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QLD Westpac - Negligence - $84,500 Disappeared!

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Abdou Youssef, 22 August 2014.

  1. Abdou Youssef

    Abdou Youssef Member

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    Westpac Lack of Care.

    I have dealt with the Bank for about 40 Years. I have two Accounts. A Saving Accounts, $84,500. and Cash-management Account, $40,000.

    Last April, I was shocked to realize that my Saving Account has disappeared. The Bank-Statements shows only the Cash-management Account.

    The Bank-Tellers informed that the Bank has transferred the Fund over to the Government because the Account hasn’t been used for 3 years.

    COMPLAINT

    - I am using the Cash-management Account almost daily, for 40 Years and any investigation will reveal that I haven’t passed-away.

    - I have received no notification or any other correspondence from the Bank in this regard.

    - The Amount is my Life-long saving and I am using the Interest to cover many needs.

    - During last April, the Bank promised to bring my money back.

    - Yesterday, the 20th of August, upon my complaint, the Bank promised to try again to bring the money back.

    I am not a young man and this matter is aggravating my health in many different ways.

    I fear that my name might have invited such a lack of care, perhaps, victimization too. I have lost, as well, the Interest of some few months.

    Can I sue the Bank under Australian Consumer Law, for negligence, asking for compensation?
     
  2. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Abdou,
    I'm sorry to learn about your situation. I assume that your funds were seized by the Commonwealth because your savings account was considered "inactive". Unfortunately, it appears that you are not alone:
    Can you please clarify:
    1. When you complained to Westpac Bank on 20 August 2014, did you receive a complaint reference number?
    2. Did Westpac provide a time estimate to resolve your complaint? Westpac's Complaint Resolution document (PDF) sets out that most banking complaints will be resolved within five (5) business days but given that the funds were likely seized by the Commonwealth, this may take longer (Note - I couldn't find a similar reference on Westpac's website, but from ANZ Bank's note on unclaimed monies, I understand that it may take up to three (3) months for a bank to assist you to recover your funds from ASIC.)
    3. Have you escalated your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)?
    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
  3. Abdou Youssef

    Abdou Youssef Member

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    Dear John. R
    Thank you a lot for your prompt Response and Care.

    - The first verbal Complaint was informed during April, no specific time mentioned concerning “Time of Resolution”.

    - The second verbal Complaint was on 20th of August, time given for a Response was 3 to 6 Month for a Resolution.

    - No, I haven’t received a Complaint Reference Number.

    - I was surprized and disappointed that Westpac didn’t make any Research or contacted me before they transfer my Funds. Bearing in mind that I deal with the Bank, almost daily.

    - I assure that the Anxiety of losing my Life-long saving is greater than the actual loss of interest.

    - The Question is, would an Account of an Australian born man, bearing a typical Australian Name, be exposed to this Negligence ?

    - If Westpac's website doesn’t reflect any reference on this Problem, is it conceivable that I am the only Client, Nation-Wide, who hasn’t used his Account for 3 years ?

    - I haven’t contacted the FOS because I didn’t know of its existence. The Question is, do I have a Case, or should I, bearing in mind the Sound of my Name, accept this preferential Treatment ?

    Thank you again fo your Care and looking forward to hearing from you.


    Respectfully Yours,

    Abdou Youssef.
     
  4. John R

    John R Well-Known Member

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    Hi Abdou,
    Thank you for clarifying your experience with Westpac to date.
    I've since located information about unclaimed monies from the Westpac website. Based on this, Westpac should have notified you before they transferred your money to the Commonwealth.
    1. It is possible that your first complaint from April 2014 may have "fallen through the cracks". Because of this, you should consider contacting Westpac to receive a reference number for your second complaint so that it can be more easily tracked; and
    2. You should consider escalating your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 1300 78 08 08.
    Hope this helps. Please keep us updated with your progress.
     
    Worldly1 likes this.

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