Page last updated at 09:33 GMT, Thursday, 23 July 2009 10:33 UK

OAP's payout after bank's advice

Isaac Price
Isaac Price says he is not sure he can stay with the bank now

A 91-year-old retired farmer has won nearly £200,000 compensation after he was advised by his bank to invest his savings on the stock market.

Isaac Price, from Llandrindod Wells, Powys saw his savings drop £75,000 to £125,000 in a year after he moved money into a Barclays investment fund.

Barclays which at first rejected his complaint, made the payout, admitting there were "occasional errors".

He accepted an offer of £193,865 to cover his losses and lost interest.

The pensioner was looking to boost his income to help pay for his care home fees, but did not want to put his savings at risk.

He had banked with Barclays for more than 70 years and said he trusted its advice.

This is money I have saved over years of hard graft and I thought I was in good hands when the adviser visited me
Isaac Price

But the fund he was advised to invest in turned out to be almost two-thirds in shares, leaving Mr Price's life savings at risk to the steep falls in the stock market.

Mr Price said: "I've banked with them all my life and my father was with Barclays before me.

"It's a big hassle at my time of life to switch banks, but I'm not sure I can stay with them after what they've done.

"This is money I have saved over years of hard graft and I thought I was in good hands when the adviser visited me."

Barclays rejected his initial complaint, saying it was "satisfied that these investments were wholly suitable in the first instance."

Vulnerable people

But the bank later changed its mind after an appeal.

Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrat MP Roger Williams said he would write to Barclays "to determine what their policy is, as it obviously needs to change."

A spokesman for disputes arbitrator the Financial Ombudsman Service said: "We are very concerned that in some of the cases we've seen, the firms involved have advised older consumers to invest in funds that are in no way suitable for their circumstances.

"We are particularly disappointed that when consumers complain, their complaints are being dealt with inconsistently.'

A Barclays spokesman said: "Whilst we strive for a flawless process wherever we engage with clients, there are occasional errors.

"To guard against this, we have a quality assurance procedure in place which had picked this case up."



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