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    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 13th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    • 25Posts
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    Vizard
    HSBC small business tariff problem.
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 17, 3:01 PM
    HSBC small business tariff problem. 13th Mar 17 at 3:01 PM
    Hi All


    I've been with HSBC since 1994 and 2003 as a business customer. During my time as a business customer I have had a "relationship manager".


    I have noticed that in the past two months my charges have gone from about £65 to £5.50. I queried it with the bank and they said they've moved me to a different tariff. It seems that for some years we've been on a tariff unsuited to our business.


    I asked why our relationship manager had never mentioned any of this and was told, "it's the customer's responsibility to choose the correct tariff".


    Hands up, I know what the banks are like and I should have assumed that they were over charging. However, I would also have hoped that our relationship manager would have drawn my attention to the problem.


    Off the top of my head, between our two small businesses, the "over charge" will probably be in the order of £10,000.00.


    So, was this just a chuffing expensive lesson, or is anyone aware of a route down which I can pursue them?




    Many thanks guys.
Page 1
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 13th Mar 17, 3:25 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 3:25 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 17, 3:25 PM
    I doubt they'll even consider refunding you. You chose the tariff. You continued to pay it. The Bank have actually done you a favour by moving you onto a cheaper tariff, probably based on your banking history.

    Off the top of my head, between our two small businesses, the "over charge" will probably be in the order of £10,000.00.
    Originally posted by Vizard
    That assumes that you have always been on the "wrong" tariff. This is unlikely.
    Last edited by Moneyineptitude; 13-03-2017 at 4:42 PM.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 13th Mar 17, 4:03 PM
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    dunstonh
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:03 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:03 PM
    I have noticed that in the past two months my charges have gone from about £65 to £5.50. I queried it with the bank and they said they've moved me to a different tariff. It seems that for some years we've been on a tariff unsuited to our business.
    A lot of the banks have introduced a low use or electronic use tariff that has seen small businesses get a nice reduction.

    Hands up, I know what the banks are like and I should have assumed that they were over charging.
    They were not over charging. They were charging the correct amount for the tariff you agreed.

    So, was this just a chuffing expensive lesson, or is anyone aware of a route down which I can pursue them?
    It is your job to do these things. Its like insurance, utilities, mobile phone, investments and pensions etc etc. New contracts become available and you can get left behind on old contracts if you dont check periodically. Sometimes old contracts can be gems worth keeping but often the new ones are better and cheaper.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 13th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
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    Vizard
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    I accept my responsibility to keep tabs on them. No defence, I was remiss.


    But, given that ours was an actively managed account, should we not have received some sort of heads up? Apparently, we should have had account reviews but never did.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 13th Mar 17, 4:42 PM
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    dunstonh
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:42 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:42 PM
    But, given that ours was an actively managed account, should we not have received some sort of heads up? Apparently, we should have had account reviews but never did.
    We all have business managers on paper. Most are as useless as a chocolate teapot.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 21st Mar 17, 2:22 PM
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    Vizard
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:22 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:22 PM
    An update on this.


    Without my asking they have refunded £750 of the charges. They have however also written to me saying that they haven't made an error, it's goodwill.


    Now, I would argue that as we had a relationship manager and as I did explicitly ask him about tariffs he had a duty to inform me whether I was on the correct tariff.


    The immediate payment by the bank (I am talking 24 hours) suggests to me that they feel they might actually be in the wrong.


    Any further thoughts chaps? I intend to push this further.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 21st Mar 17, 2:56 PM
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    dunstonh
    • #7
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    The immediate payment by the bank (I am talking 24 hours) suggests to me that they feel they might actually be in the wrong.
    It is more likely that such a quick payment quoting goodwill is an automatic payment to close the case down to avoid the FOS fee and avoid further costs.
    I intend to push this further.
    Dont push too hard. They can withdraw the goodwill offer. Especially if its purpose is to avoid the FOS fee.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 21st Mar 17, 3:50 PM
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    martinsurrey
    • #8
    • 21st Mar 17, 3:50 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Mar 17, 3:50 PM
    An update on this.


    Without my asking they have refunded £750 of the charges. They have however also written to me saying that they haven't made an error, it's goodwill.


    Now, I would argue that as we had a relationship manager and as I did explicitly ask him about tariffs he had a duty to inform me whether I was on the correct tariff.


    The immediate payment by the bank (I am talking 24 hours) suggests to me that they feel they might actually be in the wrong.


    Any further thoughts chaps? I intend to push this further.
    Originally posted by Vizard
    Also this is a B2B transaction, they have a MUCH lower duty of care than B2C.
    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 21st Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Vizard
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    It is more likely that such a quick payment quoting goodwill is an automatic payment to close the case down to avoid the FOS fee and avoid further costs.


    Dont push too hard. They can withdraw the goodwill offer. Especially if its purpose is to avoid the FOS fee.
    Originally posted by dunstonh


    Their letter says that they have now reviewed their policy and customers will now be put on the most suitable tariff automatically.


