Newbie- Natwest reject Packaged account claim. ADVICE?

edited 6 April 2017 at 5:45PM in Reclaim Bank & Credit Card Charges
10 replies 6.7K views
BSW123BSW123 Forumite
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Hi, In Feb i made a complaint to Natwest regarding my now closed account packaged fees.
I received a letter from them yesterday to say the can't agree with my complaint due to them sending Advantage Gold Information Pack in July 2009 and another information pack again in March 2010 that would of detailed the fees's etc. My account was opened as a Advantage Gold account from September 2005 and closed in 2012 but wasn't used from 2010.
I hadn't received any information packs from them as it seems it was sent to an old address. I went into branch to change the address in early 2009 but they say they have no record of this. I have proof that i wasn't living at that address in the form of Credit Reports showing accounts opened in 2009 at a different address. I've explained and showed this to Natwest and they said they wouldn't look at it again. It was a joint account with my ex husband so stopped using it in 2010 but had a very difficult divorce so didn't even think of this account.
Id like to know if you think i would be wasting my time going to the ombudsman? Even though i can't prove i went into branch to change the address but i have proof i wasn't living at the address they sent the information packs to. Any advise would be greatly appreciated..

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  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    The activation of the time bar seems valid and fits with what is expected. Change of address is a pain but probably a red herring as they could use the 2009 pack or the 2010 pack or the 2011 pack or the 2012 pack. All of them can trigger the timebar as they are all more than three years ago.

    I just looked up some FOS decisions to see if I could find anything about the adress and found:
    "it is a legal requirement for consumers to provide an address by which they can be
    contacted if necessary and so Santander used the previous address on Mr B’s file;
    <snip>
    I don’t think it would be reasonable to hold Santander responsible for Mr B being unaware of
    the charges building up on his account. It is the customer’s responsibility to keep an eye on
    his account. Mr B didn’t do this. I therefore don’t agree that the charges should be refunded."

    However, the FOS will sometimes consider things sent to the wrong address as not being sufficient to set the timebar. So, its impossible to 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.
  • BSW123BSW123 Forumite
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    Hi, Thanks for your reply. I thought id give an update.
    I contact Natwest and advised them again about the address change and gave them proof i spoke about above and they opened the complaint again. They have accepted my complaint and because if it being so long ago they have issued me with a cheque for the charges and plus the standard 8% put - the 20% for the tax man. I wondered if i can now try and claim bank charges on this account due to me having to pay for this mis-sold packaged account. Any info would be greatly received. Thanks in advanced..
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    BSW123 wrote: »
    I wondered if i can now try and claim bank charges on this account due to me having to pay for this mis-sold packaged account.
    The Banks won their court case about Bank charges, so no such refund will be forthcoming I'm afraid.
  • BSW123BSW123 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Just a quick update.. I have claimed bank charges back as a result of them taking the packaged account fees.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    You've "claimed"or actually been refunded?
  • I put in a claim for our packaged bank account on 28/04/2017 about an account we opened 09/10/2006 Natwest say they do not up hold the claim because they sent us review letters 29/07/2009 and again 31/03/2010 and that we needed to complain with in the first 6 years of opening the account or with in 3 years
    should I take this to the ombudsman or just forget the complaint altogether any advice gratefully received thank you
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    should I take this to the ombudsman or just forget the complaint altogether any advice gratefully received thank you

    The ombudsman will not even look at your complaint with a valid timebar in place. That timebar seems valid and matches expectation with Natwest.
    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.
  • i may seem a bit dense but I do not understand the time bar thing we never even know there was a time bar or even what one is.
  • societys_childsocietys_child Forumite
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    they sent us review letters 29/07/2009 and again 31/03/2010 and that we needed to complain with in the first 6 years of opening the account or with in 3 years
    The bold bit above is the time bar.
    i may seem a bit dense but I do not understand the time bar thing we never even know there was a time bar or even what one is.
  • edited 1 June 2017 at 11:41AM
    dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    edited 1 June 2017 at 11:41AM
    Timebars exist in law. It is to prevent opportunistic complaints/cases being brought many years after the event where the defendant may not have the evidence available to protect themselves.

    People who know there is something wrong, generally complain within a relatively short period.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with packaged bank accounts. Neither the FOS or the FCA have any issues with the concept. Where a minority of people have an issue is how it was sold. Some were sold poorly but the banks identified this quite quickly and introduced annual benefit statements which met sufficient regulatory standards. These include making you aware of the benefits, costs and that it was optional and you could switch to alternative accounts.

    These allow the time bar trigger to be started because:
    a) if you get a benefit statement and are told the account is optional and you could move to an alternative and you feel that you were misinformed at point of sale, you would complain then.
    b)if you get a benefit statement and feel the benefits are not worth it and you now know that you could have been on an alternative, you could complain then.
    c) these make you are aware of alternatives, costs and benefits in writing. A strong evidence-based document telling you what you need to know.

    The time bar stops people hedging their bets and waiting years or decades.
    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.
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