Nationwide risked my UK visa by rejecting credit card payment

Nationwide’s mistakes in rejecting my payment and in failing to send me an explanatory letter could have led me to being refused entry into the UK

My visa application to the UK Border Agency in January was made invalid because Nationwide rejected my credit card payment. But it said it had no record of doing so. An immigration solicitor suggested I reapply with a letter from Nationwide explaining the situation. Nationwide insists it sent the letter but I’ve never received it. I waited two months in vain and finally had to send my visa application without the letter. MN, London

Nationwide denied rejecting your payment because, when you inquired in March, the person looked only at March payments. When it investigated more thoroughly, Nationwide found it had indeed rejected your payment in January. It did so because a few days earlier there had been a suspected fraudulent transaction on your account which it also rejected. But it did send the letter confirming, as it believed at the time, that it had no evidence of rejecting your payment. It sent this by special delivery which meant the letter had to be signed for. As no one was at home to sign for it Royal Mail would have left a card saying where it could be picked up. No one collected the letter and it was returned to Nationwide two weeks later. During that fortnight you told Nationwide you had moved house. Nationwide sent the letter again, but to your old address. It offered you £100 compensation but we both believed this did not reflect its mistakes and time delays which could have cost you your visa. Nationwide should have contacted you when it rejected your card payment so you could have explained it was genuine. It has raised the compensation to £150.

You can email Margaret Dibben at or write to Margaret Dibben, Your Problems, The Observer, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU and include a telephone number. Do not enclose SAEs or original documents. The newspaper accepts no legal responsibility for advice.

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