Bereaved families are facing bureaucratic barriers, unsympathetic customer service staff and lengthy delays when trying to close the accounts of a deceased relative.
A report found that some customers’ accounts were accruing charges for weeks after their death. And some investment firms were continuing to apply charges until the account closure had been completed.
Meanwhile, banks – including Halifax, Barclays and Bank of Scotland – charge unspecified fees that can exceed £500 for settling pension agreements, claiming they reflect administrative costs. Billions of pounds of assets remain stuck with banks, insurers and pension funds because of baffling red tape and a vested interest in stalling claims, the report claims.
Of the 49 savings providers surveyed, 22 require relatives to queue on a phone line, or in a branch, to notify them of a death.