Dispute with AIB - move funds now or wait until resolved?

Sarah W

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1,167
After having worked in finance (mortgages) for twenty years this is rather embarrassing but here goes.....

As some of you may recall I left Ireland just under a year ago to move to Portugal. As I had sold my house in Dublin and was intending to rent for here a while I wanted a high interest account for the equity from the sale, my maturing SSIA and the proceeds from the sale of my car. Having checked AAM's best buys table, Finfacts, etc I went to AIB in Baggot Street (the branch I banked with) as they were offering a 4% instant access deposit account. I asked at the customer service desk if I would be eligible for this account and was told I was so I went ahead and signed the forms that the customer service adviser completed. I didn't receive a copy of the form or any written confirmation of the type of account, terms and conditions, etc. All I was given was a compliment slip with a note of the account number written on it. I subsequently deposited all the monies detailed above to the account - some of which I transferred to Portugal over the first couple of months but the balance of which have been left with AIB.

Fast forward to last Friday when I checked the balance of the account online to see how much interest had accrued; there has been one interest payment in October which was much less than I expected so I called the helpline to be told that the account was a 'demand deposit' account earning 0.7% payable annually. I immediately contacted the branch who said they would ring me back. They didn't (what a surprise!) but after several calls the original CS adviser said she had located the form I signed for a demand deposit account. On Monday I spoke to the branch manager and explained that I had requested a high interest account and that I would A. not have opened such a low interest account in the first place and B. left the majority of my savings in such an account when I am getting 3.5% interest in my Portuguese account. He was very sympathetic - in a non-commital way - and promised to look into the matter ASAP. He also said that, at the time, 85% of the enquiries they were dealing with were SSIA related which suggests to me that he realises his staff made an error in advising me of the available accounts.

On Wednesday I received an email from some-one else in AIB (also a manager) stating;

"We advise that an 'Instant Access Account' would not have been available to you as it was only for customers who had maturing SSIA Accounts i.e. a maturing SSIA automatically converted to an Instant Access Account."

They went on to say I can only get a better interest rate, going forward, if I move the balance to a fixed term deposit account. Eh, no thanks. I wrote back asking that the matter be referred to their complaints department and asking for the name, email address and telephone number of the person that will be dealing with it. As of this afternoon I've heard nothing back.

My question is (and congrats if you've got this far!) - should I leave the money with them whilst this goes through the internal complaints system and to the Financial Ombudsman or should I move it from them ASAP? Also any other advice or comment on my predicament would be welcome.

Sarah W
 

efm

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934
Whether the money stays with AIB or not shouldn't impact your complaint, nor should it make any difference when it comes to the regulator - if it was me I would move the money to the account that best suits my needs now.
 

ShaneMc

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152
Whether the money stays with AIB or not shouldn't impact your complaint, nor should it make any difference when it comes to the regulator - if it was me I would move the money to the account that best suits my needs now.
Totally agree - move the cash out now. it wont affect the interect you were owed on the account in the past. The only downside might be that as they are losing your business they may be less inclined to sort you out.
 

ClubMan

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43,880
The only downside might be that as they are losing your business they may be less inclined to sort you out.
That should not matter when you have the FSO to fall back on. Obviously (and you seem to be doing this already) get everything down in writing from now on. You may need it if you have to take matters to the FSO.

Did you not read the form that you signed which was prepared by the customer service agent? :confused:
 

Sarah W

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1,167
Did you not read the form that you signed which was prepared by the customer service agent? :confused:
Yes, I would have checked that my details (name, address, etc) were correct and if I had seen a quoted interest rate of 0.7% I would have stopped right there. I wasn't given a copy of the form or any other information about the account either at the time or at any time subsequently. When I moved to Portugal I arranged for my mail to be forwarded and advised AIB of my new address; I've received regular current account statements but nothing whatsoever on the deposit account.

Sarah W.
 

eileen alana

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476
This is awful, I do sympathise with you, you have lost out on what appears to be a substantial amount of interest on your savings. I can't believe the bank didn't give you any confirmation of your account details. There is a lesson for every one here. I think you are going to have a hard time fighting your case, however, if I were you I would move my money immediately from them and fight long and hard to recover the owed interest. I wonder if the Finacial Regulator would be able to advise you further on what to do?
 

Sarah W

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1,167
A quick update. I closed my deposit account and moved the balance to Portugal - AIB kindly waived the €32 fee. They've written to be advising that a demand deposit account was the correct account from 'examination of your account activity' but have offered me €500 as a gesture of goodwill.

I've submitted a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman.......

Sarah W
 

Lauren

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1,040
Keep us posted on how you get on...Do you know how much you are down as a result? How frustrating!
 
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