Have you been mis-sold a packaged bank account?
Research shows 73% of UK adults have been pressured into buying things they either didn’t understand or need. If you feel like you’ve been mis-sold you might be able to reclaim £100s.
Do you have a packaged bank account?
Packaged bank accounts are current accounts that come with a “package” of extra features.
This can be anything from mobile phone and travel insurance, to better rates on overdrafts and loans. They are also often called things like “reward”, “premium” or “gold” accounts – and you usually have to pay a monthly fee to receive the benefits.
An estimated 11 million people pay as much as £300 a year for current accounts with added benefits. If you currently pay or have in the past paid a monthly fee for your bank account, it’s likely you’ve had a packaged account.
Have you been mis-sold?
Second to PPI (Payment Protection Insurance), packaged bank accounts are the most complained about mis-sold financial products.
A bank MUST provide their customers with understandable information about what they are selling them, so they can make an informed decision about what they are buying. If a bank has given you clear information about your account features and any significant exclusions, then this is not mis-selling.
However, in many recent cases customers feel that they have been unwillingly signed up to these deals by bank staff and many have exaggerated the benefits of the accounts.
In many cases, the perks of having a packaged bank account have been explained so poorly that some people ended up buying travel or mobile insurance somewhere else because they were unaware that they were already covered, which means they ended up paying twice the price for cover. This is where mis-selling comes into play, because a bank has failed to explain a product to their client fully.
Here are some examples of how you might have been mis-sold.
- You were automatically signed up without being told
- You were told having a PBA would improve your credit score or your chance to get a mortgage or loan
- You were not offered the choice of a free account
- Your bank refused to tell you that you weren’t eligible for the benefits you signed up for
So, if you pay for your bank account but have never been made aware of what you’re paying for, you could probably make a claim.
How to reclaim?
If you think you’ve been mis-sold your packaged bank account, give your bank a chance to put things right by following our steps below.
Step one: Speak to your bank
You can either call your bank or visit your local branch to speak to someone. If you think your bank treated you unfairly, let them know why and what you want them to do about it. Banks are apparently rejecting lots of complaints about packaged bank accounts so be prepared to take it further if you have to and don’t let them trick you into thinking your claim isn’t valid.
Step two: Write to your bank
When making a claim it is important to give the bank as much detail as possible so you could write to or email your bank – this way you will also have a copy of the communication with your bank from the beginning of your complaint (which is handy if you have to move on to step three).
You can also include copies of your bank statements showing all the monthly fees you’ve unwittingly been paying as evidence.
Step three: Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service
If steps one and two fail and your bank chooses to reject your complaint, you can contact the independent Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who will talk everything through with you. You can call them on 0300 123 9123 or visit their website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Making a complaint to the FOS is free and you can do it yourself. The ombudsman will decide whether the account was mis-sold based on the facts it’s presented with. If it decides the account was mis-sold, it’ll tell your bank to refund you.
Have you been mis-sold a packaged bank account? We want to hear your story so comment below or tweet us at @MoneyMagpie.