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Reclaiming Bank Charges - has anyone here suceeded?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Donald_MacIver, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    Now that everyone is on about watching their money, and making sure you have the best type of account and credit card etc, i thought about this issue of reclaiming your charges and fees from the bank.

    Has anyone on here been sucessfull in doing this, and have any hints and tips, as i am going to start my claim next week.
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  2. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You have PM
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  3. motorbikez
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    motorbikez Active Member

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    It all depends on how you incurred the charges and your standing with the bank.In the past I've cocked up twice with hsbc bank and faced bank charges twice because of my own errors.I then spoke in person to the bank manager on both occasions the charges were waived and my bank account re credited.

    So the best thing to do is try to speak to someone in person and see how you go
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  4. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The debate is all about "default" bank charges, i.e. those charges that banks levy if you go overdrawn (or exceed your overdraft limit) without permission, or have a cheque, direct debit or standing order unpaid due to insufficient funds. These charges have been part of the banks' published tariffs for many years, and were originally intended as a way of ensuring that costs of administering "delinquent" accounts was borne by the customers whose accounts caused the costs, and not by those who did not. Not unreasonable in itself, but over the years, that idea became lost as the fees got higher and higher, to the point where they became a primary source of income rather than merely a way of apportioning and recovering costs.

    Now, the Office of Fair Trading is following up an investigation it conducted last year into similar charges on credit cards by tuirning its attentions to current accounts. The OFT's view (albeit hotly contested by the banks) is that under Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts legislation, a charge may not be lawful if it exceeds the actual cost of the administrative work it represents. Banks are steadfastly refusing to reveal what their costs are, but some estimates have suggested that about £6-8 is a reasonable level for the charge. Most banks charge between £30 and £40 per time.

    So, if you have incurred this type of charge in the last 6 years, you can ask for them back from your bank by claiming they are unlawful. The Bank must then choose whether to refund them or defend them, either by arguing that the OFT's interpretation of the legislation is wrong, or by arguing it is right but releasing information about its costs to prove that the level of the charge is fair (which as I said, they won't do).

    Most banks tend to reject the complaint at first go, then make an offer of a partial refund if you persist. If you still insist on a full refund (which you should) the bank will typically refuse and refer you to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

    They are hoping you will be put off and eventually give up. Don't!

    Take it all the way to the ombudsman, and there is a good chance you will get all your charges back.




    This website is a good starting place, particularly for the template complaint letter. Good luck.


    http://www.which.co.uk/reports_and_campaigns/money/campaigns/Banking%20and%20credit/The%20ASBO%20campaign/what_you_can_do_559_74997.jsp
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  5. Sinny71
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    Sinny71 S55 LKS

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    I've seen a few things dotted around on the net and TV about this.The last thing the bank wants to do is go to court over such charges. If they go to court and lose, it opens the flood gates.

    They do make it difficut and hope to put people off, but as jdp says, dont give up or back down.
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  6. bena3turbo
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    bena3turbo Genuine Dude

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  7. Donald_MacIver
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    Donald_MacIver Member

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    Many thanks for the info, and i definately think its worth a shot. I have tried asking for charges to be waived previously on 2 seperate occasions, but the bank was having none of it!

    I will see how i get on, and update this thread if i have any success :icon_thumright:
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