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Posts posted by thegoodsamaritan

  1. Wow i didn't realise this would be so readily admitted by the banks already. If only their legal teams knew what they were doing they'd go ballistic!


    -Remember if you're going to record phone calls and then use it later you have to have their permission to record them in the first place?


    -Yes I suppose you can use these letters to back up your case but they'd make a stronger argument if they're ones from your own bank.


    -Well done to everyone whos got these letters already!

  2. Just ask them! :lol: (well do it subtly at least! If you've already hassled them about unlawful bank charges then this probably won't work)


    As far as most of us staff are aware the process for charging customers is fully automated (thats because in all likelihood IT IS fully automated! ;-) ) So if you ask us at the counter this is what a lot of bank staff will tell you (surprising perhaps, but true). What you need is to get this "smoking gun" in print. And to do that you need to be a little bit sly...


    Write a letter to the manager of your local branch saying something about the fact you've had charges and would like them to look at a possible refund (don't mention unlawful charges or court action because your letter will in all probability get fired off to another department who WILL know what your real game is here ;))

    Make a point of enquiring exactly how your charges are applied - "are you responsible for applying them or is there a more senior manager who looks through my account and then applies the charges? Which person is actually responsible for keying the charges onto my account?" Ask for a reply to your points IN WRITING.

    Now in the managers response you should hopefully get something back along the lines of "all our charges are applied automatically"

    Success! Now you can start your claim properly using the processes here and if it ends up in court you have a letter issued by the branch manager stating that charges are automated (ie the charges don't justify the losses incurred by the banks) More evidence to help your case!


    Good idea? Or have i just drunk too much coffee? I really think this would work, please let me know your thoughts and if anyone wants to give the idea a shot be my guest!

  3. Just read these interesting snippets from the information office:


    Preventing automated decision making

    You can write to a data controller to ask that they do not take any decision that significantly affects you based solely on an automated process. For example, many banks have a computerised system of credit scoring.

    Where a decision has already been taken on this basis you can ask the data controller to reconsider or to use a different method to make the decision.


    Preventing processing that may cause damage or distress

    If you think that certain processing is, or is likely to, cause you or someone else to suffer substantial damage or distress which is not justified, you can ask the data controller to stop that processing.


    (source: http://www.ico.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?pg=SR&cID=6789)


    Maybe the first one could be used cunningly to somehow get the banks to admit that their systems for paying/bouncing DDs etc are all automated?


    The second one could be interpreted as the processingn of unlawful charges against your account causes distress so they should stop them? Also that the banks collections department should not continue to use your phone number or address to harass you about charges?


    Just an idea or am i clutching at straws here?

  4. steve - Send the lba asking for only £750 max. Go through the whole process. Get £750 back. Repeat until you've got the whole lot. Good luck :rolleyes:


    michaelhossack - you can "ask" for statements as far back as you want. It seems the company has to provide ALL information it holds on you. So if old Betty wants her bank statements from 1923 to current date :eek: and IF the bank has this information stored somewhere then she has a legal right to this information. (banks are only legally obligiged to keep records so long however)

    Have a look here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/eventual.aspx?pg=SR&cID=6789

    The fives years in Scotland / six years in England is the statute of limitations and as far as I'm aware is the only to do with how far back you can claim in court.

  5. Ok I'm no lawyer but this is what i've pieced together over the last few weeks from browsing the forums and the net.


    Cases up to £5,000 in England and Wales go through the small claims court, this is what most people here are doing as it means they don't have to foot the other parties legal bills even if their claim is unsuccesful. I've seen it listed elsewhere on this forum that fees in the small claims court range from £30-£120 and this tallies up with the figures above. Anything above £5K is outwith the small claims court and you can be held liable for at least some of the other parties legal fees if your action is unsucessful (so I understand).


    Scottish courts are different. I got this info from the govan legal site, kudos to them by the way!

    Claims worth up to £50 incur court fees of just £7, claims from £50-£750 (the maximum in the small claims court in Scotland) have court fees of £37.

    Cases up to £200 the banks can't recover any of their expenses if they lose, £200 or over in the small claims court they can only claim up to £75 if they win.


    In any case if (when! :)) you are succesful you can claim back the court fees anyways

  6. I'm no legal expert but what you're proposing sounds reasonable enough to me.

    Pay them the £100 to avoid the hassle of dealing with any court action they may take against you. Then get all your facts together and go after them for the full amount of unlawful penalties they have charged you.

  7. I fyou really want to annoy your bank write a cheque on the side of a cow and then pay it in. And yes it is legal. As long as the cow isn't stolen.


    Yes you're right paying in a cheque written on a side of a cow (or anything else with your account number and sort code on it) is perfectly legal :) - I remember seeing it on "How 2" years ago (anyone remember that programme?)

    That being said... banks are within their rights to refuse pay-ins and I think this is obviously what they'd do. Shame really it would have been fun!

