Claiming back Packaged Bank Account (PBA) fees is something that is beginning to take place over most of the Banks’ current account ranges. The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has conducted a study and found that there are serious flaws in the way that the Banks are promoting this type of product.
The Packaged Bank Account facility itself is a current account of which clients of Banks pay a regular monthly fee for. The Banks have always wanted to charge clients fees for operating a current account, as they do not of course make any money from the free current accounts that they operate. Therefore, the Packaged Bank Account facility offered them the perfect opportunity to generate considerable income and, as the Banks always do, they promoted it in a way that maximised their ability to sign up clients with minimum protection for the clients in question, as they did not establish that the account was fit for purpose.
Packaged Bank Account facilities tend to cost £10 to £30 per month. In order to justify the facility itself, they offer a range of benefits for clients. These benefits can include travel insurance, mobile phone cover, breakdown cover, as well as some other benefits such as discounted vouchers or annual subscriptions to organisations such as the National Trust.
There are approximately 11 million Packaged Bank Accounts throughout the United Kingdom. A considerable number of these have been mis-sold. In order for the correct sale to have taken place, the Bank must have established whether the product was appropriate for the client, and that the cost was justified. Of course we do not mind that the Banks make a profit, however the concern is how the Banks make a profit. If they do not protect the client through the way that they sell any products, in particular (in this case Packaged Bank Accounts) then they should be brought to task.
Sadly the Banks seem to do this on a regular basis, as can be seen through the various scandals, from the 1980s and 1990s involving Endowment Policies, through to Bank Charges and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) in recent years.
The Banks themselves are making considerable provisions in order to deal with refunds in relation to Packaged Bank Accounts. Whilst the level of refunds is not likely to be close to that of PPI, they will certainly be considerable, and in the coming few years are likely to reach well into the several billions of pounds region.
If you have a Packaged Bank Account and you are:-
- unhappy with it;
- are paying the fee;
- you are unaware of what benefits you do receive;
- or you do not use any of the benefits that they have attached to the product
Then you can of course look to make a claim.
We have worked on behalf of a growing number of clients with these types of accounts (whether open or closed) and it does not matter whether Bank the account has been open in the last few months or years. The numbers of enquiries in relation to refunds concerning this particular mis-sale is likely to grow throughout 2016 as people become aware that, yet again, the Banks have mis-sold a product.
All of our work is carried out on a “No Win No Fee” basis and so if, for some reason, the claim is unsuccessful and it is established that the Bank followed the correct procedures, then there is no fee at all to pay. So, as a consumer dealing with ourselves, there is no risk attached.