If you are considering recovering your Packaged Bank Account (PBA) charges, and the claim is upheld, you can look at recovering three, possibly four elements, as follows:-
1. The first part of any refund will be the charges that have been applied on your account which are associated with the packaged account, namely the monthly fee of between £10 and £30.
However, the Bank may put a time limit on the level of charges that they do refund. This is because they sometimes stipulate in their “conclusion letters” that you should have known that you could have complained earlier, or the complaint was out of time, and so therefore any refund should not apply to earlier accounts. This part can of course be challenged, but it is an option open to the Lenders in order to dismiss or reduce claims considerably.
2. After the account charges have been refunded, the Bank then needs to reflect the amount of interest that was charged upon the account and refund the amount of interest that would have accrued against the specific charge.
This is calculated at a rate which was associated with the account in question. The refunds in regard to this are relatively small, but do still add up. Again the amount of refund does reflect upon the level of charges, but it is normally about a quarter of the fees applied.
3. The final element when refunds are considered is the 8% compensatory fee which is applied against not only the refunded account charges, but also the interest which has been calculated as a combined amount for the duration of the period involved.
This is not usually (due to the length and period that the account has been open) a vast sum of money but can add up with the other interest payments coming in. It is usually approximately 15% of any charges that have been applied. This is only a rough guestimate, and can vary depending upon the length of time that the account has been in place.
4. There is a question mark over the fourth potential refund that you can obtain. That is any other fees or financial loss that you have suffered as a result of the account package fees being levied.
This is a surprisingly underused part of any claim because it can be difficult to present and needs to be factually based. We represent a large number of clients where we have obtained refunds for them in relation to Packaged Bank Account fees. We look at then applying to the Bank for any associated fees that have been charged as a result of the initial fee being charged in the first place. This does relate primarily to the account over-limit or excess fees, depending on how the Bank wishes to portray them, and it is in relation to those fees that we have applied to accounts, as a result of money being taken from it in relation to the fees from which a refund has already been obtained.
By way of an example, in April 2007 a packaged account fee was taken from your account of £20. Two or three days later a direct debit was presented to the same account, but was either not paid or a fee was charged for going over a facility by under £20, and so another fee was applied. This particular fee can be recovered. Of course, this then mounts up and we can look at any other fees month-on-month after this, where instead of the following month being an excess of £20, it would be an excess of £40 as two fees will have effectively been taken from your account, and so forth.
As you can see it can become, not so much complicated – but confusing, and you may feel uncomfortable presenting this to the Bank. This is why we represent large numbers of clients in relation to this particular issue.