Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I may be a little contoversial here. This may not be the case with everyone but I think it is fair to say that the reason we get charged is because we are trying to obtain money that is not ours. We go over our overdraft, cheques bounce or Direct Debits fail. The charges are being enforced by our banks unlawfully, but we are the ones that are giving them reason to do this. I am not putting all the blame on us but I think it is time we took some of the responsibility.

    I agree 100% with everyone who is claiming back unlawful charges that they just do not belong to the bank but I think it is time that we stopped giving them the chance to do it.

    As one of the moderators said this is not a get rich quick scheme.

    We all suffer with the same problem and tat us that we're not that great with money. But we can be with the help of sites like moneysavingexpert.com and ones like this.

    Let's not give them a chance to charge us anymore.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    When I was having financial difficulties which were causing me to go over drawn etc. I used to check my account online everyday, several times a day to check I had enough money in my account. When I saw I was going to go overdrawn I would transfer money in from another account to cover this. However BOS don't update this regularly, their excuse is that they can't see DDicon's coming in as they come from another company, this is BS as I used to work in the DD department of BOS .

    This situation only arose after BOS became HBOS, before they used to have a section online where you could see pending transactions but this disappearred!

    So the short answer is I don't think it is my fault if I go overdrawn when the bank themselves don't tell me that their is money coming off my account.

    I used to check my account before I left work at 4.55pm then again when I got home at 5.30 and I would have had a DD come off inbetween which would mean I would get charged 30 plus 28 at the end of the month.

    I don't think most people on this site are arguing that we shouldn't get charged, only that it is unfair to charge 58 for going OD by 1 for 24 hours, this is the sort of rate you would expect from a loan shark not a high street bank.

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  3. #3
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    westable Novitiate westable's Avatar



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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I agree that the amount charged is completely unreasonable.

    It's just that i look at a lot of threads and a fair few people are claiming from multiple places which suggest that we are not able to manage our finances effectively.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    This has nothing to do with whether or not we manage our finances correctly. If the banks felt that we were at fault and did not want our business then they reserve the right to terminate the contract and close our accounts.

    The issue here is that the fee charged by the bank for a breach of the contract (going overdrawn, exceeding overdraft limits, returned DDicon's etc) is a penalty and therefore unlawful.

    A contractual term that requires a person in breach to pay a predetermined sum is a penalty clause, unless that sum genuinely relates to the amount of damage caused by the breach. This was established in 1915 Ford Motor Co. v. Armstrong (1915) where Ford were charging dealers a sum of 250 if the dealer sold the cars at less than list price and the Court of Appeal decided the sum was arbitrary, bore no relation to the loss and did not need to be paid.

    In relation to a bank, this means that they can only charge what it actually cost them to return a DD, or what it actually cost them that you borrowed 50 more than you were supposed to for 5 days.

    The point is, they do not apply what it cost them, they apply a standard fee, which bears no relation to the actual loss suffered by the bank and therefore the fee is unlawful.

    If you feel that there is some moral obligation compelling you to continue to pay what amount to extortionate fees because you feel it is your own fault and the bank should chastise you then by all means do not reclaim them and continue to pay them.

    I have read many posts on here and it seems to me that most of us are actually quite good with money, good enough at least that the banks keep our accounts open.

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  5. #5
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I think that is TOTALLY judgemental and wrong for you to assume that.

    We ran into problems because after our first child I had to give up work because I had PND, with the shortfall in our finances, we consolidated......Oh....y eah...right, isn't that what you're supposed to do? after all that's what everyone seems to tell you to do on the tele!!! DON'T DO IT!!!

    I went back to work and things were manageable, we even moved house and paid off half of what we owed . But then I fell pregnant again but this time I couldn't go back to work because my second daughter needs 24hr care (nothing major...don't worry, she's fine but still needs me at home). We had to change the car to fit 2 car seats and then things spiralled again until in the end we had to seek help to organise ourselves, in the mean time the banks were charging us left right and centre.

    We don't go on holidays, we hardly ever go out for meals etc and I'm very 'clever' when it comes to buying clothes for us all. And as for the banks! for example....we went overdrawn by nearly 3k, the bank had taken 2.5k in charges, most of which was over 2 years.....it doesn't take a genius to work out that our problems would not have been so bad if they had charged us fairly in the first place.

    Some people, like ourselves have had situations to deal with and are genuinely just trying to get their financial lives 'back on track' and others may well get their money back off the banks and not learn from the experience but either way......the banks are wrong, not us! and I'm sick to death of feeling guilty for just living!

    Fair and proportionate charges for all.....that's all we want...oh, and OUR money back!

    Wx


  6. #6
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    the bank will always keep your account open if you continue to pay charges, you are right they do have the right to close your account but they are not. they are overcharging and getting away with it.

