The National Westminster Bank (NatWest) is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group and operates, like the RBS, several accounts including the Select Silver, Advantage Gold, Black and Select Platinum all of which are paid for bank accounts or, as the Banks refer to them, Packaged Bank Accounts (PBA).
The Packaged Bank Account (PBA) industry sprang up in the early 2000s for the majority of Banks as an opportunity for them to generate considerable revenue from clients, where no monies were being obtained for the operation of a current account. In order to justify the cost of the monthly fee the Banks added a variety of individual elements to the majority of the facilities making up the PBAs. These elements included travel insurance, mobile phone cover and breakdown cover. Across the Banking Industry there are approximately 11 million Package Bank Accounts in existence where a large proportion have been called into question. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulator has undertaken a study and looked at the potential mis-selling that has been taking place in relation to these particular accounts and the way that the Banks have both promoted, and also sold on a face-to-face basis these facilities.
If the Bank did not provide you with the adequate cover, as they are required to do so by way of the Financial Conduct Code, then the various fees that you have paid over the last few years since the inception of the account are potentially recoverable, along with interest and associated compensatory interest.
Whilst the scandal in relation to Package Bank Accounts (PBA) has not reached the heights that its compatriot Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) has reached, both in numbers and volumes of refunds, the levels of complaints are growing. Whereas in the first 6 months of this year, PPI attributed to almost 900,000 complaints, Package Bank Accounts contributed to approximately 500,000 complaints and so therefore whilst the levels involved are not at the same levels of PPI, they are growing considerably as people are becoming aware that the Banks have again mis-sold products which they should not have done, and this is leading to refunds for clients in relation to the various fees that they had to pay.
We have been operating against the Banks in relation to consumer complaints for almost 19 years and represent a growing number of clients in relation to the recovery of fees and associated interest on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis. We take the complaint to the Bank, after establishing the information that Package Bank Account fees (PBA) have been charged and the process employed by the Bank was unfair, and therefore fees were recoverable – all of which is on a no win no fee basis.
The NatWest, being one of the major High Street Banks, has a lot to answer for in relation to the mis-sale of these particular accounts and it is doing so at the rate of approximately 20,000 complaints a month, which is only likely to grow over the next 2 to 3 years. If you have had a PBA account then it is essential that the sales process is checked and any refund which is due is recovered to you.