The honest answer is that it is extremely difficult to work out whether your Packaged Bank Account (PBA) was mis-sold. The general rule of thumb is that if it did not feel right when you took the account, and on reflection you were not happy with the way that the product was promoted to you, namely you were in some way, shape or form coerced into taking the facility and you were not offered any other type of account facility, then there is a good chance that the facility was mis-sold.
This is why the Financial Conduct Authority became embroiled in an investigation into the selling of these particular types of accounts, because there is no clarity for the consumer in the way that the product was promoted to them. They were given very little information as to why they had to have the facility, other than the fact that it was in effect the only option to them. Very few people were giving the opportunity to have a “free” account. Many people were in fact actively discouraged from having a free account which levied no charge, as of course the Bank did not want you to have that account, they wanted you to have an account where they could take a nice monthly fee!
Not only did the Banks actively promote the new packaged facility in order to discourage you from having a free account, but they almost derided the fee free account for those people who basically had no money or income and just operated in credit. You would therefore be looked down upon if you had an account where there was no charge attached.
Likewise, the Banks would glam up the account where the packaged facility was applied by offering nice attractive paperwork and a fancy name, such as “Platinum”, “Gold”, “Silver” or “Select” to make you feel that bit more special, all of which has meant that the Financial Conduct Authority has had to bring the Banks to task in relation to the way that they promoted these particular products.
There are approximately 11 million Packaged Bank Accounts throughout the UK which are in operation. Therefore, the Banks are generating vast revenues by charging regular monthly fees. Following the investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority, the Banks are now having to deal with thousands of claims each week concerning the mis-sale of these accounts.
We are seeing ever-growing numbers of complaints coming in from clients who have the packaged account facilities and wish to challenge the Banks as to whether they were sold correctly. We work on our clients’ behalf purely on a “No Win No Fee” basis so, if it is established that the account itself was sold correctly, then of course there would be no fee to pay.
However, we are finding that on the majority of cases, that accounts had serious flaws and as such, we are obtaining considerable refunds on behalf of our clients, which take into account all the premiums that they have been charged over however many years that the account has been in operation, in addition to the interest, and compensatory interest on those particular fees for the same period of time.
If you have a Packaged Bank Account facility and, for some reason, you are not happy with this (either at the outset when it was sold to you or you feel or felt that on reflection that it was sold rather than promoted) and it did not ascertain whether the particular facility attached to the account was appropriate for you or cost effective, then we can look at this on your behalf, all on a “No Win No Fee” basis to ascertain if the account was in fact mis-sold.
As we work on a “No Win No Fee” basis you are protected should it be established that the facility was sold correctly and the facility has or was useful to you at some time.
The Banks are, at present, providing considerable sums of money in their annualised accounts in order to deal with the thousands of claims each month, and we can see no let-up in this, for certainly the foreseeable future.
Whilst this scandal will not be to the same extent or level as that of Payment Protection Insurance, it will still be considerable, and ultimately will cost the Banks several billions of pounds.