Long walk to financial freedom for pensioner

2010-07-31 11:31

Absa has agreed to launch an investigation into the ­disappearance of funds belonging to an elderly customer from two ­separate investment funds.

Margaret Magubane (71) of Ekurhuleni should know her fate before the end of the week.

Her wrangle with the Boksburg branch of the bank dates back to the early 90s when the bank was still known as Allied.
In the late 90s she discovered that both accounts were invalid.

Magubane said: “Imagine the shock when I learned that there were no funds available. What’s more frustrating is that the bank refuses to account for the missing funds.

“Instead of helping me, the branch referred me to Cape Town ­despite the fact that the deposit was made in Gauteng.”

In 1994, Magubane retired, investing a portion of her retirement package in two separate Allied Bank accounts.

On November 1 1994, she took out separate five-year investment plans and deposited respective amounts of R11 000 and R15 000 into both accounts.

A consultant who helped her with the investment provided her with copies reflecting the deposits and promised that the bank would contact Magubane about any developments. But that did not happen. Three years later, Magubane contacted the bank to check on the status of her investments.

A consultant explained that the investment term had not expired and advised Magubane to remain patient which she did.

In 1999, she contacted Absa but was advised to contact a Cape Town branch for further assistance. A bitter feud ensued.

Absa claimed that both accounts were no longer valid after ­Magubane had made separate withdrawals the previous year. She countered this and Absa promised to investigate the matter, but the bank failed to provide her with feedback.

This marked the beginning of a long walk to financial freedom for Magubane who fought a losing battle with Absa over the matter.

A friend advised her to request Hotline to intervene and we referred the complaint to Absa three weeks ago.

Hotline submitted information that should assist with investigations on behalf of Magubane.

Absa promised to provide feedback before the end of this week.

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