TONY HETHERINGTON: Aviva refused to take my money … or return it

Relaxed: Aviva's website makes getting an Isa appear to be stress-free

Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail in the investigator on Sunday, fighting readers, revealing the truth behind the closed doors and winning victories for those who have been out of pocket. Discover how to contact him below.

Mrs. J.J. writes: I ventured on Aviva's website on March 20 to open an Isa, but what a calamity it turned out to be. Three days later I received an email saying that I had failed at Aviva's security checks on my identity and my bank details. But, unknown to me, Aviva had already taken my money. This was despite the email that Aviva could not accept payments before the security controls were successful. Now Aviva will not return my money without performing the same security checks that I have already failed.

Relaxed: Aviva's website makes getting an Isa appear to be stress-free

Relaxed: Aviva's website makes getting an Isa appear to be stress-free

The timing of this is significant, because you requested to invest £ 20,000 before the end of the fiscal year on April 5.

If Aviva accepted his money and opened the Isa, it was fine. If he rejected it but returned the money immediately, he could have requested another place for a new Isa.

But if Aviva rejected you for an Isa, but clung to your cash, you would have missed the opportunity to use your tax-free ISA allowance for 2017-18.

At first, it seemed that the problem had arisen because he had paid such a large sum with his bank debit card. It was assumed that the Aviva systems could not take this, but their payment was made anyway. Aviva told me that this was a mistake and apologized to you.

The additional research brought to light a more basic problem. At the time he requested the investment, he moved out of the house. You gave Aviva your new address, but not a single record was found to confirm that you lived there.

This yielded a red flag under the money laundering rules that all investment firms must follow when verifying identities.

After discovering that she was still moving into her home in March, Aviva carried out her checks using her previous address. These checks have been successful and Aviva has offered to set up its Isa, dated before March, so that it does not lose the annual tax-free allocation.

You have accepted and left your £ 20,000 with Aviva.

A spokesperson told me: "We regret the problems when configuring Isa of Ms. J. We have successfully confirmed her identity and we have configured the Isa, dated before we received the money, we have also paid her £ 150 as a gesture of good Will.

Excellent result

Your catalog of refund problems has a happy ending

R.B. writes: I received two letters addressed to my wife from the catalog firm JD Williams, both with attached checks for PPI rebates. One was for £ 244 and the other for £ 297. But my wife died in 2015 and our joint account no longer exists. The bank asked me to contact the company and request that I be paid. Then I contacted JD Williams and they asked me to return the checks, which I did, but I have not heard from since.

Behavior of the model: the JD Williams catalog presents the television anchor and model Lisa Snowdon

Behavior of the model: the JD Williams catalog presents the television anchor and model Lisa Snowdon

Behavior of the model: the JD Williams catalog presents the television anchor and model Lisa Snowdon

When I contacted them, JD Williams staff went the extra mile to track down what went wrong. He tried to deposit the checks in his bank. He had tried to get the mail-order company bank to honor them before he returned the checks as they had been sent to his wife and not to you.

But the JD Williams bank believed that his bank had accepted the checks and had been paid.

Now this explanation has been given, plus a goodwill payment to compensate for the delay.

You told me: I received a check for the full amount, plus 8 percent interest and another £ 100. This was totally unexpected. You have achieved in a month what I could not do in six months. I am very grateful ".

You're welcome.

Do you want the good news or better news about the tax bill?

K.C. writes: In 2009, after turning 60, I retired early. Since then, my income has been a modest teacher's pension, a personal pension from Canada Life and some small savings income. Now that I am 68 years old, I have also received the state pension for the last three years. All this was declared to Revenue & Customs in 2009. But recently I received a tax coding notice that shows that I owe an estimated £ 2,440. The tax office says that this is because my Canada Life pension was not taxed. This increase in my tax is causing considerable anxiety.

There is good news, and then there is better news. I asked the staff of the Recipe headquarters to investigate what had gone wrong and, with commendable frankness, they told me: "To be honest, we do not know what went wrong."

Your records show that you declared your Life pension in Canada and your tax office learned about it in 2009. The income staff believes that you had asked to be taxed at the basic income tax rate. But full Income records do not go back that far, so officials can not be sure that the correct instructions were sent to Canada Life or, if they were sent, that they were received.

The good news is that a check has shown that the outstanding tax is only £ 219, not £ 2,440. The best news is that your tax office is going to cancel the £ 219. The best news is that, although I did not suggest this, the Department of Revenue gave you £ 35 as a gesture of goodwill to compensate your concern about the issue of tax arrears.

If you think you are the victim of a financial wrongdoing, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or e-mail Due to the high volume of queries, personal answers can not be given. Please send only copies of original documents, which we regret can not be returned.

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