Cash agony of widow

Barclays Bank,Sheffield
Barclays Bank,Sheffield
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A GRIEVING Sheffield widow who nursed her cancer-stricken husband for five years was put through fresh hell after he died, when a vital £10,000 payment went missing for a year.

Mum-of-two Maxine Watkins had to sell her car to make mortgage payments after the sum – from husband Nigel’s life insurance – got lost.

File photo 18/03/11 of a general view of a branch of Santander in Manchester city centre. Santander UK said today that new rules which force it to hold more cash to protect against future financial crises were behind a 9% fall in profits and warned the impact is likely to be felt until 2013. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 27, 2011. The UK's fifth biggest bank said regulatory costs had increased by �253 million as profits in the nine months to September slipped to �1.65 billion. See PA story CITY Santander. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

File photo 18/03/11 of a general view of a branch of Santander in Manchester city centre. Santander UK said today that new rules which force it to hold more cash to protect against future financial crises were behind a 9% fall in profits and warned the impact is likely to be felt until 2013. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday July 27, 2011. The UK's fifth biggest bank said regulatory costs had increased by �253 million as profits in the nine months to September slipped to �1.65 billion. See PA story CITY Santander. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Jobless and “off the planet” with grief she repeatedly contacted Santander, the sender, and Barclays. But the trail went cold.

Maxine, of Station Lane, Oughtibridge, said: “It has been a nightmare. I didn’t even know what planet I was on after Nigel died. My aim was just to get through Christmas with the boys.

“I’d push it to the back of my mind hoping that one day I would get a letter saying it had been found.

“It was the last thing I needed at that time. I’d had to give up work to look after Nigel. And when he passed away I had to look after Tom and Ben.

“But when the money failed to arrive I suddenly had to find £16 interest a day plus fees and disbursements – money I simply didn’t have. So I sold the car for some fast cash.

“Eventually, I sent another £10,000 and the mortgage was cleared, but the first payment failed to reappear.

“It’s been five months since I heard from Santander. The last time I went through everything again and I was left feeling like a criminal.

“Each bank told me to go back to the other. Then a friend said if you don’t do something the banks will drop it and he contacted Action Desk.”

THE money was found in a Barclays account a week after The Star launched an investigation.

A Barclays spokesman said they would pay Maxine £1,000 compensation – but insisted the payment was sent with the wrong details.

He added: “Unfortunately, the details provided on the payment instruction were insufficient to ensure the funds could be correctly applied to the mortgage account. This instruction did not provide details of the mortgage account to be credited and simply stated Transfer to Woolwich.

“Following contact from Mrs Watkins in January 2011, it was not possible, despite our best efforts, to locate the funds from the details provided.

“The customer was advised to contact her bank to request for a payment trace to be arranged which would ensure the funds could be located and correctly applied.

“Following further information, the funds have now been located and returned.

“In view of the inconvenience caused we have offered Mrs Watkins £1,000 as a gesture of goodwill.”

A Santander spokewoman said they would pay £250 to Maxine – but insisted it had supplied the correct details.

She added: “We are sorry for the problems Mrs Watkins experienced during this difficult time and as a gesture of goodwill, we have offered Mrs Watkins £250.”