Cagger since : Jun 2006
Posts : 7 (0.00 post per day)
Re-claiming Unauthorised Overdraft fees.
EDIT: Looks like I'm off to a bad start on the forum here - just noticed the individual bank forums below. Could a mod please move this to "The Nationwide Action Group".
Just found this site today when I was looking for information on re-claiming charges that have been made to my current account. I have to say that from what I've seen, this in an excellent resource and very helpful forum for people who have been treated unfairly by large companies.
I'm a university student and like most students, my balance lives quite close to the red. However, although I frequently go over, it's never usually more than £10-£20 until my part-time wages come through.
I'm looking to re-claim these charges and I'm about to post the following letter:
[my name and address]
13 June 2006
Nationwide Building Society
Penalty & unfair charges – request for refund for [my name], [sort code], and [account number]
I am writing regarding unauthorised overdraft charges totaling £175 which have been made to my account on the following dates:
04 April 2005, 04 July 2005, 03 August 2005, 03 September 2005, 04 October 2005, 03 January 2006, 03 February 2006, 06 March 2006, 04 May 2006 and 03 June 2006.
0n 5 April 2006 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that default charges which are set at more than £12 will be presumed to be unfair and unenforceable in terms of the Unfair terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (SI. 1999/2083). Charges above this sum will be subject to legal action by the OFT (press release 68/06 - online here: http://www.oft.gov.uk/News/Press+releases/2006/68-06.htm).
I would respectfully submit that if your organisation does not agree to immediately refund all unfair charges applied to my account, it will not meet the ‘fit and proper person’ test to hold a consumer credit licence under the Consumer Credit Act 1974. In that eventuality, I will submit a 1974 Act complaint to the OFT.
On a separate note, I am of the view that your charges represent a penalty and are therefore irrecoverable at common law. In the Scottish case of Castaneda and Others v. Clydebank Engineering and Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (1904) 12 SLT 498 the House of Lords held that a contractual party can only recover damages for actual or liquidated losses incurred from a breach of contract. This is also the position in English law: Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage and Motor Co Ltd  AC 79.
Your charges do not reflect any actual loss; instead they appear to represent a lucrative profit-making scheme. UK banks have recently given evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee on how bank charges are calculated: "The costs are going to pay for all the people we have who pursue debt, collect debt, speak to customers and chase payments. The way these charges are arrived at is by taking these total costs and making some assumptions about the volume that is going to come through to arrive at the individual charges" (2nd report, 25 January 2005, paragraph 50 - online here: http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmtreasy/274/27405.htm).
Accordingly, the charges applied to my account are not a reasonable pre-estimate of the bank’s loss in relation to my account. Your charges would appear to represent a device to recover global losses (for example, loan defaulters, bad debt write off, including commercial lending in, and outwith, the UK).
Please refund these charges to my account within the next 7 days. I reserve the right to commence court proceedings without any further notice, and to seek an additional award for distress and inconvenience, together with legal expenses.
You all will have more experience than me doing this, so I was wondering what you think of the letter (I found the template on a local MPs website) and if there's anything I could add to make it more likely to win me a refund.
Cagger since : Apr 2006
Posts : 49 (0.01 post per day)
Re: Re-claiming Unauthorised Overdraft fees.
Hi,I have sent the prelim letter that you highlighted from this site, I had a standard reply saying no refund,I have now sent my moneyclaim.
As to which is better,either I would have said.I have seen your letter on govan law centre site,they seem to have had good responses.
good luck, jools