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  1. #1
    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Not exactly a PPI reclaim, but this seems to the most appropriate place to post:

    I found out my wife has been paying £15 a month to Natwest since 2011 for benefits she has already been paying for (mobile phone insurance, breakdown cover etc).


    We complained to Natwest and the response is below.


    Any opinion of whether to pursue it further?




    She thought it was an overdraft interest charge (as did I to be honest because there is no description accompanying the charge).

    She also thought she was being transferred to a different bank account on the phone as a condition to keep her overdraft facility. She's dyslexic and wouldn't necessarily be aware of all the information being fired at her in a sales call.

    She already fought them off once in 2002 when they changed her to the Advantage Gold (which charged something horrendous like £30 a month), which involved "sitting in the bank with the bank manager in floods of tears to get them to change it"

    I've lived with her since 2012 and I remember all the letters they refer to being big on promoting a restaurant discount dining card and not much else.

  2. #2
    EXC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    She thought it was an overdraft interest charge (as did I to be honest because there is no description accompanying the charge).
    If you mean the £15 a month account fee do you have a statement that substantiates there was no description of it?

    She also thought she was being transferred to a different bank account on the phone as a condition to keep her overdraft facility. She's dyslexic and wouldn't necessarily be aware of all the information being fired at her in a sales call.
    If she is dyslexic she may be able to argue that she wouldn't necessarily have been able to understand the letters they claim confirming the fees and policies, which is their main argument. Could her doctor confirm her dyslexia?

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  3. #3
    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Quote Originally Posted by EXC View Post
    If you mean the £15 a month account fee do you have a statement that substantiates there was no description of it?



    If she is dyslexic she may be able to argue that she wouldn't necessarily have been able to understand the letters they claim confirming the fees and policies, which is their main argument. Could her doctor confirm her dyslexia?
    This is what show up on statements:
    We have all the dyslexic evidence you could ask for (we have a special drawer full of the paperwork).

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    EXC's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    In that case I'd respond with the evidence on both those points and if they don't play ball go to FOS.

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Was one of the packaged account "benefits" a preferential/reduced overdraft rate?

    I've seen reclaims where NatWest has argued that the amount of interest saved (by lower interest charges) exceeds the amount of the monthly payment for the package.

    This may have only been applicable to the NatWest Private and Black packaged accounts but worth checking all the same just so you can discount the theory.

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    I am a Litigation Executive at Joanna Connolly Solicitors a firm which specializes in consumer credit.

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    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Would it be worth just asking for copies of everything they say they sent in the post to us?

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    leclerc's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheff6107 View Post
    Would it be worth just asking for copies of everything they say they sent in the post to us?
    I'd personally also look at the question of whether she went abroad since 2011 and whether she bought travel insurance(double coverage suggests she doesn't understand the benefits).
    I'd look at roadside recovery, does she drive and did she have RAC/AA coverage over this period of time.
    If she did have an overdraft then she would have benefitted but the issue is whether the £15.00 per month(it was lower earlier on) covered the interest since the graduate overdraft was £2000 interest free year 1, £1000.00 interest free year 2(she would pay interest on amounts above this), and £500.00 on year 3(she'd pay interest on the above) and then it's interest on the rest. If she was not using the overdraft that much, I'd say that clearly there was little benefit if the rest of the items were not used.
    I would add that the other benefits were mobile phone insurance(you had to register your phone) and discounted loan/mortgage rate(again if she didn't have one then it's not beneficial).
    If the only benefit is overdraft at 1% cheaper(if memory serves me right) then clearly the account in my honest opinion was missold. Just because a lead is generated does not mean that the customer who took the account wanted the account, but merely that the advisor got their sales bonus .
    I hope the above makes sense.
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    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Quote Originally Posted by leclerc View Post
    I'd personally also look at the question of whether she went abroad since 2011 and whether she bought travel insurance(double coverage suggests she doesn't understand the benefits).
    Yes, we bought travel insurance when we went to Rome in 2013.

    I'd look at roadside recovery, does she drive and did she have RAC/AA coverage over this period of time.
    Yes, she has bought breakdown insurance once every year (Green Flag then RAC).

