Santander has been operating Package Bank Accounts (PBA) since the early 2000s where, in recent years due to the scandal that is brewing in relation to mis-sold PBA accounts, they have stopped promoting those facilities in their branches.
Mis-sold PBAâs have been used by Banks in order to obtain a fee when operating a current account and in order to justify the fee. Rather than being open and honest and just charging for a particular account, they have added various inducements to justify the monthly fee which they take which can range anywhere between £10 and £30.
The Package Bank Account (PBA) package that is promoted by the Banks and included in this article of course is the Santander accounts. These will include various product inducements which include travel insurance, mobile phone cover, sometimes a Green Flag breakdown cover, as well as various discounts for shows and visits to places of interest.
These particular accounts can be beneficial to clients. However, as is normal with the Banks, they promoted the facilities in a way that suggests that there is no free alternative to an account and therefore the client must take the facility, rather than seeing the benefits, weighing these up, possibly shopping around and then deciding on whether the particular account and cost is appropriate for them.
The mis-selling of the account can happen in a variety of ways. At the outset, it must be first established if this facility is something (as a client) that you want, and that you were offered a free alternative and that this account is not forced down your neck as the only option that you have and can take. Following this, the various elements of the policy must be explained, and any exclusions calculated and detailed to you. Namely, you may have a travel insurance policy that covers your time away, or the travel insurance policy that is attached to the account does not cover holidays abroad where extreme sports are involved, such as skiing. Therefore if this is applicable, again the policy must be called into question, and the cost of the monthly account fee analysed to see if it is worthwhile.
There are approximately 11 million Package Bank Accounts (PBA’s) in operation in the UK. Whilst a percentage are appropriate for clients, many millions have been mis-sold. Therefore, there is tremendous potential to obtain a refund which includes the various fees that have been charged, as well as accumulated interest, and also reviewing the consequence of the fees being charged financially upon you.
We are representing many clients at present in relation to the recovery of these fee. On average refunds are between £1,000 and £2,500, although some are slightly less and some have been more.