Bank of Ireland - Cross Border Transaction Charges

Hi There

I am new to the forum so any pointers in the right direction with this enquiry would be gratefully received!

I'm writing on behalf of a neighbour (his father is the object of the potential claim) as he doesn't have frequent access to the internet / email.

My Neighbours father has a Bank Of Ireland account (registered in the Republic of Ireland) but for the last 16 months approximately has lived with his son in the UK. The father is vulnerable and has dementia which is why the situation has only recently come to light.

Since living in the UK he has been issued with what I believe must be a cross border transaction charge every time he withdraws money or uses his debit card. Due to the obvious difficulties in him managing his money / keeping a tab on charges etc. these charges have been accumulating for approximately 16 months, and when my neighbour has recently accessed the charges and bank statements his father has been charged, he calculated them to be in excess of £4000 just in transaction fees.

They have confirmed that they haven't received letters at any stage identifying specifically that these charges were accumulating.

I called Bank of Ireland this morning to talk about the case in general terms (obviously unable to go into specific details over the phone with them due to data protection) and was advised that if these are cross border transaction fees then as they are in the banks T&Cs then they wouldn't necessarily write to an account holder to tell them that these charges were amounting.

Is there any scope here for them to take further action with this? It seems at the very least unfair to me that charges have been permitted to accumulate at this rate without the bank contacting them to suggest opening a bank of Ireland UK account so these charges fall away. Again as someone with dementia he is unable to fully manage his financial affairs which has allowed this to continue without him realising. I know that Bank of Ireland will more than likely just point to the T&Cs but given the gentleman's situation and the amounts involved I think they will want to pursue this with the bank.

I have advised them that as a first step this will probably involved his father ringing the bank to clear security and then passing the phone to his son to take over the call (The bank have agreed this is acceptable). Once they reach the point of going through their concerns with the bank is there an approach they should take? Are there any precedents for a situation like this? Or can anyone advise how they should try and put forward their case to the bank and what information they would need to build a case?

Many thanks  



Replies

  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    They have confirmed that they haven't received letters at any stage identifying specifically that these charges were accumulating.

    As they are a transactional charge made at the time and an on-screen message is usually given, there is no need to.

    Is there any scope here for them to take further action with this?
    The charge is being made within the T&C of the account and there is nothing suggesting these charges were incorrectly applied.  So, in that respect, there is no case.
    It seems at the very least unfair to me that charges have been permitted to accumulate at this rate without the bank contacting them to suggest opening a bank of Ireland UK account so these charges fall away.
    Banks are largely reactive and not proactive. Consumers are not paying the bank to provide a pro-active service.
    And whilst we are living in a nanny state in many areas, banks generally allow people to spend their money as they see fit unless they have a reason to question it.
    Again as someone with dementia he is unable to fully manage his financial affairs which has allowed this to continue without him realising.
    So, this then leads to the following:
    1 - Were the bank aware he had dementia?
    2 - Is there any POA in effect?
    3 - the family are aware he had dementia.  So, were they supporting him and keeping an eye on things?    Why did they leave it so long?
    I know that Bank of Ireland will more than likely just point to the T&Cs but given the gentleman's situation and the amounts involved I think they will want to pursue this with the bank.
    If the bank are aware of dementia then they do have additional duties.  If they are not aware then they cannot take action if no-one has actually made them aware.
    That is the key to any dispute.


    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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