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Everything posted by Gez

  1. NatWest Bank PLC 135 Bishopsgate London EC2M 3UR
  2. All day eh? You must know the situation inside out by now then, we'll have to accept your judgement..
  3. I believe you have every reason to be optimistic, tudays ruling has no baring whatsoever on the principle of your claim..
  4. Today's ruling might actually turn out to be good news for you then. All your charges are under historic T&Cs which say charges were to cover costs. Today's ruling only says the OFT could not assess the fairness of the prices of a bank's services. Your claim has nothing to do with the price of a service, its a dispute over whether you were being told the truth about how much their costs were. The PCA report will win that argument for you. The stay may even be lifted soon as there is no longer any basis for it. Chin up, you might just win yet!
  5. If you've had charges on a credit card, then I'm thinking that you could use CPR31.16 for disclosure of the agreement as part of the credit card charges claim? Any further action, issuing a default e.t.c. should be more clearly challengable because the account would remain in dispute over the charges, regardless of the argument over what satisfies the obligation to produce a CCA. Your grounds for using this CPR is to clarify if the charges were part of the original agreement, to see what exactly was stated and if you did actually agree to them. Even if they repay the charges to your account and try to evade disclosure by saying you no longer have a claim, you could still push the case for disclosure, as the agreement still has implications for the account in the future in relation to any other potential charges. Sounds reasonable?
  6. I like quotes like this: Part of a package.. That's quite a commonly used term these days isn't it. This is always a nice way of saying "if this turns out to be a turd, we can say its part of a package, not a plan in itself". Then just hope to god that some of the other parts of the 'package' actually work..
  7. My company has passed on the cut. However, this actually comes at a cost because things like brochures & pricelists must now be thrown in the bin and reprinted, great for the environment, ask argos how many they've thrown out!! For some larger suppliers the re-print will need to be done on a smaller scale because the cut is temporary.
  8. Gez

    Overdraft revoked

    Once you have brought your account back into the black, they will still allow you to overdraw on the account, but of course, only on an unarranged basis. No need to explain why.. I'm challenging HSBC on this issue right now.
  9. The claim is not settled unless they comply with both the repayment and the default removal if that is what you have stipulated in your POC. There's no poing accepting the payment then going through the whole thing again to get the default removed.
  10. I made this POC for claims using this process using the existing CAG POC as a base, then adding in relevant parts. Please examine & pick it to pieces or give any suggestions you might have. I also believe it might be possible to make a cut & dry complaint to Trading Standards & OFT about bankers introducing services (the informal/unarranged overdraft service, considering & declining payments service e.t.c.) and applying them to their customers accounts and charging for them when; a) they were not asked for and B) did not exist when the account was opened, thus rendering the terms & subsequent charges entirely unfair (possibly even illegal?) & removing the need to go to court. I can't imagine any regulatory body accepting that a business can just introduce a new service & start charging their customers for it without asking them if they want it and making it mandatory & non-negotiable.. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Particulars Of Claim 1. The Claimant has/had an account XXXXXXXX ("the Account") with the Defendant which was opened on or around date 2. a) During the period in which the Account has been operating the Defendant debited numerous charges to the Account in respect of breaches of contract on the part of the Claimant or in respect of various purported services provided by the Defendant. The Defendant also charged interest on the charges once applied. The Claimant understands that the Defendant contends that the charges were debited in accordance with the terms of the contract between itself and the Claimant. Charges debited from the Claimant’s account between date & date were applied under the Defendant’s Terms & Conditions effective until date 2007 (see appendix xx). Under these terms, the charges levied for instances of exceeding the agreed overdraft limit are described as remuneration “to cover administration & management costs”. Charges levied under the current Terms & Conditions are described as “Fees for the service of providing an informal overdraft facility”. b) On date the Claimant wrote to the Defendant to request that services such as “informal overdraft” and “considering and declining payments” be removed from the Claimant’s account on the basis that they are hugely expensive, are not wanted and were not agreed at the time of opening the account. The Defendant refused to remove these services effectively forcing the claimant to accept and pay for services that were not asked for and not agreed to. In no other industry is a company permitted to introduce a new service and force its customers to use and pay for it without negotiation. c) On date the Claimant applied for a “Formal overdraft” facility of £XXX on the account. This is £XXX less than the highest amount the account was overdrawn on date. This application was declined by the Defendant on the basis of poor credit scoring. Yet the defendant continues to provide an overdraft only on an informal/unarranged basis. 3. A list of the charges applied is attached to these particulars of claim. 