Packaged Bank Accounts (PBA) are the ‘marmite of banking’ according to consumer champion Martin Lewis, so is your fee-paying account right for you?
It is estimated that over 9 million of these accounts are currently open in the UK, but tens of thousands have complained over the way they were sold.
Some customers were made to believe taking an account with a monthly or annual fee was required in order to qualify for another product or beneficial rate, whilst others were simply ‘upgraded’ from free accounts without their knowledge.
One consumer has raised her mis-sold PBA case to a financial investigator, and it is a story which many may relate to.
Mrs M complained to Lloyds Bank earlier this year regarding the way she was sold her Premier Added Value Account. The account offered an interest-free overdraft, breakdown cover, travel insurance and other benefits but she did not use any of these.
She was also informed that she would not be able to have a loan unless she opened the Premier Added Value Account.
When she was in financial hardship some years later Mrs M contacted the bank, but was not advised that dropping the fee-paying account was an option.
These all demonstrate separate grounds for mis-sale, and despite her complaint being rejected by both Lloyds and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Tony Hetherington, investigator for the Financial Mail, was able to press further and get an outcome for Mrs M.
When he asked Lloyds to revisit the complaint Lloyds said: “It is clear that in our original review of this complaint we did not consider all the evidence available.
“We would like to apologise to Mrs M and will ensure she receives a full refund in respect of the monthly fees she has paid to date.”
This consisted of all monthly fees paid for the account to date, plus interest and compensation totalling more than £3,100 overall.
Major lenders across the UK have set aside a reported £1bn to cover the cost of mis-sold PBA compensation, with data from the FOS showing the only product to receive more complaints from consumers was Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).
It is not just high street banks caught up in PBA compensation either, as the AA and RAC have set aside millions to compensate customers who may have been paying for their cover twice.
If you have ever paid a fee for your bank account at Lloyds or any other high street bank, make sure you are really getting the full package.
Speak to our experts today and find out if you may be owed thousands.
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