Consumer complains that online banking wasn't clear enough for opening a Lifetime ISA


Shelby though she had opened a Lifetime ISA online. But when her bank told her she hadn't, she came to us with her complaint. 

What happened

Shelby went online to her bank to open a Lifetime ISA. She paid her full year’s subscription into it using her debit card. A year later, she realised that she hadn’t received her bonus. She called her bank and they told her that she hadn’t opened a Lifetime ISA. They told her that she had instead opened a sub-account that was a standard general savings ‘pot’ and had named it ‘LISA’.

Shelby was very upset and disappointed about this, and she came to us with her complaint. We looked into both sides of the story to come to a fair decision about this.

What we said

We asked the business to show us how their online platform worked. They gave us screenshots that showed what a customer would do. They showed how a customer would click through when they’d open a general savings ‘pot’ as well as a Lifetime ISA. The screenshots showed that the Lifetime ISA option was listed under the option for a general savings ‘pot’. We felt that the website was clearly laid out and that the two options were separated enough to be considered as different things. The screenshots also showed how a general ‘pot’ would be recorded on the system, opposed to how a Lifetime ISA would be recorded.

Shelby told us that she just clicked on the link that the business gave her. We didn’t think Shelby was lying about this, and had genuinely intended to open a Lifetime ISA. But we didn’t feel that there was any evidence to show what had happened after she clicked the link. The business also showed us that they hadn’t had any reported faults on their system at the time Shelby opened the account. So we decided not to uphold Shelby’s complaint.