4. The Claimant contends that: a) Insofar as they may be penalties, the charges debited to the Account are punitive in nature; are not a genuine pre-estimate of cost incurred by the Defendant; exceed any alleged actual loss to the Defendant in respect of any breaches of contract on the part of the Claimant; and are extravagant and unconscionable in amount in comparison with the greatest loss that could conceivably be proved to have followed from the breach, but instead act in terrorem to ensure contractual compliance and to deter a breach on the part of the Claimant. Furthermore, the terms which state that charges were levied to cover administration & management costs were misrepresented to the Claimant. The results of an investigation into personal current banking accounts report published by the OFT on date shows that over 30% of a bank’s total income is generated by the levying of charges for instances of customers exceeding their overdraft limit or entering into an unarranged overdraft where no overdraft facility exists. It is inconceivable that the Defendant would spend over 30% of its total income managing & administering instances of customers exceeding their overdraft limit. The Claimant has requested on numerous occasions that the Defendant demonstrate how such costs are incurred and how the Defendant arrives at the sums charged. Given that the crux of issue in contention is concerned with these costs, the Claimant believes it is central to the case that the Defendant be ordered to demonstrate what its costs are in relation to the sums charged under these terms. b) Insofar as they purport to be services provided by the Defendant, the High Court on the 24th April 2008 rejected the notion that the blocking of cheques, direct debits and so forth were services in the sense commonly understood. Furthermore the High Court held that the Defendant's charges were subject to tests of unfairness under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999. Whereas, at all material times the Claimant was a consumer within the meaning of the Regulations and the Defendant was a supplier within Regulation 3(1), and The banking contract was conducted on the Defendant’s standard terms. Given that a formal/arranged overdraft is refused but informal/unarranged overdrafts are subsequently automatically approved, the terms imposing the charges levied by the Defendant are entirely unfair and contrary to the requirement of good faith. Furthermore The terms imposing the charges cause a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations arising under the contract, to the detriment of the consumer in that:- • Bank accounts have become a basic essential service • The Defendant is a wholly dominant partner in a non-negotiable standard-form contract. • There are a limited number of providers of banking services all whom exercise similar dominance over their customers in non-negotiable standard form contracts. • These banks exercise a collective dominance in the market. • The charges of all banks are highly similar in nature and in cost and so the consumer in general and the claimant in particular has no real choice between banking service providers and is forced to acquiesce to the charges. • The charges exceed actual costs by several thousand percent • They are applied unilaterally in a standard form contract without the possibility of negotiation • The Defendant refuses to provide a formal/arranged overdraft facility, yet will continue to approve payments where there are insufficient funds therefore, creating an informal/unarranged overdraft for which it will charge the Claimant for a service he did not ask for and has clearly stated that he does not want. • The Defendant raises the charges or restructures its charging scheme at will without discussion with its customers • The Charges are of subsidiary importance to the customer in the context of the Banking Contract as a whole and would not influence the making of the Banking Contract. • The customer had no means of assessing the fairness of the Charges at the time of entering the contract • The charges reflect a markup of several thousands of percent on the costs of dealing with the claimant's "delinquency" episodes. This is an extraordinary markup for any UK business. The normal markup on the High Street is less than 100%. • Many of the Defendants charges are levied on previous charges incurred in preceding months. Therefore the Defendants are themselves causing the impecuniousity which then triggers more charges. Therefore the Defendants have caused much of the claimant's impecuniousity and it is the Defendants who are causing the charges to be levied with a view to their own profit. • The Defendant operates its high level of charges in order to cross-subsidise other banking services which it provides to other customers at less than cost price - "free-banking". • The charges could be imposed repeatedly and interest at a higher rate could be charged on those accumulated charges • The Defendant's charges structure depends upon the impecuniousity and vulnerability of its poorer customers to provide free-banking services for those in a better position. • The overall charging regime operated by the Defendant is disproportionately applied to a minority of its customers, often those who are least able to afford it.• • As established by the High Court (OFT v Abbey & Others) the customer would receive no service or benefit in return for the imposition of charges. g) In the premises the terms imposing the charges are unfair within the meaning of Regulation 5 (1) and thus not binding on the Claimant under Regulation 8. 5. Accordingly the Claimant claims: a) the return of the amounts debited in respect of charges in the sum of £ X ; b) Interest charges which have been paid on the above charges in the sum of £ X ; c) The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year, from [date when the money became owed to you] to [the date you are issuing the claim] of £ [amount] and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of [enter the daily rate of interest] d) Court costs or other costs as allowed by the court; I believe that the contents of these particulars of claim are true Signature
  11. Thats him! Its just a html page so if you want, you can just leave it on your desktop, double click it & it will open as a web page. This way it will also work on a mac & with linux.
