Packaged bank accounts
Bank accounts that come with benefits and have a monthly fee are called packaged bank accounts. If you were mis-sold your packaged bank account, you might be eligible to reclaim your account fees + interest. In this guide we will be covering your rights and get you started with your complaints process.
Packaged bank accounts are current accounts that come with extra features ‘packaged’ with them – from travel or mobile phone insurance, to special offers or extended overdrafts. They might be called things like “reward”, “premium” or “gold” accounts – and there’s usually a monthly fee attached them.
Packaged bank accounts can be mis-sold in various ways. Below are the most common reasons known to date.
- "I didn’t know I was being sold it" You didn’t want a packaged account but found out later you’d been given one anyway – and were being charged.
- "I was told I had to take out a packaged account" This is where you were told that you had to take out a packaged account and the free options weren’t mentioned, or you were misled in to taking out the account to qualify for a loan or another product.
- "The benefits of the package don’t suit me, I don’t need the things that are included" Some packaged account benefits aren’t going to be useful to some people. For example, people over 70 aren’t likely to be covered by the travel insurance.
Packaged bank accounts are regulated financial products. This means that a business must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to sell you a policy and underwrite the insurance. Banking has been regulated from April 1988\. All sales made on or after this point must be addressed by the business that sold you the policy, even if it is no longer trading. They are obliged to follow the regulations set down by the FCA and they have to tell you about your statutory right to go to the free Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if you are unhappy with their response.
Usually, the Statute of Limitations Act sets out the deadlines after which you must make a complaint. But with financial complaints there are other deadlines that mean you have more rights.
The FCA’s complaint handling rules say that you have:
- Six months from the date the business sends you a final response letter to your complaint. This should clearly state that you have six months to go to the ombudsman if you’re not happy.
- The complaint must have been made six years from the event the you are complaining about – or –
- Three years from when the point you knew, or could reasonably have known, that there was a problem.
Six & three year rule
These last two points listed above are known as the ‘six and three-year rule’. It sounds complicated, but in practice it means that even if you were sold a policy over six years ago by a regulated business, you’ve got three years from the point you realised that there was something wrong to make a complaint.
You should still make a complaint regardless, though if your complaint goes to the financial ombudsman they will need you to give reasons for not making a complaint in time.
If your complaint is upheld your bank will probably offer all or some of your fees back, plus interest. The Financial Ombudsman Services calculates interest at 8% per annum. As this is an income, be aware that you should report any interest to HMRC. The interest is calculated at 8% per annum, but is not compound interest: that means you will not receive interest on the interest.
When is your case is assessed, it will be looked at from the perspective of what is considered to be fair and reasonable. This is the assessment that will be used by the Financial Ombudsman Service if your case is rejected by the bank.
If your bank rejects your claim, do not worry: after eight weeks resolver will remind you to escalate your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The Financial Ombudsman Service is there to independently assess your case: it will be assessed on what is considered fair and reasonable. This service is free of charge. The ombudsman will look at every case on an individual basis to determine whether the claim is eligible.
There is no time limit on how far back you can claim, but in England and Wales the statute of limitation is six years, while in Scotland it is five years. The further back you go, the harder it is to complain.
Whether you signed up online or in branch, there is no difference to how your case will be handled.
If you have made a claim on your insurance policy, you might still be able to make a complaint. If the packaged account did not cover you for the main reason that you bought it, you can still make a claim.
Resolver's reclaim tool will take you through a few steps and help you prepare your claim. Before you search for the company to start your complaint/claim, please also read below our tips to make it easier for you.
After you’ve filled in all the information and details you can remember, your case file is saved in securely online for you to refer back to.
- Note down anything you can remember that might be relevant.
- Attach any documents (why not photograph them on a smart phone to save on copying them).
- Send off the case and check the Resolver dashboard so you can keep tabs on it.
If you don’t get a response or decision within eight weeks, or you’re not satisfied with the response, let us know. You can make a complaint for free to the Financial Ombudsman. The ombudsman will ask you to fill out a questionnaire to help them investigate your complaint. If you need help you can speak to them on [0800 023 4 567]
You can raise issues with 25 companies in Packaged bank accounts services
Key companies include: