Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi

    I have held a current account with Natwesticon for approx 10 years and have an overdrafticon limit of 400, i have always used the account for everyday accounts i.e wages, mortgageicon payments, D/D etc. until 3-4 years ago when i started my own business therefore opened business account and also opened joint account with my wife for everyday accounts.

    i had still used the current account until July 2011 when i had left the account at 390 overdrawn with no D/D or anything set to come out as things were tight moneywise and i needed the money at the time, however until jan 2012 i had not really looked at statements / letters regarding the account.

    After checking the account online i discovered that Natwest has charged me 180 per month in november & december running the account to approx 800 overdrawn.

    Is there anything i can do or do i need to pay


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi

    There are a number of issues here. Start off by reading this article http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...-RBS-last-year as some of the issues may apply to you.
    I have just realised that you will agreed overdrafticon limit is 400. It therefore makes no sense that they are levying charges against you unless for some reason other you have gone over the 400. Have you got statements? Can you see anything which has triggered the charges?

    Have they gone ahead and withdrawn your overdraft altogether?.

    You say that you have not looked at the letters and statements. Have you got them? Or have you thrown them away?



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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi

    Thanks for the quick reply, i do have statements and it appears that the bank has triggered originally by adding interesticon please see below copied from statement, you can see the dates, withdrawal amounts followed by balance at that time

    1 Jun 2011 OTR CALL REF.NO. 0000 , FROM A/C ####### -100.00 28.99
    2 Jun 2011 INT 12MAY A/C ######## - 3.66 25.33
    13 Jun 2011 OTR CALL REF.NO. 0561 , TO A/C ######## - 120.00 -94.67
    1 Jul 2011 OTR CALL REF.NO. 0000 , TO A/C ######## - 300.00 -394.67
    2 Aug 2011 INT 12JUL A/C ######## - 2.37 -397.04
    2 Sep 2011 INT 14AUG A/C ######## - 6.54 -403.58
    3 Oct 2011 INT 12SEP A/C ######## - 5.78 -409.36
    2 Nov 2011 INT 12OCT A/C ######## - 6.01 -415.37
    2 Nov 2011 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12OCT A/C #### - 60.00 -475.37
    2 Dec 2011 INT 13NOV A/C ######## - 6.41 -481.78
    2 Dec 2011 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 11NOV A/C #### - 180.00 -661.78
    3 Jan 2012 INT 12DEC A/C ######## - 5.81 -667.59
    3 Jan 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12DEC A/C #### - 186.00 -853.59

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    It's a bit gobbledegook, isn't it.
    What does it all mean?

    I suppose that int = interesticon
    What is OTR?

    Do I gather that it was below it's limit until the entry for 2 Sep?

    After that, how do they come to 180 as an unarranged overdraft fee?

    Why is it 60 one month and the 180?
    Is it a coincidence that it is multiples of 60?

    Have they continued to send you regular statements?
    Are they chasing you now?
    Do you have the money to put the account back to black - even temporarily while you reclaim?



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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    subbingicon.....

    OTR.......... Online Banking Transfer

    Oh and, 6.00 per day unarranged/unauthorised borrowing charge...... the sceptical may think this was brought in to side step the issue of increasing default interesticon rates.

    Gez


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    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    yes sorry ill try and explain

    INT = interesticon
    OTR = Online transaction

    OTR was me taking money to another account to meet bill payments in another account

    Yes it was below limit until 2nd sep when added interest took it over the limit

    The charges are
    02/11/11 - 60 = not sure from statement it just says unarranged O/D fee
    02/12/11 - 180 = 6 a day
    03/01/12 = 186 = 6 a day

    I have just checked but it looks like i have got rid of all statements but can get them resent online i think

    Like i said before i have had the account for approx ten years, never really had any financial problems with the bank and have a business account, a joint account, a personal loan and a credit card all with Natwesticon so seems a bit harsh that they have stuck on all these charges

    i have enough money to put the account back to within the overdraft limit immediately so should i do this???


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Out of interesticon, did/have you at all material times funds available in other accounts with the bank which they could have used to set-off?

    Gez


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Johnson View Post
    i have enough money to put the account back to within the overdrafticon limit immediately so should i do this???
    It's up to you. I'm all for starting off with a clean slate so that I have more leverage to attack them.

    My instinct would be to put together a case for saying that they are acting unfairlyicon to you.
    It is clear that you owe some of the money so you need to pay that off at least.
    If you don't clear the account and you start to attack them, then they will start retaliating and demanding full repayment, account closure, DCAicon, default etc etc.

    I like to keep my problems down to a minimum so that the issues are clear. you present a smaller target if you like.

