had a technical glitch last month."
Not being filled with confidence I went through security and after providing the details of the new account I had gleaned from the transfer details (having no other information the fact the details were listed was a relief) he confirmed that the account had suffered from “the glitch“.
As he explained it, “the glitch” basically removed all of my details from the account. The account was still there but was no longer associated with me! PARDON. So basically the bank had suffered an issue that meant a large amount of my money was no longer my money. They knew about it and hadn’t bothered to try and trace those affected. Had I not contacted them the account would have just sat there – with no apparent owner. I did check and it’s not April 1st, but surely this had to be a joke? One of the largest banks in the UK had managed to loose my money? In 2012?
To say that I’m astonished and very concerned about this is a mild understatement. Every time there is an issue with HBOS I say I should move my money, but after this it really is time to move.
The operator took my details and said the account would be reattached to my “profile” which should mean that within 48 hours I have access to and control of my money again. Time will tell.
The account has been linked and is now available.