Have you ever been given the wrong advice?

Johanna Gornitzki's picture

I went into Barclays the other day to open a savings account where I could keep my money until I’d found the ISA I wanted. I’ve already got an ISA with Barclays, but it only pays me a paltry 0.5% so I’m on the lookout for a new one.

I asked the sales adviser if the bank offered any ISAs that accept transfers. His reply astonished me. He told me that although it didn’t have any ISAs accepting 
transfers, I shouldn’t worry – I could just take the money out of my current ISA, transfer it into my current 
account and then put it into a new ISA.

Now, taking money out of an ISA account means you instantly lose your tax-free status. Sure, you can regain it by putting the money into a new ISA account (if you haven’t already opened an ISA in that tax year), but it would count towards that year’s maximum allowance.

So, for example, if I withdrew the £3,000 I 
currently have in my ISA, put it into my 
current account and then opened a new ISA with the amount, I would only have £600 of my 
current cash ISA allowance left.

However, if I opted for an ISA that allows transfers, I could  transfer the whole amount I’ve got in my ISA without eating into this year’s allowance at all. When I explained this to the sales adviser, he eventually admitted I was right.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been misadvised, and it makes me worry that many more people are being misled time and again into making the wrong financial decisions.

Have you ever received incorrect advice from a bank worker? Share your experiences below...

Your Comments

In every bank meeting I go to I now carry a dictation machine. There is absolutely NO WAY they would permit this but I explained to them that they are happy to give out information and if I find its incorrect afterwards they will deny that it was ever said or implied. So I have it switched on BEFORE I go to the meeting then transcript it later.
Will not tell them I have one on me now..
Only one problem, it is not admissible in court!!!

Recently received cr card statement showing amount to be paid that had been refunded, but because of dates of posting did not show on that particular statement. Rang to find out whether I needed to pay full amount and receive CR on next statement. I was advised that that was not necessary and I only had to pay the amount outstanding at the date of our telephone conversation. I asked several times if she was sure that was the case and categorically assured it was.

However, I have just received notification from my current account that my account has gone into overdraft and incurred charges - for going overdrawn plus every day it is overdrawn as the full amount on my CR card statement had been paid!

(I was completely unaware there was a problem until I received the letters so think it is unfair that I should be charged before I know what the situation is and have the opportunity to rectify it)

I immediately rang the Cr card Co and was told that I had been given the wrong advice!

When time allows, I usually try to obtain everything in writing. These days it is so difficult to find anyone who is culpable because staff move around within the branch and from branch to branch plus it is very difficult to actually get to speak to anyone, instead you have to ring a (not always freephone) number and go through a whole rigmarole of pin numbers and passwords. So to be given the wrong advice after all that and to have to deal with the consequences is bloodboiling and extremely stressful.

Johanna, exactly the same things was said to me by a young lady who I spoke to at Barclays, where I have 3 years ISA's which is not getting anything, her comments were that I could cash the last years ISA and put it into their new ISA - when I challenged her that that was very bad advice and that I would loose my ISA allowance she replied that I would not expect her to advice going to another bank would I. I then asked to speak to a more senior person and she cut me off. I did not take her name so I abandoned the effort but have sinced moved my 3 ISA's and my husbands 2 ISA to Julian Hodge Bank.

Barclays is only interested in catching customers on headline interest only to then cut to a lower interest the following and subsequent years.

I should stay clear of Barclays for ISA. You would be better going for a slightly lower rate where you can transfer to new rates.

I asked for a rebate when I cancelled loan protection insurance as I realised that as I was only working a small number of hours it would not cover me, (they did not tell me this at the time) however they then said I had not taken out loan protection at the time so there was nothing to cancel. I argued but they told me this three times, eventually I found the insurance papers, and had to go into tjhe branch to prove it, apparently they had been "miss-filed)!! I got a rebate of £1500 which reduced the amount of the loan but not the time period (crafty) , I have constantly tried to up the remaining payments but they keep saying I cannot as the loan has to ride out its term. Does anyone know if this is true? They say they could re-do the loan and add some on (crafty!) but that means I will be in debt longer (it only has 11 months to go). If I could increase the montly payments I could ditch it sooner but of course they would lose interest, the rate is 16.5% as this loan was taken out in 2003!. Any comments gratefully received and I do love your site, its very informative.