  8. Ok i'm glad to help out everyone with bank claims as someone on the "inside" but now it's time for me to ask for your help. Here's the story...


    My Auntie booked a holiday cruise for her and my Gran a while back. My Gran is in her 90s and although very spritely for a woman of her age only agreed to go on holiday if they were leaving from somewhere close by as she doesn't like the hassle of long car or bus journeys.


    Then all of a sudden on Friday they received a letter telling them that the ship is overbooked and that they will have to get a 2 1/2 hour bus journey to another port and they will knock £70 off the price. Can the company do this? My Auntie hasn't had the heart to tell my Gran yet.


    Does my Auntie have the right to phone the company and insist on them keeping to the original agreement? I understand that overbookings can happen and need resolved but surely it is up to the company to negotiate with passengers and not just impose a change on them??


    I'll hopefully get a look at the contract on Thursday and it should be clearer then but any advice in the meantime would help. Thanks.


    I know that in Scotland I can put in 2 separate claims for up to £750 each claim but does anyone know what happens if you lose the court case in Scotland - are you liable for their solicitors costs etc?



    Have a look here it explains how the legal process for small claims (ie up to £750) works in Scotland


    "If you raise a small claim with a value below £200 there is no award of expenses, and for claims over this sum the max award is £75. This means so long as you act in good faith and pursue a claim for under £200 the bank can't recover any expenses if you lose."

  10. Looks like they're just being deliberately difficult, and are trying to throw you off by saying its you v nat west.


    I'm not big on the whole legal thing so afraid but'll give you my ideas. Write them a letter back correcting them that the case is yourself v RBS, not NAT West as they stated. Also address their three requests for information. (By the way I think they're right on the May 2006 bit as this is 6 years back from the earliest date the court case will go ahead.) Now for their requests for information:


    "1. Please state whether it is the Claimant's case that the contracts contained no such terms."

    It is the claimants case that the charges laid out in the original contract are unlawful penalty charges and cannot be legally enforced.


    "2. Please identify with precision the contractual terms that the Claimant alleges to be "penalty clauses rather than liquidated damages clauses.""

    This sounds like they're asking you to show them which terms in the original contract (ie the small print on the original application form for the account) are for penalty charges. Did you do a DPA request? If so they should have sent you a copy of the original application form. If not ask in branch for a copy of the terms and conditions / charges leaflet for current accounts.


    "3. Please specify all of the facts relied on by the Claimant in support of this contention."

    I think what they're asking here is all the evidence for your case (ie bank charges are penalties):

    -which laws you are using as support for the argumnet

    -statements by banks that show that the charges are in fact penalties.


    This is quite useful http://www.govanlc.com/offset.htm if you've not been there already.

    Note in particular relation to your case: Sir Fred Goodwin (RBS CEO) told us that for RBS "The costs are going to pay for all the people we have who pursue debt, collect debt, speak to customers and chase payments..." Sounds like he just admitted that they are penalty charges after all. ;)



    Remember even if RBS do turn up at court you just need to show the judge on the balance of probability that you are correct. All the best :)

  11. Bank of Scotland and Halifax are part of the same company Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS)

    Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS or RBOS) are a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ORGANISATION with ABSOLUTELY NO LINKS TO HBOS in any way shape or form.


    Are you sure that you're not getting confused with BOS?? In my RBOS branch we get confused BOS customers coming in every week not understanding that we are two entirely different companies. The RBS group own Royal Bank of Scotland, Nat West, Ulster Bank, Charter One, Citizens Bank, Direct Line, MINT, Churchill, Lombard, Privilege to name but a few.


    So to summarise:

    BOS / Halifax there is no difference they are all part of the same group.

    RBS / Halifax are two completely separate companies.

    (Note to mods or admins - can we split this forum so that there is one for RBOS and one for BOS so we can avoid confusion like this in future? Its just like putting Barclays / HSBC in the same forum (ie they are totally unrelated banks)

  12. If you just have a personal account (ie not a business one or high income "premium") then remember the branch manager is only allowed to authorise up to a set amount (£50 i think)

    It's probably not worth meeting the branch manager on these grounds so i'd thank them for the offer but ask for your concern to gets passed to someone with authority to deal with a refund of this magnitude.

  13. skint, the monthly fee for royalties is only £6. It's £28 for being overdrawn past your limit during the month which makes a total of £34.


    Have a read of my two new threads "the great royalties rip off" and "referal charges / maintenance charges read here (RBS)" i think that may help get your head round the situation.


    The charges are illegal (not the royalties ones though) so stick with the advice from Dave and the rest of the site and go claim your sons charges back!


