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Barclays is contesting the claim. But, in an interesting twist, Telegraph Money can reveal that when the complaint was previously assessed by the Financial Ombudsman Service FOSthe bank was found at fault.
The Ombudsman ordered Barclays to pay "a fair and reasonable settlement". The matter has now gone to the High Court. His will instructed half of the London home to be given to his daughter, Tinuola Aregbesola, on his death.
In summing up the case the Ombudsman concluded: Therefore, I would ask Barclays to come up with a settlement that would fairly and reasonably resolve the complaint — taking into consideration the value of the property and the intended gift.
The Ombudsman accepted this was technically correct. In an emailed statement, Barclays told Telegraph Money: It would not be appropriate to comment on the specific points raised.
We note that the Financial Ombudsman Service issued its latest decision in relation to the complaint raised by Ms Aregbesola on 19 February The Financial Ombudsman Service concluded that the matter was outside of the scope of its service.
But the FOS stressed that so far as its adjudicator had been able to assess the case, its opinion remained that Barclays was at fault. The legal position — and how to avoid similar problems Where parents remarry and enter into property transactions with their new spouse, wills bequeathing assets to children of former relationships need to be checked.
Sonita Hayward of solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp warned of "a real lacuna in the law due to the fact that will-writing companies are not currently regulated".
She said this is "particularly concerning when well known institutions such as Barclays offer such a service". Rip-off executor services have been the subject of previous criticism. In the Office of Fair Trading said: Clearly, problems with existing wills remain. Ms Hayward has experience of joint tenancy problems such as that raised in the Aregbesola case.
The only redress open to the disappointed beneficiary is for them to sue the party that prepared the will. The parent in question had remarried and owned the property jointly with their new spouse.
We were successful in recovering damages for them. Awareness of these types of claim arise at what is already a very distressing time and cause great additional emotional strain to families.
Whatever the detail in the dispute between Barclays and the daughter of its late customer, there is another point at stake here. Barclays is, of course, a huge, reputable financial services group authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. But the bank has chosen to wriggle out of paying compensation by arguing that its will-writing division is technically a separate, unregulated business, and thus not beholden to the Ombudsman.
Barclays did a shoddy job and should pay. Instead it has forced a bereaved daughter to risk thousands of pounds mounting a battle through the courts.Fc.
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