Lloyds TSB sold me credit card payment protection cover over the phone and I was told that as long as I pay my bill in full every month, there will be no charge.
This was obviously wrong; as long as there is a balance on the card, there is a charge for the cover.
They didn't offer an apology or a refund.

I had heard that Santander put Standing orders up to the value of £250 through the faster payments system allowing payment to be virtually instant. I emailed them to confirm if this was true. I got a reply saying that Santander do not transact standing orders through the faster payments system. I went on the CHAPS website and checked the banks that use faster payments. On it it said that Santander do transact standing orders up to £20. I emailed them and said that their info may be incorrect. They replied saying that the information they put on their website is received via official channels and so is correct. I forwarded this email onto Santander. I then get a reply form Santander saying that they are very sorry but I have been miss informed and that they do transact standing orders up to the value of £250 via faster payments. I then emailed them again saying that how can I in future trust anything that they tell me and that their customers are their greatest asset so look after them! I did not get a reply back.

We were advised by a Barclays Financial Advisor to take the money out of our dormant Endowment policy and put it into an ISA. We did this on the proviso that we would not loose any money paid in to the Endowment. Funnily enough we did loose money as they refused to pay back the extra and that Advisor was promoted! We now we have an ISA that is 10 years old and is worth £1000 less than the £7000 we put in. Barclays sold our ISA to Legal & General after approx 5/6 years to add insult to injury. We did change banks though!!! Stay away from Barclays! If anyone has any good advice we would be grateful to hear it.

That is quite shocking. I think the main problem is that bank staff are tied agents so their advice is limited to the products they sell. It is much better to speak to an independent advisor if you're not sure as they can recommend suited products from the whole of the market. My other concern with bank staff is that they sell a whole load of products with very little specialisation in any of them!

In most of all these cases, the recipient of false or misguided information should sue. Why should you pay for the bank's error. Sue, especially if you have evidence.!

Was recently offered advice by Barclays to transfer money from old cash Isa into a fixed income bond over five years,I initually agreed then had some doubts so spoke again with financial planner who assured me there was no risk,when the paper work arrived I noticed this involved stocks and shares and cancelled before the cooling off period was up.
Now the funds have been taken out of an Isa the bank refuses to put them back.
I was not informed regarding this nor was i told about the stocks and shares element of the fixed income bond.So it would seem I have lost the tax free status from my money through bad advice,I have logged a complaint with the bank

"This is all too common in the banking industry. Sadly, the expectations on individual bank workers is huge. They are expected to retain knowledge on so many different options there is going to be times where the information is incorrect at best and like this situation just plain misleading. In our experience ensure that your own due diligence is carried out on the advice provided and secondly build a relationship with your bank manager and or bank relationship manager. It is the relationship like in any business that will ensure added service and mostly likely a greater effort to ensure your needs are being met.




This happens with monotonous regularity and yet I don't consider it to be the individuals concern. It is education and constant change that bring this about. How do we expect bank workers to fully comprehend the every changing products, the rates, the approval criteria etc. Why don't we as a global consumer, start demanding that we slower the pace of changing products and maybe, just maybe the banks may be able to train their staff.

I was wondering if anybody could help me, a few years ago I went to open an ISA account at the Halifax, the woman I spoke to said that that kind of account came with a credit card, which I didn't want, but she kind of forced it on me saying that I should have it incase I ever needed anything. So, I ended up taking it. In conversation a while later I mentioned this to somebody and they said that this was not the case and that a credit card is totally different. I then contacted the bank to inform them of what had happened and I received a letter back from them apologising. I was wondering if anything could be done about this as in a way I was mis-sold it

To me it sounds like unqualified sales advisers giving advice which is not theirs to give. This is a training issue (when I worked for a bank, it was clearly understood that financial advice of any sort was not to be given and customers were to be referred to a financial adviser).

Sales assistants complete rudimentary training and are not professionals. You should always seek advice from an FSA-regulated professional where you have the FSA and, in some cases the law courts, to fall back on if you receive poor advice.

"I was wondering if anything could be done about this as in a way I was mis-sold it"

Unless you suffered any financial loss through having your credit card, I would say 'no.'

Related articles