    Hope that helps ya :)

    any particular other questions just post and i'll lhelp all i can

  14. Posted this a while back but a good few people still seem confused about how the charges are worked out. Also it'll hopefully save me explaining it every time! :)




    I've tried to keep this as simple as possible (not an easy task!) hope it helps people understand how the system works. Here's what happens when an item (direct debit / standing order / cheque) is due off your account that will take you over your overdraft limit on RBS current accounts (other banks processes will be similar i'd imagine):



    If an item is taking you over your agreed limit that day then YOU NEED TO CHECK with us if its being paid or not, otherwise you have no way of knowing which option will apply. There is a system in place whereby RBS will assess your account and decide whether or not to pay the direct debit / standing order / cheque:



    Option 1. RBS will pay your item (shows on our system as "autopay")

    This will obviously put you over your agreed overdraft limit, and result in what is called a “paid referal fee” of £30 that will be applied on the 6th working day of the next month (NB RBS will only charge you a maximum of 3 of these particular type of fees per month)

    You will also be informed on your next statement of a £28 charge for “unauthorised borrowing – maintenance charge” and the date it will be debited to your account (about 2 weeks after you receive your next statement). Careful though - you are charged this £28 for every seperate monthly statement you show as being overdrawn so could be unlucky and would be charged twice if your being overdrawn ran over into your next statement to be sent out.

    Essentially you'll be charged twice regardless – once (£30) for us paying an item when there are not enough funds and secondly (£28) for now being over your limit in the current statement period


    Option 2. RBS will bounce (return) your item (shows on our system as "unpaid")

    Although the item will still show on your statement if you look at it that day when you check the next day it will have disappeared (ie not been paid!) and been replaced with a standard £38 “unpaid item charge”.

    (NB There is no limit here so if you were unlucky enough to have 1,000 items bounce on one day you would be hit with £38,000 of unpaid item charges!)

    If the item is a cheque or Direct Debit normally it will be represented for payment a few days later and will probably bounce again if there are not yet clear funds in the account, resulting in yet another £38 charge for each unpaid item!

    Also if this £38 charge(s) takes you over your agreed borrowing limit remember you will be charged the standard £28 maintenance fee as well for every statement period this covers.



    If you can pay money in before 3.30pm (end of the banking day) then we can make sure the item is paid. (You need to tell us at the time that the money is to cover a DD / SO / cheque so we can go in and change the status of the item from "unpaid" or "autopay" to "paid") This will pay the item and in most cases eliminate any charges. (I believe that HBOS is stricter than us and require that customers have available funds to cover items in the account by 23:59:59 the day before or you will be charged and the item could bounce.)



    Hope this is useful! Bear in mind the above illustration is just how RBS work it - other banks will probably be slightly different

    Any questions just ask!

  15. 2) on the front page of all of my statements it explains the "Basis of Charge" -

    as in

    "The charge is based on a Maintenance Charge of £XX

    Plus a fee of £XX

    Service Charge be applied: £XX"


    The first point would be is this the infamous "Maintenance Charge" itself that is apparently unlawful? Or is it finessed somehow by being included as part of a "Service Charge"? And second point would be - does anyone have any idea what the "fee" actually is. Or is this another "charge" which, since it apparently has no explanation for itself, is unlawful as well? I'm only asking because I have yet to include any or all of this "Service Charge" in the total I plan to smack RBoS with. Which is currently standing at a magnificent rip-off of £6,932 of my cash sitting in a Royalties Gold a/c.


    If you have a Royalties Gold account then you'll be charged £12 each month (this is the monthly fee for the services provided by Royalties Gold and no you can't claim these back as they are lawful) plus £28 maintenance fee for being over your limit (you CAN claim these ones back). So you'll see these two charges appear on your statement accumulated together as "service charge, £40.00" or words to that effect.


    Hope that helps & good luck

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  16. Most RBS customers have one of our Royalties accounts.


    Royalties £6/month = £72 per year

    Royalties Gold £12/month = £144 per year

    Royalties Premier £15/month = £180 per year

    These accounts come with different benefits, but I'd say the vast majority of customers don't get their money's worth over the year.


    All I'm saying is look at the benefits carefully and see if you're actually using what you're paying for. If not, just pop into a branch and ask to be downgraded back to an ordinary "Interest Paying Current Account" (IPCA). You can upgrade/downgrade your account at any time in the future without penalty.


    (If anyones just got a standard £6 a month Royalties account it's highly unlikely you're getting any value from this as the benefits aren't all that useful. Look at whether a Royalties Gold account for £12 a month gives a better deal or if not just go back to an IPCA and save yourself the £6 each month)


    It can be useful to upgrade to a Royalties accounts in some instances - when taking out a loan for example as the bank gives better rates with this. Just downgrade after a month and you still have the exactly the same loan rate and save the monthly fee. (Hey if you really need a loan shop around there are better deals out there!)

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  17. What does it say on your credit card statement? Classic? Gold? Platinum? Something else??


    Older credit cards may well not be elligible for the royalties discount. If you've a copy of the royalties information booklet to hand it should tell you in there what cards are elligible for the discount (I'll see if i can check tomorrow for u)


    Also double check as i know that some older credit cards charge an annual fee, if so just take out a new one and cancel the old card.

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