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Packaged Bank Account... What Is It?

Is the next big scandal is upon us? You will have already heard about the vast mis-selling of PPI and how consumers have now claimed back over 17.3 billion since January 2011 as published by the FCA. Now the banks have been found to be mis-selling once again, this time the ‘bundles’ sold with their bank accounts known as Package Bank Accounts (PBA).

Also known as gold, premium or platinum accounts, packaged bank accounts come in many guises but any type of bank account that you have to pay for the extra benefits you receive is classed as a packaged account.

These ‘package’ accounts offer a range of insurance policies, VIP airport lounge, even discounts in restaurants. All of these ‘free’ benefits may sound like a seductive proposition; one monthly payment could cover you for car breakdown, travel insurance even damages to your mobile phone. But let’s look at the small print, you are paying for all these insurances, are you even eligible to claim on them? These attractive packages may have benefited a few people, but for the majority they were not suitable.

Why Were They Mis-Sold?

In September 2012 the FCA published evidence of the banks poor practice for selling their products, the findings showed that the banks sales staff were driven to sell PBA through risky incentive schemes, rewards and commission, all contributed to the mis-selling.

It was the unrealistic targets that encouraged the staff to push the sales of PBA’s even though a consumer would have been more suited to a fee free account.

The FCA review found:

Incentive schemes were likely to drive staff to mis-sell and these risks were not being properly managed or at all;

Banks failing to identify how incentive schemes might encourage staff to mis-sell, suggesting they had not properly thought about the risks or simply turned a blind eye to them;

Firms failing to understand their incentive schemes because they were so complex, therefore making it hard to control them;

Firms relying too much on routine monitoring of staff rather than taking account of the specific features of their incentive schemes;

The Sales managers to have conflicts of interests, such as a responsibility to manage the conduct of their sales staff whilst themselves able to earn a bonus if their team made more sales;

Was My Package Bank Account Mis-Sold?

Basically, if the extras on the account are not suitable for you, or you were not aware of the features on the account, then you may be able to claim. Things to look for:

Have you noticed additional charges on your monthly statement? You could have been ‘upgraded’ to a fee-paying bank account, just through being a loyal customer

The full costs were not explained

You were advised you had to upgrade your account if you wanted to benefit from an overdraft

You had to have a PBA to be offered preferential loan/Mortgage rates

You did not request all of the products that came with your account

There was no discussion as to whether you were eligible to claim on the policies

You have tried to make a claim on the insurances, and found that you were not covered

You tried to cancel the account but forced to keep it

If You Think You Have Been Mis-Sold, Claim Today!

We operate a No Win No Fee* service that allows our expert claims advisors to claim on your behalf. If your complaint is not successful, we will not take a fee, so it really is no risk to you. You don’t have anything to lose!

We are seeing an increase in PBA complaints, in the last year the Financial Ombudsman has seen a rise of more than threefold (FOS). If you feel like a victim of the banks you are not alone, the Financial Services Regulator estimated that there were 10 million packaged bank accounts open in the UK – meaning around one in five adults has one (FOS).

The number of complaints is steadily rising as people become more aware of the problem, and media interest increases after the huge PPI mis-selling scandal.

We will process all the paperwork for you, and speak to the banks (so you don’t have to!) to ensure that your claim is handled as quickly as possible so we can potentially get that refund in your back pocket!

Let’s not let the banks get away with another scandal.

* If you cancel on request after 14 days then you may be subject to a cancelation charge (please refer to section 5 of the terms of engagement.