  12. Its just another hoop they want you to jump through. They send else everything to your home address, that should be enough. Don't sign the CCA request..
  13. We may be their shareholders now, but that's only because Gordon Brown decided that for us. I doubt we'll get a vote, so our plight & opinions will still not matter to them. We're just here to feed them cash to make them rich & bail them out when they've screwed everything up.
  14. Perhaps I'm not articulating it well enough, but I'm not at all focusing on the amount. I am arguing about the term itself being unfair. They may not make any difference to the end result, especially if we end up with some kind of blanket settlement system. However, if the bank has refused an overdraft facility based on bad credit scoring (the "logic" being that you are deemed too much of a risk for them to provide you with credit), then they can hardly justify granting an unarranged/informal overdraft afterwards for more than the amount they refused you for and which will leave you with yet further negative balance. It may well come to nothing, but as ever, I just look for every possible angle, be it brilliant or bonkers as long as one or two of them turn out ok and the risk isn't too great. Nice analogy nevos..
  15. Bookworm: Even if a "fair amount is agreed" whether it is set by a court or a threshold as per credit card charges, the fact that an overdraft is available only on an unarranged/informal basis should give you good grounds to argue that the charges/fees are unfair in their entirety. For example, I ask the bank for an overdraft of £100 & they say no. At the end of the month an unexpected bill gets paid & sends your account £100 overdrawn. You are then charged an extra £25 arrangement fee for the informal overdraft. So how is it possible that an informal overdraft can be granted, when an formal overdraft has already been refused? and how can the bank explain that after having refused a £100 overdraft facility, the account is now £125 overdrawn. We have asked that all payments simply be refused if there are insufficient funds. HSBC have refused to do that stating that the account will be operated as per the T&Cs. My argument is that all terms relating to informal overdrafts should be deemed unfair if a formal overdraft facility has been refused. Especially given that the "services" for which these charges are levied were not agreed when the account was opened and were enforced on the account even after having stated that these "services" are not wanted.
  16. I believe that there is yet another way to get 100% refund even if a "fair amount" is agreed and I am doing a claim now with HSBC which argues that the charges (under current terms) are unfair in their entirety under UTCCR. This could also be applied to historic terms with some creative POC.. It starts by asking the bank for an overdraft for the amout that you were overdrawn the most. In this case, about £550. If it is refused, which it was in this case, then you can argue that the charges are unfair in their entirety because the overdraft is being made available only on an unarranged/informal basis, but refused on an arranged/formal basis. HSBC confirm that they use credit scoring to decide whether or not you can have an overdraft and if so, how much. Lets see them explain how this credit scoring led to the refusal of an arranged overdraft, but allowed an unarranged overdraft when the credit scoring had already decided that the customer was not good for it..
  17. I also wonder how this affects the opinion of legislation on taking charges from those on benefits. How will the Gov't not interpret this as it is now the very same Brown who giveth & Brown who taketh away..