    Nowhere does it say their payment is conditional.


    I would also observe that they are driving this down the FOS route, because they are trying to close down further communication. The format is: denial - glossing over facts - goodwill offer - refer to FOS.


    I think I have a good case here.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 21st Mar 17, 4:30 PM
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    dunstonh
    Nowhere does it say their payment is conditional.
    You said it was a goodwill gesture.

    I would also observe that they are driving this down the FOS route, because they are trying to close down further communication. The format is: denial - glossing over facts - goodwill offer - refer to FOS.
    That is how the complaints process works. From what you have said, there was no time given to check with the account manager or source documentation. They turned it around in no time probably using their profitability check on your account.

    I think I have a good case here.
    Excellent. Go ahead and take it to the FOS then. If the FOS disagree with you, the bank may tell the FOS that their offer was a goodwill gesture aimed at closing the complaint quickly and efficiently but as they have now suffered a referral to the FOS and the FOS fee, they no longer wish to offer that amount. It tends not to happen on small goodwill payments but it has been used on larger ones.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Sparx
    • By Sparx 21st Mar 17, 8:01 PM
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    Sparx
    I would cut your losses, they've done you a good-will favour. I don't think the FOS would be interested.
    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 21st Mar 17, 9:24 PM
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    • 2 Thanks
    Vizard
    I would cut your losses, they've done you a good-will favour. I don't think the FOS would be interested.
    Originally posted by Sparx
    For the sake of a few letters and a bit of effort I don't think I will cut my losses, no.


    I suspect I can prove on the balance of probabilities that the bank should have advised me.


    If anyone has any constructive argument to assist me I'd be grateful, but "don't bother, you won't be successful" has already been, in part, proved incorrect.
    • Nasqueron
    • By Nasqueron 21st Mar 17, 10:33 PM
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    Nasqueron
    For the sake of a few letters and a bit of effort I don't think I will cut my losses, no.


    I suspect I can prove on the balance of probabilities that the bank should have advised me.


    If anyone has any constructive argument to assist me I'd be grateful, but "don't bother, you won't be successful" has already been, in part, proved incorrect.
    Originally posted by Vizard
    Don't confuse correlation with causation. A lender pays a fee of up to £950 for an FOS referral, paying you £750 is well within the "hope they go away" range of payouts with the intention you accept and move on.

    You would need to prove that the business manager's job was to advise you of something (balance of probabilities is about civil court claims, not FOS) and that they failed. Do you have details of the business manager's daily tasks, their list of tasks etc?
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 22nd Mar 17, 1:06 AM
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    Moneyineptitude
    If anyone has any constructive argument to assist me I'd be grateful, but "don't bother, you won't be successful" has already been, in part, proved incorrect.
    Originally posted by Vizard
    Has it been incorrect though? Earlier, you estimated you were out-of-pocket £10,000. The Bank have offered you £750 simply to avoid paying the FOS fee, not because they accept any actual liability.

    You can certainly refer the complaint to FOS, and it will be interesting to hear what they say, but do realise that you risk coming away with nothing at all...
    • Vizard
    • By Vizard 22nd Mar 17, 8:31 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Vizard
    Don't confuse correlation with causation. A lender pays a fee of up to £950 for an FOS referral, paying you £750 is well within the "hope they go away" range of payouts with the intention you accept and move on.

    You would need to prove that the business manager's job was to advise you of something (balance of probabilities is about civil court claims, not FOS) and that they failed. Do you have details of the business manager's daily tasks, their list of tasks etc?
    Originally posted by Nasqueron
    Breaking this down to its most basic form:

    1. I asked the bank if we were on the best tariff for us.

    2. They said yes.

    3. We weren't.

    4. The bank either made an error or misinformed us.

    5. We believe the bank is liable, based upon 4.

    I don't think we need to prove what was in the account manager's job description.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 22nd Mar 17, 10:04 AM
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    dunstonh
    Breaking this down to its most basic form:

    1. I asked the bank if we were on the best tariff for us.

    2. They said yes.

    3. We weren't.

    4. The bank either made an error or misinformed us.

    5. We believe the bank is liable, based upon 4.

    I don't think we need to prove what was in the account manager's job description.

    Breaking down like that does make it simpler. However, it gives a different scenario to what you said earlier on.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
    • martinsurrey
    • By martinsurrey 22nd Mar 17, 11:18 AM
    • 2,912 Posts
    • 3,555 Thanks
    martinsurrey
    Breaking this down to its most basic form:

    1. I asked the bank if we were on the best tariff for us.

    2. They said yes.

    3. We weren't.

    4. The bank either made an error or misinformed us.

    5. We believe the bank is liable, based upon 4.

    I don't think we need to prove what was in the account manager's job description.
    Originally posted by Vizard
    1) When did you ask?

    1) What does "best" mean? in context of what the bank knows, and by this, I mean for example an Iphone 7 is matter of fact better than an Iphone 6, but an Iphone 6 might be more appropriate.

    Have you got any record of this conversation?

    When did the various tariffs become available?
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