If you are to make a claim on your Packaged Bank Account (PBA) charges, in other words you have had a Packaged Bank Account either in the past which has been closed, or you have one at present, then we can look at this on your behalf in order to obtain a refund.
Any refund would include the fees that you have paid in relation to the Packaged Bank Account itself, and these relate to the monthly fees of between £10 and £30 per month. In addition to this the Bank will add any interest that has been applied (at the prevailing rate of the interest charged upon the current account facility) which you enjoyed in addition to a level of compensatory interest, charged at 8%.
We are finding that in the vast majority of claims relating to an account which has been operated for between 5 to 7 years, refunds range from anywhere between £1,500 and £2,500. The actual refund does reflect the amount of fees charged to the account and, of course, we are only able to obtain refunds in relation to these particular fees.
If the account has only been operational for a period of 6 months to 12 months, then the refund is likely to be a few hundred pounds, but it is still something, nonetheless. We have also obtained refunds over and above £2,500 and, on occasions, over £3,500. Again, this all depends upon how long the account facility has been in place and the charges that have been applied on the account in relation to the Packaged Bank Account fee.
The vast majority of people who have these particular types of accounts, and indeed there are approximately 11 million accounts in operation in the UK at present, will find them unsuitable, as far as the way that they were promoted and sold. If you are unhappy with your account, it is certainly worthwhile you looking at addressing it, should you feel that the policy on the account was mis-sold.
Do not forget that the Banks are extremely effective at mis-selling, and whilst you may have thought that £15 per month was good value for travel insurance and mobile phone cover, if you annualise this to the £200 plus that it probably costs (and you can pick up annual insurance for full cover for probably £50 to £60 per year and mobile phone cover is usually attached to your contents insurance) it all of a sudden means that you are down by £150 at least on the cover that they have given you. So, when you reflect on an annualised figure how much they are going to charge you, it is an extremely poor product.
Of course, some people do enjoy the benefits of the account, such as the cheap tickets or savings on household bills and items, and of course on the reduced charges and fees when taking out other borrowing. This of course is excellent, and I would not expect anybody who is happy with their account to look at making any form of complaint. If you enjoy the benefits and you pay the money and you are happy to do so, then great.
The people we represent however have been paying these fees but do not really know why they have been paying them and have not utilised any of the facilities, or not found the product to be of any real use to them. In other words, they are just throwing money away – and money that they can ill-afford to lose.
If you believe that the product has been mis-sold in any way, shape or form or you feel unhappy with the fact that you have had the account or have had an account in the past, then contact us and we can look at this on your behalf. We work on a “No Win No Fee” basis to establish if the product was mis-sold. If it was mis-sold, we would then challenge the Bank and seek redress on your behalf.