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Bank not advising of my rights to contact Financial Ombudsman Service following making a complaint

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Bank not advising of my rights to contact Financial Ombudsman Service following making a complaint

61 replies 2.4K views
Long story short - a supposed friend who I was supposedly going into business with, ripped me off for a large amount of money in 2010/2011.

I complained to my bank in October 2011 that they did nothing to question the large number of transactions I was making in transferring funds to an account in my friend's name in the belief it was relating to the business. Personally, I was not going through a good time and my judgement was very clouded. Had I had my wits about me, I wouldn't have behaved like this, so please let's not go there. However, shouldn't they keep an eye on regular transactions being made to another account?

Their response was simply to list the transactions made - dates and amounts, but did not state that it was a final response, nor did they advise me of my right to contact the Financial Ombudsman service, which is something I only realised was important this year, as I'll come to.

In September 2018, I thought I'd read about the fact a further complaint could be made to my bank even though it was over 6 years since the original situation. Turns out I was wrong, and my bank refused to refund me any of the transactions, and sent me a letter confirming this as a final response and saying I had 6 months to contact the Financial Ombudsman service.

I did, and the FOS eventually said on May 22nd 2020 (they gave a reply in late Feb 2020, but I made further discussions and an appeal to them which took things up to May 22nd) that they couldn't take action because I should've complained to them after complaining to my bank in October 2011.

Last week, I complained to my bank regarding this, and how the problem stems from them not advising me of my rights in October 2011, and they've just ignored that, stating that September 2018 was their final response.

So, I'm going to go back to them, including (and taking my lead from the link on MSE about reopening a complaint - I can't include a link here but it's the Reclaim Fight Back FOS Need To Know page): "As per MoneySavingExpert.com, each time someone complains to you, and you give a final response, this response must mention the ombudsman's free service, and you can get in trouble if it doesn't. In 2011, RBS and NatWest were fined for not doing this. (customer services agent name) failed to do this in October 2011, and I was made aware of this by the Financial Ombudsman on May 22nd 2020.

As per MoneySavingExpert.com, the fact I was not made aware of my rights means I have three years to complain to yourselves from when I knew I could make a complaint, which takes me up to May 22nd 2023, but I have brought this to your attention as of July 2020."

Can someone please advise me of what procedure my bank should follow now? They're clearly just trying to wash their hands of the situation, because so much of it happened over 6 years ago, but I believe that since I was not advised of my rights as I've described, this makes the situation current again, and I believe they should take notice.

At one point, I did go to the police about this but while I don't want to go into detail about that here, it's obvious I haven't had a positive outcome from them. As for my so-called friend, he left the country in late 2011 and hasn't been back since.

Thanks.


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Replies

  • JohnSmith999JohnSmith999 Forumite
    20 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper
     However, shouldn't they keep an eye on regular transactions being made to another account?



    Um. No. 
    Grasping at straws if that's the basis of a complaint against the bank. 

    Even those MSE confirms the bank have failed in their duty? Quote: "Each time you complain, a financial company needs to give you a final response. This response must mention the ombudsman's free service, and it can get in trouble if it doesn't. In 2011, RBS and NatWest were fined for not doing this"

    I can't complain to the Financial Ombudsman if I don't know I can!
  • JohnSmith999JohnSmith999 Forumite
    20 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper

    Thanks for the responses.

     Fwor: In my bank's Sept 2018 letter, they acknowledge that my contact with them in October 2011 was a complaint.

     I'm not saying they should keep an eye on every transaction, but if large amounts are being transferred over time from one account to another, that should flag something?

     

    Eskbanker: Thanks re: the specific the FCA Handbook DISP 1.6.2 guideline and I've taken the wording from that link for my complaint which I'll submit shortly.






  • bonkersbonkers1bonkersbonkers1 Forumite
    57 posts
    10 Posts

     

     I'm not saying they should keep an eye on every transaction, but if large amounts are being transferred over time from one account to another, that should flag something?

     






    Are you saying that you did NOT make the transactions?
    If so they would have been dealt with by their fraud team shortly after they happened.
    If you admit to making them IMO there is no case to answer and your complaint now would fail as the other one did - sorry.
  • JohnSmith999JohnSmith999 Forumite
    20 posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper

     

     I'm not saying they should keep an eye on every transaction, but if large amounts are being transferred over time from one account to another, that should flag something?

     






    Are you saying that you did NOT make the transactions?
    If so they would have been dealt with by their fraud team shortly after they happened.
    If you admit to making them IMO there is no case to answer and your complaint now would fail as the other one did - sorry.

    It's nowhere near as black and white as that. I describe the situation in my original post. And when it comes to monitoring transactions, even before back then, if you went to a shopping mall with a credit card and did Xmas shopping, you'd find your card was stopped after 3 transactions in the same day before the system starts requiring the store to contact the bank to verify the purchase, so they know you're the owner of the card. My transactions weren't on the same day, but they were large amounts and the bank had nothing in place to measure any of this.
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
    14.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    JohnSmith999 said:
    And when it comes to monitoring transactions, even before back then, if you went to a shopping mall with a credit card and did Xmas shopping, you'd find your card was stopped after 3 transactions in the same day before the system starts requiring the store to contact the bank to verify the purchase, so they know you're the owner of the card. My transactions weren't on the same day, but they were large amounts and the bank had nothing in place to measure any of this.
    Even if the credit card scenario you paint was accurate (and it certainly doesn't reflect my experience and I suspect that of most others), that has nothing to do with inter-bank fund transfers, but you're fundamentally missing the point that even if banks sometimes challenge transactions, that doesn't make them responsible for doing so, and therefore you can't place any reliance on their 'failure' to do so.

    By all means pursue them on the technicality about FOS escalation, which may eventually yield a token goodwill gesture, but realistically there is no chance of success on the substance of your original primary complaint, so you're wasting your time there....
  • BreadcakeBreadcake Forumite
    38 posts
    10 Posts Second Anniversary Photogenic
    Hi John,
    It saddens me to see a so called friend abused your trust in this way. It must be troubling you a lot and be of a significant amount to be perusing justice ten years later.
    I understand your main complaint is the bank did not inform you the possibility of escalating your complaint to the ombudsmen, but looking back at the actual event what is it you expected the bank to do? Were they notified of the condition that gave you poor judgement prior to you making the transactions? Did you have a power of attorney to assist you in managing your accounts?
    If they did call you etc. to confirm the transactions before they were processed, would you have asked for them to be rejected or would you have said they're genuine payments to my friend and wish to proceed?
    I guess what I am getting at is by all means try what you are doing - but for your own sanity don't dwell on something that happened ten years ago if things don't go in your favor.
    Another thought which the bank may think - how many people do these sort of transactions before a friend goes abroad and then complains the transactions shouldn't have taken place?

    All the best.
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