Let me start at the beginning, I was in London on a working holiday visa and opened an account with NatWest. Apparently it was an Advantage Gold account that has a monthly charge of £12, which I wasn't aware of at the time. When I left back to South AFrica I went to the bank and they said it is not necessary to close my account, I can leave it and if it is inactive for a period of time it will be closed by the bank.
Now a year and a half later (18months) my husband received a 5 year work permit and we returned to London. I took a chance to see if I can reactivate my account thinking it has obviously been closed, as it had been inactive for 18 months. Only at this point was I made aware that I actually had charges on my account and that these charges have accumulated over the months and I am now £462 in debt- I DON'T EVEN HAVE AN OVERDRAFT!!! I was informed by someone at the bank that they stopped charging the £12 after a couple of months but then started charging interest on the total as I was in overdraft. Why was I not told about the charges the day I enquired about closing / leaving the account before heading back to South Africa? If this was the case I would never have left it, instead I would have closed the account to prevent the risk of any unknown charges.
What am I to do as they said that they have handed me over to Debt Collectors and I don't feel that I should have to pay the interest as someone from the bank actually told me its not necessary to close my account and I have not been using this account at all during the last 18 months.
Please advise me as I really don't have this kind of money to pay back at this stage?