Signed up to joint account without knowing

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaiming Mortgage Fees, Council Tax, etc
4 replies 1.2K views
CarolAnn49CarolAnn49 Forumite
10 Posts
My daughter asked me to be a co-signatory on her Natwest account as she spends a lot of time in hospital. She ran into financial problems when she was moved into disabled accommodation, couldn't pay her overdraft and CAB is trying to get debts written off due to her increasing poor health. Now we find that Natwest signed me up as joint account holder and are chasing me for money. I'm on State pension, don't have that kind of money BUT it's not my debt, don't see why I should pay it anyway. I know we were duped, what can we do about it?

Replies

  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
    107.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Now we find that Natwest signed me up as joint account holder and are chasing me for money.

    Logical if you were added to the account in that way.
    BUT it's not my debt, don't see why I should pay it anyway.

    By adding your name to the account you accept joint liability for any debts.
    I know we were duped, what can we do about it?

    It is unlikely you were duped. They probably just gave you what you wanted. There are other ways such as getting a power of attorney or agreeing an pre pro signatory but the joint account was quickest.

    You should explain the position to the bank and see what they say.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • We specified at the time that we did not want a joint account, just a form of 'power of attorney' so that they would discuss the account with me at the bank in case my daughter was incapacitated. I neither wanted nor needed access to my daughter's funds. We had no idea it was a joint account, and the document we both signed makes no reference in any way to 'joint account' or we would have cancelled it immediately.
    We have discussed this with the bank, of course, but they continue to insist it's a joint account. My daughter is paying it back on a monthly basis agreed with Natwest, but we're both getting threatening letters from Wescot Credit Services, demanding payment within days or court action.
    My daughter suffered a stroke recently on top of Crohns disease/arthritis/depression and the worry over all this is not helping her condition.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
    107.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    We specified at the time that we did not want a joint account, just a form of 'power of attorney'

    A bank cannot grant you a power of attorney. It can set up a per procuration. In these cases you have no liability for the account but your name does not appear on it anywhere and you should sign cheques with a p.p. before your signature.

    Nothing issued by a bank will say it is a joint account as such. It will show account holders and if your name is listed as an account holder then that is what you are.

    If you feel the bank have done wrong, then make a complaint. It is impossible to judge an outcome of a complaint with a bank as they tend to be a bit scattergun in their responses. Also, chances are they have all the documentation that shows they are correct (in their stance that it is a joint account). So, you may have to rely on their goodwill.

    Did you by any chance seek legal advice on this before you went to the bank? A solicitor would have made it clear what your options were and put them in writing. That letter would be good evidence of what you needed. A typical bank clerk wouldnt know the issues and would just set up what you ask. So, terminology may have got mixed up.

    For example, in your first post you said you wanted ot be a co-signatory on the account. So, to a bank clerk, that would mean adding you to the account as a joint holder.

    So, it is easy to see how this has happened. How it will be resolved is harder and all you can do is write to the bank customer relations/complaints team and put your case across - do not use the branch for the complaint.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • Thanks for your reply, I will write a letter to their complaints department. We didn't go to a solicitor of course, it never would have occurred to us, as we thought it was a simple matter of having my name mentioned as being able to discuss my daughter's account with the bank if she was unable to. We had already done this with Lloyds TSB and they removed my name again, in spite of my daughter's overdraft, when requested to do so. It's only Natwest we are having this problem with.
    Just wondering if Lloyds TSB might be able to help me there, as I have an account with them. Never have had any dealings with Natwest, so they're an unknown quantity to me, and like most people, I have no knowledge of technical, financial or legal jargon. Common sense would suggest that if it doesn't say 'joint account' on the document that it isn't a joint account.
    We oldies were brought up with a natural respect and trust for banks and they've taken advantage of that over the years.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Tesco launches its first ever...

...checkout-free supermarket store

MSE News

25+ ways to stop scams

Plus what to do if you're a victim

MSE Guides

Beauty Advent calendar round-up

The Body Shop, Holland & Barrett etc

MSE Deals