Claiming as an executor

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My mum has very sadly recently passed away. In her final few weeks, I helped her with her finances and noticed that she had been paying £25 a month for a packaged account, even though she wasn’t eligible for any of the benefits.

With her permission, I contacted her bank to ask for the fees to be refunded and for advice on how to swap to a normal account. I was able to change her account but they refused to refund any charges as they had written to her and emailed her each year to check she was still eligible. My mum had terminal cancer for 2.5 years and was in and out of hospital for long stretches at a time and wouldn’t have been well enough to deal with these letters As she was a proud, independent lady, she insisted on dealing with her finances herself and so I wasn’t aware of these letters or indeed the type of account she held.

As the executor of her will, I have just received her closing bank statement and there was another £15 account fee. I have just queried it and it relates to a proportion of a monthly packaged account fee as her account was switched to a normal account part way through the month, just before she sadly passed away.

Has anyone else had experience of an elderly or sick relative trying to claim back account fees? Does anybody know if I can pursue a claim through the Ombudsman on behalf of an account holder as executor of the account holder’s estate? While I appreciate that the bank tried to check that my late mum was eligible for the benefits, I feel that once they are advised that she hasn’t been eligible then she should be able to claim the fees back retrospectively.

Thank you in advance for any assistance with my predicament.

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  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Newbie
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    edited 25 May 2021 at 10:09AM
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    You'd need to explain fully what the bank said but I suspect from your wording that they have time barred it, in which case you have no access to the FOS. In simple terms, any complaint can be time barred provided it meets the two criteria below:
    1) More than 6 years since the product was taken out
    2) More than 3 years since you knew, or could reasonably have known, that you had reason for complaint
    Bank sending out annual statements offering cheaper/free alternatives is sufficient to trigger the 3 year clock so assuming she had the account over 6 years and the bank can prove they sent a statement in around 2017/18 time, then your complaint is correctly time barred.
    If the case wasn't time barred then yes, a complaint could succeed and a refund of the fees would be possible but if they are holding firm on this (assume because it's likely to be expensive at £600 a year for many years + the 8% simple interest) then unfortunately this case is over.

    My condolences for your loss
  • dunstonh
    dunstonh Posts: 116,637 Forumite
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     I was able to change her account but they refused to refund any charges as they had written to her and emailed her each year to check she was still eligible.

    It is unclear from your post but that suggests they have already considered the complaint and said it is timebarred.

    My mum had terminal cancer for 2.5 years and was in and out of hospital for long stretches at a time and wouldn’t have been well enough to deal with these letters As she was a proud, independent lady, she insisted on dealing with her finances herself and so I wasn’t aware of these letters or indeed the type of account she held

    The annual benefit statements typically started being issued around 2012.  So, whilst your mum was suffering for 2.5 years, there would have been plenty of occasions they would have been issued before that.

    Does anybody know if I can pursue a claim through the Ombudsman on behalf of an account holder as executor of the account holder’s estate?

    If the complaint was timebarred previously, then there is no access to the FOS unless the timebar is considered to have been applied incorrectly.

    We really need to be clear on how the bank said that she was out of time.  If it was a throwaway comment in a branch by a member of staff then it means a complaint can still be made.  If it was in writing from the complaints team then it means it is too late.

    Sorry for your loss.

    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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