    If she did have an overdraft then she would have benefitted but the issue is whether the £15.00 per month(it was lower earlier on) covered the interest since the graduate overdraft was £2000 interest free year 1, £1000.00 interest free year 2(she would pay interest on amounts above this), and £500.00 on year 3(she'd pay interest on the above) and then it's interest on the rest. If she was not using the overdraft that much, I'd say that clearly there was little benefit if the rest of the items were not used.
    Her history is:
    • Student Account (free)
    • Graduate account (free)
    • Advantage Gold (charged) (she was clearly missold this account and complained in branch to get it reverted back to a Graduate Account)
    • Graduate Account (free)
    • Current Plus (free)
    • Advantage Gold (charged) (no way would she agreed to go back to the same account she could only cancel previously by crying at a bank manager in branch. She would have also mentioned her dyslexia at this meeting).

    She uses her overdraft frequently, but she pays overdraft interest of £6 on top of the charge.

    I would add that the other benefits were mobile phone insurance(you had to register your phone) and discounted loan/mortgage rate(again if she didn't have one then it's not beneficial).
    She has been paying extra for phone insurance through EE for years and has never used the Natwest scheme. Considering everybody has a mobile phone these days, the fact she has never registered her phone would indicate she had no knowledge of this benefit.

  9. #9
    leclerc's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Ok, it's my personal opinion that you can clearly argue that she was missold the account and NOT explained the benefits. You have proof on the bank statement that you paid for AA breakdown coverage, you paid for travel insurance and mobile phone insurance whilst already having advantage gold. In fact, I'd almost be tempted to breakdown the year by year double coverage you paid for and state that clearly that you were missold. However, she did benefit, marginally from the overdraft interest rate being lower so that bank MIGHT argue that she did benefit but not to the extent that the fee was charged.
    @EXC would you think this might also be an argument to be had with the bank as well? I'm gonna get that quote about not explaining all the benefits as being part and parcel of misselling the account...
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    leclerc's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/plan/fina...tlook_2010.pdf

    Page 62 is about the fact that packaged accounts is not always beneficial to everyone.
    In my opinion it's clear that the person you spoke to NEVER explained the benefits of the account and simply sold it on the basis that there was an overdraft and that the account was going away from the Graduate terms. You could never convert a graduate account to advantage gold but clearly once the grad terms finished then it was current plus to Advantage gold.
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    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Thanks for your help. I'll draft something and post here before sending.

    I'd almost be tempted to breakdown the year by year double coverage you paid for and state that clearly that you were missold. However, she did benefit, marginally from the overdraft interest rate being lower so that bank MIGHT argue that she did benefit but not to the extent that the fee was charged.


    Yep, I agree. The phone insurance was £8 a month and breakdown cover paid works out at £3 a month, so we're looking at roughly £660 out of £900 which is an offer I'd be more than happy to put to them (will obviously work out precise figures).

  12. #12
    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Sorry for the delay. Draft response:


    Dear Natwest


    My wife is in receipt of your response in the above case. I am writing in reply as her personal representative.


    In your reply you stated:


    • that the product was sold over the telephone and that the upgrade form was filled in following this conversation.
    • that Mrs X had previously been switched to the Advantage Gold Account in the past (4 September 2002 - May 2003.

    I am informed that Mrs X agreed to switch her account from a free facility to a fee paying product because she was told that doing so was a condition of being able to maintain her current £1800 overdraft facility. Faced with the prospect of having her overdraft withdrawn or reduced, she felt she had no option but sign up to the packaged bank account. Just because a lead is generated does not mean that the customer who took the account wanted the account, but merely that the advisor obtained their sales bonus. The fact that Mrs X was switched there and then via the completion of an upgrade form demonstrates the product was sold there and then, making any follow up literature moot. As stated, your responsibility under the FSA is to ensure that insurance was right and suitable for at the point at which it was sold.


    In addition, you have failed to take into account her previous problems with this exact same issue back in 2002/03 (albeit I ackowledge you have not taken this into account in your investigation). You previously switched her to the exact same account and did not change it back despite numerous phone calls. In the end her only option was to make an appointment with a representative at your Preston branch and pleaded in person to move the account back to your Current Plus Account. It was at this meeting that she told you she suffered from severe dyslexia and could not necessarily understand terms and conditions presented to her over a phone call. This was obviously never made a note of.