    The solution I owujld suggest is to make out a case for unfairness under BCOBS and then to threaten to sue and give them very short timescales to react to you.
    You need to decide if you are prepared to go down this route.
    If you clear the account so that the level of the reclaim is stable then there is no danger of it getting out of hand and eventually growing to a proportion where the amount might be too large for the small claimsicon limit.
    You have to understand also that a BCOBS action would be a learning curve because it hasn't be tried before on charges. You stand to lose your claim fee if you lose. On the other hand, I can't see that they will give you back your charges any other way.
    They might hand you back a few charges as a gesture of goodwill but that's all. You could try the fosicon but it will take up to two years and probably not succeed.

    If you wanted to try the court route then we would help you as closely as we can.



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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Quote Originally Posted by gezwee View Post
    Out of interesticon, did/have you at all material times funds available in other accounts with the bank which they could have used to set-off?

    Gez
    This is a useful question. They have a right of set-off. I have always thought that there are no rights without duties and therefore it would be unfair not to set-off when there are funds available.



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  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi Gez

    Yes is the answer

    Also another interesting issue i found is that as soon as a business account is opened then all correspondence for any of my Natwesticon accounts is carried out through my business manager at the bank, which means i cannot be dis associated / seperated from personal / business accounts, which maybe not a bad thing i suppose unless you have a useless business account manager !!!! say no more !!!!

    I am finding it hard to understand why my bank did not freeze my account and stop all outgoings, when they can see from transactions that i am not using the account, instead it is them that are using my account to pay there own interesticon/charges that they are charging to my account for there own withdrawals.

    As you have highlighted because i have several accounts then the logical thing to do would be to inform me that they need to take the money to pay off a spiralling cost unless i address this, which brings me back to my totally brilliant business account manager that does have my phone number / email address on record !!!!!


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Another question (refer to the RBSicon claims link which I posted for you) - did they treat the charges as unauthorised? This means, were the charges themselves subject to an elevated rate of interesticon because they were considered to be unauthorised borrowing? - to they have a within limit interest rate and an over-limit rate?



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  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Quote Originally Posted by BankFodder View Post
    Another question (refer to the RBSicon claims link which I posted for you) - did they treat the charges as unauthorised? This means, were the charges themselves subject to an elevated rate of interesticon because they were considered to be unauthorised borrowing? - to they have a within limit interest rate and an over-limit rate?
    i'm not sure as it doesnt really give too much info online and to be honest i dont quite understand this !!

    I have just paid 500 into the account so balance is -353.59 and it looks like the overdraft is still available as it now says 46.41 is available, i will pay more off in the week to get the account back to 0

    i am obviously not happy to pay these bank charges as you can imagine. so further advice would be appreciated in relation to getting back my money


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    OK, as I have suggested, I expect that the only chance of getting the charges back would be by court action. It would have to be on the basis that the charges were unfair in their level or the way in which they had been levied.

    Second thing is that if you start to claim back the charges aggressively, there is a risk of retaliation by the bank. Retaliation would be unlawful but the bank might do it anyway. You need to be in a position where if the bank decide to get back at you, it won't hurt you.

    This means that you should be ready to pay off the rest of the OD if they call it in all of a sudden. You should also have a parachute accounticon ready so that you have somewhere else to go in case they start closing your account.

    You can start off trying to do thing reasonably and peacefully by approaching the bank and asking them to apply some discretion and return the charges t you because you are a long-standing customer who has run their account well. This may get you a few of the charges back - but it would be amazing if it got you all of them back.

    You could decide to make a complaint to the fosicon about the charges on the basis that they were unfair and that the bank was ignoring its statutory duty under BCOBS - these arguments are basically the same one which you would use in a court case.
    The FOS route will be trouble free for you. It won't cost you anything and there is no risk in the event that you lose. On the other hand, it will take a long time. You won't really know what is going on and finally the chances are that the FOS will not uphold your complaint. The FOS don't seem to be very enthusiastic regulators.
    Your last option wuld be to attack the bank directly by threatening them with a court action on the basis that their charges are unfair and that therefore they are in breach of statutory duty. This will rile the bank and there is a good chance that they will try to cause you problems - although as you are now within limits, it will be harder for them to do.

    You need to find out if the rate of interesticon paid on an agreed overdraft is less than the rate which is paid on an unagreed overdraft.

    Your unfairness arguments would be substantially those contained in the RBSicon letter which I have linked you - although we would tweak it to suit your situation.

    As long as the case remained on the small claimsicon Track - which is very likely, your only risk would be your claim fee.

    You would have to do the case yourself, go to court and represent yourself and understand the arguments well enough to explain them to the judge.

