The Nationwide has been operating a fee-charging bank current account, otherwise known as a Package Bank Account (PBA) for a number of years and, like the many other current account providers, is now being challenged by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA undertook a review as to whether these facilities were mis-sold or not, and to look at potential mis-sales, which have been discovered by the FCA. It has been established that, out of the 11 million Package Bank Accounts (PBA’s) that are at present in existence throughout the banking system, and of which the Nationwide forms a large proportion, many of the accounts were in fact mis-sold. Indeed a large percentage of those that are at present in operation can be called into question. In doing so refunds can be obtained, not only in relation to the fees that have been charged, but also the accumulated interest and penalty interest that has been lost as a result of the money being taken incorrectly and which has to be refunded.
The Bank, and in this case the Nationwide, mis-sold the current accounts with the fees. In order to justify the mis-sale they promoted the account with bolt-on elements which included travel insurance, breakdown cover and some degree of cheap day trips. Whilst this product was of benefit to some clients, it would have needed to have been established at the outset, whether it was appropriate or whether there was any form of exclusions that would make part or all of the product inappropriate for a client. Also the client should have been offered by the Nationwide the full variety of alternatives, and they should not have been forced in any way into taking the account. If the stringent sales process had not been adhered to 100%, then the question as to whether the product was appropriate can be looked at and a potential refund of the fees and interest can be addressed.
We have been dealing with ever growing numbers of recovery refunds for this particular Nationwide account and will continue to do so. On average a refund for our clients is in the region of £1,000 to £2,500. Of course if the product was sold correctly then no refund is likely to take place and there will be no fee on our ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) undertook a review several years ago into how the Banks sold the Package Bank Account (PBA) fees and it is from this that we have been able to obtain considerable refunds for our clients. In a recent report, in September 2015, it was shown that ever-growing numbers of clients are challenging their Banks in relation to these particular accounts. Whilst not at the same level of the mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), certainly the mis-sale is considerable and runs into many thousands of clients complaining and challenging these fees each month.
It is therefore imperative that if you have one of these accounts, and you feel that you have no benefit from it, or you have not used the account in any way, shape or form, that you contact us so that we can look at addressing the potential mis-sale that may have taken place.