Claim back the cost of your Premium/Packaged Bank Account
What is a Packaged Bank Account?
A Packaged Bank Account, sometimes called a ‘Premium Account’ is a current account which offers its customers inclusive services with their account. Most banking institutions within the UK offer Premium Accounts.
These services are typically;
- Travel Insurance
- Mobile Phone Insurance
- Vehicle Breakdown Recovery
These services are not free and vary in price depending on the bank who offers the account. The prices range from £5 per month up to £25 per month – with most people paying around £15 per month.
Figures from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) state that over 70% of UK current accounts either are at present, or have been at one time, a packaged bank account.
Furthermore, less than 20% of the customers using a packaged bank account have actually claimed on one of the included services.
The history of packaged bank accounts
Around 1999/2000 the banking institution came under the nationwide public spotlight for excessive charges on current accounts. These were made up of overdraft fees, late payment charges and hidden fees. There was an overwhelming surge of complaints and banks were ordered to issue refunds to their customers, providing the complaint was valid.
This immediately forced the banking institutions to re-think their charging structure which, as you can imagine, had a huge impact on their revenues.
So they came up with the idea of the ‘packaged bank account’. This would allow them gain residual, monthly income from their customers and be seen in a good light by offering ‘free’ and beneficial services.
So, why are customers entitled to a refund?
There has been an overwhelming amount of evidence brought to the FOS in the past few years that indicates these accounts were systematically mis-sold – with banks forcing customers to take out these paid accounts in order to keep their current banking services.
This evidence, coupled with the fact that under 20% of these services have ever been claimed on, has forced the FOS to deem them not value for money and not in the customers best interest.
Providing a complaint is made through the correct legal process, customers may be entitled to a full refund of their packaged bank account fees where the account has been mis-sold – regardless of whether the account is still open or not.
How do you qualify for a refund?
If no claim has been made on any of the services customers may be entitled to a full refund of the money they have paid for the account, if it has been mis-sold. These accounts have been in existence for around 15 years, with some customers paying over £5000 in that time period.
Customers can also claim back fees for accounts where the services have been used – providing the customer has not had value for money.
Does claiming affect my relationship with the bank?
Simply, no. The bank cannot penalise their customers for claiming back the money they have paid for this product. FOS have also made it quite clear that they enforce heavy fines for any banks that do attempt to sway or even bully customers into not pursuing a claim.
The FOS governs all UK banks, and they have instructed the banks to honour these claims where the account has been mis-sold.
How far can you claim back?
Customers can claim back for as long as they have been paying the fee on the account. Once you return our pack, your Letter of Authority is used to request a statement of accounts from the bank, outlining fees charged to your account for packaged bank account services. You will then receive an exact claim valuation for the bank to refund.