    We disagree with your opinion that the product was not missold. The fact Mrs X double-purchased the products that were included the bank account is the clearest demonstration that she did not understand the benefits being sold to her in the phone call. The literature you sent in the post is not adequate for a customer with severe dyslexia. In addition, I have access to my wife’s account and the recurring fee being marked merely as ‘charge’ (rather than, for example ‘monthly fee’) led me to believe that the figure amounted to overdraft interest; otherwise we would have complained much earlier.

    However, whilst we maintain that whilst the account was missold on the basis of maintaining an overdraft facility and the alleged benefits were not explained sufficiently, the overdraft interest rate may have been beneficial when compared with alternative accounts. We therefore propose that it would fair to reimburse Mrs X for the products that were double-purchased. These are listed as follows:


    • Orange / EE Full Mobile phone cover at £8 per month (applied January 2011 - June 2015) = £414 (see Direct Debits titled “ORANGE” / “EE & T-MOBILE” and “EE”)
    • RAC 2011 cover = £134.52 (see Direct Debit titled “RAC MOTORING SVS”)
    • Green Flag 2012 cover = £115.44 (see Direct Debit titled “GREEN FLAG MOTORIN”)
    • Green Flag 2013 cover = £57.72 (see Direct Debit titled “GREEN FLAG MOTORIN”)
    • Green Flag 2014 cover = £33.92 (see payment 21 Jan 2014 titled “GREEN FLAG MOTOR”)
    • Green Flag 2015 cover = £37.10 (see payment 28 Jan 2015 titled “GREEN FLAG”)
    • Green Flag 2016 cover = £41.61 (see payment 28 Jan 2015 titled “GREEN FLAG”)


    = £834.41 additionally paid out


    It is our opinion that a refund of £834.41, which would be a shortfall compared with the total amount paid to Natwest, would adequately cover any preferential overdraft interest rate which may have applied to the account.


    Finally, you charged £16.00 to the account on 18th October despite our understanding that you had switched the account back to Current Account Plus and refunded £48.00 on 5th October.

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    Sheff6107's Avatar

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Update - Natwest paid £67 on the old bank account in an attempt to shut us up, but we took the main one to the Ombudsman.

    They rejected it due to there being no evidence.

    So, a handy tip for the banks - lose all your recordings and evidence and the Ombudsman will find in your favour. But they probably learnt that after the Libor Panorama programme last night anyway!

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    Default Re: Packaged Bank Account Natwest

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheff6107 View Post
    Update - Natwest paid £67 on the old bank account in an attempt to shut us up, but we took the main one to the Ombudsman.

    They rejected it due to there being no evidence.

    So, a handy tip for the banks - lose all your recordings and evidence and the Ombudsman will find in your favour. But they probably learnt that after the Libor Panorama programme last night anyway!
    Ermmmm, I'd have said no to your letter as well btw because you are arguing for a refund of money based on the fact that you paid out for stuff even though you were covered. I would have argued that the fact that she did pay out money for them was proof that the full account benefits were not explained. If she did not ever provide the bank with her mobile phone details for registration then she was not covered on mobile phone coverage.

    I would have argued for the fees to be refunded excluding the beneficial interest.

    I would have gone through the minutiae of the account, ie travel insurance: Did you have a passport and go abroad and purchase travel insurance as part of the holiday? If you had a mortgage, was it with Natwest at preferential rates? If the only benefit that was clearly explained was simply, the overdraft then the cost of the overdraft v. the cost of the account did not make sense.

    The argument you have presented is one where you pay more than the basic for roadside coverage so the like for like is not thee and then ask for the money back rather than using that fact to argue it was poorly explained and sold and that any information sent out in this day and age is not really read. Had you taken up any of the offers ie preferential loan/mortgage then so be it(which is kinda why you allow them to keep the benefits that they got from the overdraft reduced rate).

    Annoying in regards to the fact that natwest cannot find any evidence of ADGD before Jan 2011
    "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
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