Reclaiming Bank Charges & FOS

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaim Bank & Credit Card Charges
8 replies 952 views
soutramsoutram Forumite
36 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Reclaim Bank & Credit Card Charges
Hi all

Not sure if this is the right place for this but Last April I started a DMP all of my creditors where great & have had no problems except from Lloyds TSB regarding my overdraft, I had massive problems getting them to change my account to a non fee paying account & they kept adding various charge after charge.

After having not luck with them in October I decided to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to complain about the unfair charges and so far the FOS have done nothing to help me, all I keep getting is letters saying its not been passed on to anyone yet so has not been looked at, mean while the bank are still piling on the charges.

Its been 9 months now and im no further forward, I thought the FOS tried to sort everything in a couple of months?

I have chased them several times with no luck

An ideas on where I can go from here?

Thanks
Sarah

Replies

  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K Posts
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    soutram wrote: »
    Hi all

    Not sure if this is the right place for this but Last April I started a DMP all of my creditors where great & have had no problems except from Lloyds TSB regarding my overdraft, I had massive problems getting them to change my account to a non fee paying account & they kept adding various charge after charge.

    After having not luck with them in October I decided to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to complain about the unfair charges and so far the FOS have done nothing to help me, all I keep getting is letters saying its not been passed on to anyone yet so has not been looked at, mean while the bank are still piling on the charges.

    Its been 9 months now and im no further forward, I thought the FOS tried to sort everything in a couple of months?

    I have chased them several times with no luck

    An ideas on where I can go from here?

    Thanks
    Sarah

    The FOS are unable to help you with your claim for unfair bank charges.

    Only a court can decide if charges are unfair, so you'll have to bring a court action if you think you have a claim.
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/oft-bank-charges
    (Note the warning that no one has ever succeeded to date following this advice which has been here for over 3 years!)
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    After having not luck with them in October I decided to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to complain about the unfair charges and so far the FOS have done nothing to help me, all I keep getting is letters saying its not been passed on to anyone yet so has not been looked at, mean while the bank are still piling on the charges.

    Firstly, you cannot complain direct to the FOS. You have to have completed the complaints process with the bank to have access to the FOS. The FOS will forward the complaint onto the bank to action.

    Secondly, it says on the FOS website that they wont handle complaints about unfair bank charges. So, why do you think they will handle your 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.
  • soutramsoutram Forumite
    36 Posts
    Sorry I think I may have worded it incorrectly, I originally complained to the bank & after getting nowhere with them I contacted the FOS.

    My complaint is because I asked the bank time and time again to change my account to a non fee paying account as I was on a dmp I did this in the bank, on the phone & via letter but they would not change it, mean while they where adding more and more charges which where sending me more and more in debt, thus incurring more charges.

    So my complaint is about the bank & my account rather than unfair charges - it says on the website they deal with current account problems & I would have thought if they didnt cover my complaint they would have contacted me to tell me.
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    It is important that any complaint you make on bank charges does not mention the words unfair or disproportionate (or anything like that). That results in an auto rejection.

    If you are in financial hardship and your spending shows you living on the breadline with no luxuries or in a cycle of charges then the bank may consider a goodwill gesture in a refund or charges or stopping future charges. The FOS has no ability to force the bank to do anything.

    Did you make it clear to the bank that you were doing this under financial hardship or did they automatically reject it because of the court case they won (which is the usual text when they reject an "unfair" complaint).

    Words you use are very important if you want to get anywhere.
    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.
  • soutramsoutram Forumite
    36 Posts
    The bank have pretty much ignored me, they have not responded to any of my letters etc & when I went in they said they would get the account changed & then never did anything about it.

    Im not after getting money off them I just want them to stop charging me stupid charges that are being added to the account when they dont need to be.

    They have accepted my DMP payment plan but the charges they are adding are more than the payment they have agreed I make
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    soutram wrote: »
    They have accepted my DMP payment plan but the charges they are adding are more than the payment they have agreed I make

    That right there is a cause for complaint and subsequent escalation to FOS as it is a breach of the Lending Code. Debts held by a customer in financial difficulties on an agreed plan should not increase as a result of charges.

    However I would open a basic bank account elsewhere for your salary/other credits and spending if you have not already done so.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • JuicyJesusJuicyJesus Forumite
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    Just as proof (it's from M&S but they were the first hit when I searched):

    http://bank.marksandspencer.com/pdf/ConsumerGuideLendingCode.pdf
    Each organisation that follows the code is committed
    to acting sympathetically and positively if you are
    experiencing financial difficulties.
    Contact your lender as soon as you think you will
    experience financial difficulties and they will work with
    you to overcome them. This will include:
    • considering stopping asking for repayments from
    you for at least 30 days to allow you time to get
    advice or present a repayment plan;
    • making sure your repayments leave you with
    enough money to meet reasonable day-to-day
    living expenses;
    • considering reducing or suspending interest and
    charges if these would cause the debt to increase
    or lead to the repayment term becoming too
    extended; and
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
  • soutramsoutram Forumite
    36 Posts
    Yeah I already have changed banks so the Lloyds account is never used, I pay in the required amount as agreed with the dmp every month but the balance is increasing.

    Hence I contacted the FOS but as I said in my first post it has now been 9 months since I first made the complaint but have not herd anything other than a letter saying no one is dealing with it yet
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