SALLY SORTS IT: I tried to bet £20K on Norwich being relegated, but NatWest gave me the red card

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I wonder if you could help me with what I’m sure you will agree is an unusual case.

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In November 2021, I visited the William Hill store to place a £20,000 bet on Norwich City being relegated. When I inserted my card into the machine it was rejected even though there was £38,000 available.

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The cashier was ready for this and told me that since I don’t often spend that kind of money, the transaction was blocked to protect me from scammers.

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High stakes: A player who wagered £20,000 on a football bet had to settle for lower odds than he was initially shown after his bank’s team of fraudsters delayed payment.

I went to NatWest the next day to clear my card. But by this time all the odds had changed from 3-10 to 2-7.

While it was good of NatWest to take care of their customers, I didn’t ask them to, and it cost me £285.71. I asked for compensation but was denied.

Can you influence NatWest in any way to compensate me for this loss? I keep my cards very carefully and don’t let them fall into the hands of anyone but myself, so I feel that in this case the bank was too uniform in automatically blocking the transaction.

VL, York.

Sally Hamilton says: You can bet that I’ve never come across such a case before. And I chuckled wryly when I read what your £20,000 bet was on.

My predecessor, Tony Hazell, who retired as Readers’ Champion earlier this year, often mentioned his passion for Norwich City Football Club.

I suspect he would be mortally offended if someone bet on the relegation of his favorite team.

While I don’t have much of a sports affinity (indeed, my husband is an Ipswich Town fan – sorry Tony if you’re reading this), and so don’t get offended, I’m not going to go after NatWest for refunding your difference between the two bets.

In rejecting your claim, NatWest pointed to its terms and conditions, which include the fact that the bank may need to protect its customers and their money by asking for more information before accepting a transaction.

Such an unusually large payment to the bookmaker will be a big wake-up call. I can understand the bank’s caution.

Norwich City were indeed relegated from the Premier League in April and you won the bet. Even though the odds dwindled, William Hill paid you £25,714 – your profit was £5,714.

You feel hurt because the delay in placing your bet cost you money. I don’t think I would have heard from you if the odds had changed by the time your card was unlocked.

Am I harsh or fair? Readers, let me know who you think is right.

WL has a few more weeks to take his case to the Ombudsman before his complaint expires if he still believes NatWest offended him.

Can’t get power of attorney for business account

I am writing to you in desperation as I have run out of ideas as to where to turn next.

I have a Power of Attorney (POA) for my brother who has had multiple strokes as well as dementia. I tried to register a power of attorney with his bank, Lloyds, and did everything they asked me to do.

Fraudulent watch

Beware of scammers who call retirees to convince them to transfer their retirement savings.

The Pension Regulator (TPR) warns that these scammers may be financially knowledgeable and have reliable websites.

They are trying to lure pensioners into transferring their entire pension basket by making tempting promises.

But funds are often held in high-risk investments such as overseas real estate.

Sam Richardson, associate editor of Consumer Champion Which? Money, says: “Consumers should be wary of being contacted out of the blue.

If you receive a cold call, hang up and provide the number to the Information Commissioner’s office.

However, after talking to three different departments, I was finally informed that Lloyds could not accept the power of attorney because it was a business account.

I was advised to close the account and open a personal one for my brother, who would accept me as an attorney.

Then the money will be transferred to this account.

A few weeks later, it still hadn’t happened, so I chased after him, only to be told the bank wasn’t happy with my brother’s signature.

I replied that it had been 25 years since his original signature had been written down, and after his strokes and dementia, I was surprised he could write at all.

I spoke with the bank through proxy, complaints and accounting, they all promised to look into this issue, but nothing was done.

In the meantime, my brother’s money – about £15,000 – is blocked in a business account that he can no longer access to buy food or pay any bills.

He lives off the generosity of his friends and I have transferred £1200 to his new personal account. It pushed me to the limit. All we ask is access to his own money.

R.A., Royston, Herts.

Sally Hamilton says: By the time you contacted, it’s been about 12 weeks and the transfer of your brother’s £15,000 into his new account for his own needs hasn’t progressed.

This is simply unacceptable. I gave Lloyds Bank a serious push because I was shocked that you and your brother’s friends had to come to his aid when it became clear he had a lot of money of his own just waiting to be used. You could very well get by without the stress of it, other than worrying about your poor brother’s health and well-being.

A few days later, Lloyds came back to me and admitted that he gave you incorrect information about your brother’s arrangements and power of attorney from the start, which contributed to the delays.

He apologized and paid you £77 for the expenses you incurred traveling from your home in Hertfordshire to your brother’s bank branch in Middlesex, trying to sort out the mess…

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