“Mis-selling Packaged Bank Accounts” (PBA) – whilst not as well known a phrase as that of mis-selling Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), it is likely to get more fame (if not infamy) over the next few years as the Banks are dealing with ever growing numbers of Packaged Bank Account facilities that they have mis-sold.
The mis-selling of Packaged Bank Accounts was highlighted in 2013 by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Claims have since been growing in momentum, certainly since 2014 and following which there has been a huge spike in 2015, as the Banks have set aside considerable provisions to deal with the thousands of complaints that they are receiving each week in relation to these particular types of accounts.
About 11 million Packaged Bank Accounts are held throughout the UK through the major High Street Banks, which include, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Halifax, Santander as well as some of the smaller Banks, such as Nationwide and The Cooperative. These various account providers have been using their need to develop a system to charge for the provision of a current account and used the Packaged Bank Account facility as a mechanism to generate considerable profits on a monthly basis. They are taking fees from clients of between £10 and £30 per month. In order to justify this fee the Packaged Bank Account holders are provided with a variety of benefits (which has been found to be, at best, poor or, at worst, completely useless for them). This is why the FCA conducted a study and has established that a considerable number of the Packaged Bank Account facilities were indeed mis-sold, and if a client places a complaint, this mis-sale can be addressed.
The product itself contains a variety of benefits, which range from mobile phone cover through to travel insurance and cheap excursions. Unfortunately, when taking the account out, they should have been fully detailed and it should have been established whether there were any duplicates, or whether the policy itself was any good, whatsoever. However, the main stumbling point that the Banks are finding themselves having to deal with in relation to these complaints is justifying why they sold this particular product, and why it was never discussed or disclosed in such a way that the client was aware that it may be more appropriate to take a fee free current account.
As a business we have been dealing with ever growing numbers of claims on behalf of clients. We have considerable experience in dealing with complaints across the board that clients have in relation to banking disputes. Therefore, taking on Packaged Bank Account charges is the next stage of our business. PPI claims continue to grow, but will eventually cease in 2018. We are seeing ever growing numbers of the Packaged Bank Account charge claims coming through. In cases where we are representing clients in successful claims, they tend to receive refunds between the figures of £1,000 and £3,000. This is because the refund encapsulates the fees that have been charged over the length of the account, in addition to interest, and compensatory interest calculated at 8%.
Therefore if you do have a Packaged Bank Account facility, and you feel that you were mis-sold it or that it is of no use to you, then it is important that we look at this to see whether any mis-sale has taken place and, if so, obtain a refund on your behalf – all on a No Win No Fee basis.