    If you won then you would get your claim fee back as well as your money.
    You would find the court route more stressful but more exciting than the FOS



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  14. #14
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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    One thing that keeps rattling around in my head............ if you consent to the overdrafticon facility, are you not also implicit [knowingly or not] in your ack to right of set-off

    Would any conditions effective on the facility not already be subordinate to the parties most cost effective lawful remedy? Anything else would seem to be an abuse of the contract itself in promoting maximum benefit for the bank.

    Gez


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Because it is a right to set-off it doesn't need any consent. It's a right.

    I don't think that the most cost effective lawful remedy comes in to it. But certainly I think that the COBSicon principles require that the bank takes its customers interests when making decisions and to me that means that where there is a conflict of interesticon coming from an ambiguity or loophole etc then the bank must resolve the conflict in the interests of the customer.

    Of course none of this is tested because COBSicon and BCOBS are not widely known about by consumers and certainly almost unused by them. It all needs to testing in the courts - but frankly I htink that the language is fairly clear



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  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi Guys

    Well the script gets better, allow me to explain...

    So in January i spoke to my Business manager who said that she was unable to and could not take off the charges that had accumulated on the account, however would waiver the charge for january if i made a payment and started to clear the debt.

    As above i made a payment of 500 on 13/01/12, however it took me to the start of Feb before i could attempt to try to pay off the agreed overdrafticon limit, although when i logged in to online banking the charges for January had been added to the account

    3 Jan 2012 INT 12DEC A/C ######## -5.81 -667.59
    3 Jan 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12DEC A/C ######## -186.00 -853.59
    13 Jan 2012 OTR CALL REF.NO. 0630 , FROM A/C ######## 500.00 -353.59
    2 Feb 2012 INT 12JAN A/C ######## -6.21 -359.80
    2 Feb 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12JAN A/C ######## -186.00 -545.80
    2 Mar 2012 INT12FEB A/C ######## -5.52 -551.32
    2 Mar 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 10FEB A/C ######## -54.00 -605.32
    12 Mar 2012 cheque 1,500.00 894.68
    15 Mar 2012 UNPD CHQ -1,500.00 -605.32
    2 Apr 2012 INT 12MAR A/C ######## -5.26 -610.58
    2 Apr 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12MAR A/C ######## -168.00 -778.58
    3 May 2012 INT 12APR A/C ######## -5.99 -784.57
    3 May 2012 Charge UNARRANGED OD FEE , 12APR A/C ######## -174.00 -958.57

    After phone callsicon, text messages, visits to the branch trying to get hold of my business manager since February, i have finally spoken to her today and although she didn't have a choice to avoid my call as i was transferred through to her by customer services, she denies that she had agreed to waiving the charges in January.
    She also had a very short temper with me and was totally unprofessional and rude, i of course was polite although inquisitive to why she had not responded to my attempts of contacting her, for which she replied "THAT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, if you want to make a complaint you need to put it in writing" - Charming !!!!!!!!!!!

    So i had been waiting to speak to her to resolve the issues over the January charge, i have received a letter from Natwesticon saying that they have been advised by my business manager to use their legal right of set off to clear the outstanding debt of -958.57, which would be collected from my business account if funds are available.
    I called the number and have lodged a complaint so i am now waiting for a response in writing, the operator asked me what outcome i would expect, so i told them i would like all of the charges to be waivered and for the account to be closed.

    You will notice that a cheque was paid into the account by a member of staff at the branch, this was supposed to be paid into my business account not this account which is a personal current account, not sure how that happened as my wife had taken the cheque into the branch, however the customer did cancel the cheque and it was repaid into my business account

    Just not sure what the outcome will be but will keep you posted


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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    why are you dealing on the phone without recording your callsicon?



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  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder Duncan Johnson Novitiate

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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Hi Guys

    Well its been a while, apologies for the delay.

    I did send in a complaint letter to Natwesticon after my last post detailing all information and my greivances

    My account spiralled to -1138.78 by the end of june 2012

    However i do have great news as my situation drew to an end shortly after when i recieved a letter from Natwest that the were willing to reimburse my account.

    Natwest paid the sum of 1138.78 which put my account into credit by 42, meaning i owed them nothing.

    So i thank you all for your advice and help with this matter


  19. #19
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    Default Re: natwest unarranged overdraft charges

    Duncan,

    I know it's a while ago now, but would you be prepared to share some of the arguments you used in your successful letter to the bank? I discovered this thread because I am currently in a very similar situation to the one you dealt with - interesticon charged on an infrequently used account taking my overdraft past it's arranged limit and then leading to charge upon charge which eventually totaled over 500 pounds.
    I'm trying to get this money refunded and it would be a great help to me, and many others who have found themselves in this situation, if I could see examples of what has worked in the past.



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