This question is prompted by the horrendous experience reported on the BBC programme Rip Off Britain today. Apparently a couple who thought they had a ‘nest egg’ to provide for a ‘rainy day’ found to their utter dismay when that rainy day arrived that their money had simply disappeared. A scam you say? Taken in by a rogue ‘cowboy’ firm? Oh,no. The BBC team report that 25,000 pounds (GBP) held for over ten years in a UK building society, during which time the society had been taken over by a high street bank,could not be traced.The couple’s passbook clearly shows an undrawn balance of the ‘missing’ amount. The bank claims not to have a record of the account in which the money is supposed to have been deposited.The story does not have a happy ending,at least thus far. A review by the Financial Ombudsman found in favour of the bank.
The names of the players are immaterial here. There is ,however, one good tip to take from this awful situation.If you tuck money away for a long period make sure you check regularly with the company or institution that everything is in order. At least once a year make sure you receive a communication from them. You can expect to receive a notification of interest or dividends earned, and often some form of annual report with business results. If you have not received anything you should contact them now! Finally, if you have changed your address recently do notify the company holding your money.