Bank takes five months to pay teen

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A MAJOR bank has apologised after taking five months to give a teenager the cash from his savings account.

All Tracy Clarke and her sons David and Adam wanted to do was close their accounts with Santander, but it took months of letters, phone calls and branch visits and even then Adam did not get his money until the Bury Free Press intervened.

Mrs Clarke said the bank even had an automated phone dialler call her to put her in a queue to speak to a ‘resolver’ only to leave her on hold for 15 minutes and on another occasion the bank’s own Bury St Edmunds branch manager was kept on hold for 25 minutes.

Mrs Clarke, a school bursar from Kendall Close, Bury, and her ex-husband Steve were trustees on the boys’ account until their sons turned 16.

But in December, David, 17, went to transfer cash to Mrs Clarke for his car insurance.

“The cashier told him he couldn’t do it and would have to get his mum,” Mrs Clarke said. “I went and the cashier was so rude and said I didn’t have access to the account, either.”

Eventually, the cashier told her the only Steve could authorise payment. He backed her in closing all their accounts.

On March 26, she went to the branch where the manager told her David’s account was on hold because of returned mail and that a cheque was sent for Adam’s in January. David’s was then closed and a cheque was promised for Adam the next week. When that had not arrived by Monday, Mrs Clarke called the Bury Free Press.

On Wednesday, Santander’s spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry Mrs Clarke’s experience did not reflect the standard of service we aim to provide. Feedback and additional training will be given to help prevent other customers from being inconvenienced in this way in the future.

“To apologise to Mrs Clarke for the inconvenience she has experienced we have sent a goodwill payment of £305.”

Mrs Clarke was waiting for the cheque as we went to press.