    And i think you'll find that it does have a little to do with the way we manage our finances. The charges are applied when we do something (in the banks eyes) we agreed we were not going to do.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    i did not say everyone is like that, i am just pointing out that they are running a business and they want to make money. We should not give them the chance to take ours.


  8. #8
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Yes but it's the amount that they charge which sends us further and further into trouble every month.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I didnt mean to sound judgemental. I wouldn't be on here if i wasn't in a similiar situation.


  10. #10
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by westable
    i did not say everyone is like that, i am just pointing out that they are running a business and they want to make money. We should not give them the chance to take ours.
    Yes, agreed....but life ain't perfect and when things get a little difficult, fair charges would make things more manageable instead of beating us with a financial hammer when we have gone overdrawn.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Which is very true, it's a viscious circle which is difficult to get out of. I am still a student and am in this much trouble i dread to think the s##t i'll be in when i finally want to buy my own home.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I just think that we all have to be savvy to these tricks the banks use. I would love fair charges, the 12 that has been thrown about is still personally far to much to charge.


  13. #13
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    I agree, especially since it's not related to what it costs them....5 or less would be more reasonable and if people start taking the p*** with their a/cs because of lower charges then close them?!


  14. #14
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    if only the banks would take notice, if it was an acceptable amount which you suggest they would get less complaints, would have to refund less and spend less hours on these and more on improving their service. And to be perfectly honest the service i receive from RBSicon besides the charges has been outstanding. The charges are the only complaint.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by westable
    the bank will always keep your account open if you continue to pay charges, you are right they do have the right to close your account but they are not. they are overcharging and getting away with it.

    And i think you'll find that it does have a little to do with the way we manage our finances. The charges are applied when we do something (in the banks eyes) we agreed we were not going to do.
    But the point here is that the law does not allow the charge made for a breach of contract to be a penalty - it can only be a genuine pre-estimate of losses or the amount of the actual loss suffered.

    Regardless of what the banks think, the law is there to ensure fairness and these charges are unfair and therefore do not need to be paid.

    As for the future of these charges, this is a commercial decision for the banks to make, they may (as HSBC have stated) insist that banking can no longer be free and a standard fee will be applied to each account.

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  16. #16
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by hagenuk
    But the point here is that the law does not allow .
    But it does! it makes me so sad that their are so many like us out there who are just accepting things as they are....why aren't the banks being held accountable by the law?


  17. #17
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Willowb, the law allows that we can recover the charges.

    If a bank levies a charge and we pay it then no crime has taken place. Just like if I sold you a mars bar for 1000 and you paid, that is not a crime.

    The part of law that we use to reclaim our charges is enshrined in contract law and states that one party may not be disadvantaged or unfairly penalised by the other in the event of a breach and that any damages claimed must be only what the breach has cost.

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  18. #18
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Ok I get it now......I always wondered why they could do it in the first place....thanks hun.

    Wx


  19. #19
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Excellent thread which I have only just got around to reading, but what exactly are we supposed to be responsible for?

    Nobody is twisting the banks' arms to pay out when we go overdrawn, they could choose to reject the direct debiticon or whatever it is and leave it at that - no more work is involved in rejecting it than is involved in paying it, so why is one instance free and the other chargeable?

    Banks are the only organisations I know that can TAKE your money upfront regardless of whatever other bills you have to pay, thus putting you in the position of having to find enough money to pay them back before you can pay any of your other bills (say from an account that your salary goes into) regardless of how important those other bills may be (such as car insurance, which is a legal requirement, or mortgagesicon, utility bills etc).

    Not all of us are good with money; the banks on the other hand are supposed to be experts, there to guide us, not extort us. How many of you have incurred late payment charges from other organisations because subsequent direct debits could not be made due to previous charges added to your bank account? How much stress and trauma, hassle from debt collectorsicon, phone callsicon and letters have you had to put up with as a result of the banks' illegal fines?

    Quite frankly given that most of us are ONLY claiming back illegal charges means the banks are getting off lightly in my opinion. There is no defence whatsoever for their profiteering, and that's all it is make no mistake about that. Let's not forget that by taking several days to clear cheques, BACS payments and so on they are making a profit from EVERY PENNY we pay in already. BACS paymants in much of Europe clear same day, so IT CAN BE DONE!


  20. #20
    willowb
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    Default Re: The problem lies with us!! Please read and comment.

    Hear hear!!! Although...they're unlawful charges not illegal

    I had this out with the nationwide lately about out current account. Looked at it on-line at 5pm, there was enough funds in there, looked at it again the next morning and there were 7 transactions that had gone through in that space of time.....that equalled 4 charges plus having to pay the returned DDicon (council tax) double next month. I had it out with them, and they gave me some argument that 'it doesn't always show on the balance items that are waiting to come out'.........oh how bloody convenient!!! but she was understanding and took the charges off for that day. I thought, what's the point of trying to keep on top of things by checking our account when within the space of a few hours, without any warning so that I could have put funds in, it's in crisis again!!!

    Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Wxx



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