  18. Here's a little idea that I want to throw out here. It kind of came to me when I came up with the hairbrain idea of "playing them at their own game". Ok maybe that was a bit risky, but you never know, some good things might come from it. Anyway, as an opening part of the process for a claim I am doing, I have first requested that the overdraft be increased to the amount by which the account was in unarranged OD at its peak (just uver £250 past the agreed limit). I fully expect the bank to refuse the increased overdraft. The banker has already confirmed that the decision as to whether or not to grant the overdraft will be based on a credit check. If, as expected the OD request is refused, then it is impossible to see how the imposing of any charges can be fair at all if you can have an extended limit ONLY on an unarranged basis for which you will be charged a couple of arms & legs.. I'll also be asking why they even allow an unarranged overdraft at all if the credit scoring has already determined that an arranged overdraft should be refused. This is a perfectly reasonable basis upon which to argue that the charges are unfair in their entirety, regardless of whether a "fair amount" is eventually agreed. Now that the OFT have juristiction, we can then explain our findings straight to the OFT who will surely have no option but to agree that the very basis for imposing unarranged overdraft charges will fail the test of fairness. There could be something in it, there might not, but what the hell, there's no risk and it's only an extra sentence or 2 in your prelim letter.
  19. Just write back to them and say thanks for the letter, however, I asked for a copy of my CCA agreement.
  20. It was the FSA who granted the waiver. Gordon brown & Co aren't in the slightest bit interested. What they'd prefer is for everyone to go to the petition site where people can indulge in the illusion that they have a voice, then get some anonymous secretary to spend a good 2-3 minutes typing up a generic "it is being looked into by the relevant authorities" response. Wonderful thing democracy! The only people who are delaying the outcome is the bankers themselves and judges getting stranded on Caribbean islands..
  21. Whether it is feesable or not doesn't really matter. It is the courts who are in charge of the test case, not the government.
  22. No prescribed terms, no repayment schedule, it clearly states that it is an application form, only your signature. Looks like a dud to me.. Check the terms of the PPI aswell, you might be able to reclaim that too..
  23. I've been thinking some more on this. Ok it seems most would consider it a bit risky. However, at the very lest, there is still a good angle in there for an argument about fairness. Example: People could ask for an extension of their OD, or an OD if none exists, as part of their prelim letter. Ask for the amount equal to the maximum you have been overdrawn after charges applied. If your request is refused, which is likely, then you have reasonable grounds to argue in your POC that the charges are unfair in their entirety, regardless of whether or not a "fair figure" is agreed between the OFT & bankers because the very imposing of the charges was unfair in the first place... It doesn't really matter how decisions are made & processed. All the OFT would want to know is whether or not it is fair. They have already won the power now to decide on this. I would hazard a guess that granting an unarranged overdraft in order to impose enormous charges, whilst refusing an arranged facility to the same amount could only fail the test of fairness.
  24. Unfortunately, the Information Commissioners Office will do nothing about it either. If you want your data, you gotta give em what they ask for. I ended up sending a scanned passport & the 2 original bills/statements. I can tell you that Callcredit just complied after sending just the letter, no ID. Experian & Equifax refused until they got the ID, Experian in particular were quite stroppy. Now, even after this, Equifax are still refusing unless I fill in & return their "S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) application form" which is basically just an irrelevant questionaire. They claim I haven't given them my DOB, confirmed current address for the last 6 years e.t.c. The DOB is on the damn passport. I simply send them a letter saying send the info before the end of the 40 days or you'll be paying court fees..
  25. It makes absolute sense yourbank. Try reading it slower Your analogy is quite reasonable. No I wouldn't lend you any more money, but banks emphatically would and do. This is exactly the mechanism used to levy these extortionate charges. The higher unarranged limits are given regardless of whether you stick to your limits or not. I know of one account where the limit was exceeded every single month. The higher "unarranged" overdraft limit was usually about an extra £200 before payments started getting declined. In fact the only payments that wouldn't get declined after reaching the unarranged limit are the charges & interest. These would always get paid even if it took the overdraft more than twice over the agreed limit. What we should be asking is, on what basis do banks make their decision to make or decline payments when the overdraft limit has been exceeded. If they are happy to extend an overdraft past its limit in an unarranged basis, then there should be no good reason why they wouldn't extend it on an arranged basis. I bet they won't say "so that we can pile on the charges"..
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