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  1. Hi Everyone Desperately looking for advice and help. My wife and I have a joint Lloyds current account held for 15+ years (I have been a customer for 50 years but that makes no odds). Due to personal circumstances of having a disability I am now in a position of not being able to work. This account has an overdraft limit of £3500 but currently it is £3509.35 O/D. So not much over its actual limit. For clarity we were sensible enough to have a "parachute account" though this is with Halifax, but I believe it to be ringfenced? The Lloyds one is "inactive" and the only movement on it will be Lloyds own charges. We were making ends meet reasonably well and very gradually paying this off, until Lloyds TSB changed their charging regime a year ago. This has nearly tripled our charges from the original charging regime. After the second stage implimentation where the charges went from 1p for every £14 OD to 1p for every £7 OD we have not been able to cope and it is those charges that effectively stopped us being able to get on top of this account, and indeed, pushed it into the £9.35 over the OD limit. When we got the initial letter informing us of the changes in charging (from £14 to £7) I immediately wrote to them informing them that we did not accept their terms and conditions, and what as the way forward in these circumstances? The letter never garnered a reply, and lately, Lloyds have denied ever receiving it. I then complained, after receiving standard threatening letters. I have since spoken to varying departments of differing names, each giving me slightly different stories. I was sent an IE form, but this did not appear to be their standard one, nor from the correct department. All the time my simple question was asking them to outline any ways forward, the consequence of each of those ways, and the costs involved. To me these seemed very simple and sensible questions, as I wanted to know how this would affect my wife and I in terms of credit score (not that I particularly care, since we lost our house to Halifax when I first became ill). I also kept asking them to explain how they were fulfilling their obligations under BCOBS with regard to our case. These requests were out rightly ignored. Lloyds continually refused our direct requests for help and information. Both by letter and phonecall. They seem reluctant to put anything in writing, preferring to talk on the phone. I did start to record these conversations. Eventually, after 6 long months of prevaricating, a Complaints Manager wrote to us, outlining three differing ways forward, however, one involed paying the whole lot in one go, getting a hugely expensive loan, or that they would simply default it, add it to our credit record and probably sell the debt. All these options (bar paying outright) seem to require an IE form. A blank proforma was sent by them and was wholly different to the original one I received (I hasten to add neither have been filled in as yet - as I wanted answers to the BCOBS questions - they had again ignored the question of BCOBS) I was then rung up and told that this account was being moved to some team I had never heard of because it was clear from "our IE form" that we could not afford any payments. This is EXTREMELY interesting as we had never sent one in. On ringing they were pretty adamant one existed and had referred to it on several calls. Not sure, but I consider this to be fraudulent misrepresentation of our IE? Of course no-one could find the "original" (it doesn't exist of course) and a further complaint made. They eventually admitted that there was some sort of error and decided that someone had erred in simply recording that one had been received when it hadn't and it was simple human error. For that they sent a cheque of £100 (doesn't cut it for me frankly). That they kept referring to it suggests to me one was actually there, whether that be someone else's by accident, or one had simply been made up - I suspect the latter as a couple of times it was admitted to me that figures were inputted based on a single, throwaway conversational sentence I had said to someone on an earlier phone call about us having difficulties. This IS NOT, and surely cannot, be termed an IE form? I complained again saying I was unsatisfied with their response, and why they were at it please could they answer the BCOBS question. It inevitably went quiet, until I had a phone call from another team asking me how I wanted to pay. Naturally I hit the roof, (but in a polite and controlled manner - no swearing etc) and bounced it straight back to the caller, who probably wished she hadn't rang. After an hour and a half talking to me (I sure will waste their time) she agreed the responses were not "ideal" and promised to take ownership of the issue, and find out why my complaint hadn't been answered. The account was put on hold for a further 30 days. Of course I heard nothing, until the 30 days were up when I got another demand. A phone call in resulted in the operator again mentioning the IE form (which doesn't exist -and notably, she referred to it first, not me, so despite the admission it is all an error, the error still exists in their records). Of course I complained and was passed to a complaints manager. The Complaints Manager identified that the lady I had spoken to about a month before had passed my complaint to a complaints manager called Shelley. However, she admitted Shelley had done nothing about it and promised to chase it. I asked her to get Shelley to answer the BCOBS question, explain why she hadn't bothered to answer the complaint the firsts time, and I wanted to know the history of the "ghostly" IE form, as I suspected their contention that it was simply a tick box error was not correct. Amazingly I did finally get a reply from Shelley. She ignored the reason she had not replied in the first place, told me the issues surrounding the IE form had been resolved and explained (they haven't), and that when the Bank put their charging structure to the FCA it was approved and therefore met BCOBS. She suggested I take the issue up with the Ombudsman - but had to within six months of their "final response" which she contested was much earlier. She didn't mention what letter that is, nor can I find one with the words "final response" on. Further, surely her letter, by being the last, is the final response? Clearly this is an unsatisfactory reply. I am unsure what to do next? This issue is causing my wife and I huge amounts of stress and time, and coming on top of losing your house to the same banking group (though the judge found they had overcharged our mortgage by nearly £10k, not followed proper procedure etc and were severely criticized by him) it is not great. The simple facts of the matter are that I don't feel they have acted in anyway professionally on these complaints, or in any way tried to strike up a sensible, proactive and constructive dialogue with us. Furthermore, they have acted at best unprofessionally, at worse, perhaps committed fraud (or is that a bit strong?) by acting upon an IE form that either didn't exist, or worse, was simply made up. I feel our relationship is wholly broken down and I cannot trust them one iota. It is apparent to me that they will twist, or lie, simply to cover themselves, and conversations are not recorded accurately on their written notational system. For instance on their system they have recorded that I simply refuse to fill out an IE form. First of all I don't think I am under any obligation to do so, and secondly I have never refused, just asked them to outline the options for us first, and explain how they meet their obligations under BCOBS and then I would do it. My other big problem is no single point of contact, various departments that make no sense to me, all seemingly overlapping, but none willing to take ownership, and all blaming each other, or not knowing what has been said. My big questions are: 1) I am unclear of how our account not stands, they haven't said, nor have they said what department it is in, nor what will happen next. 2) how do I get a single, sensible, point of contact with them? 3) I could just pay the £9.35, that wouldn't be an issue, but then next month I guess they would hammer us with a £90 charge, so how does that work? Would we then be £90 over our OD limit? Surely this is what BCOBS aims to stop? I can see that this would just spiral uncontrollably, and it is why I have been trying to keep the account frozen. 4) I could just let them have a default, doesn't really affect us as far as I can tell with credit rating, as ours is poor anyway and we don't apply for credit. However I worry slightly about the debt being sold, but as I understand it if there is a dispute about the amount (there is) then there is little a Debt Recovery agency can do? 5) I have offered to pay £10 or £20 per month, provided there are no charges or interest added to the account. They have refused citing both that our IE form shows we cannot pay it (!!!) or that we haven't given them an IE form. They have also indicated that this sort of amount wouldn't be acceptable to them anyway. 6) We have suggested the charging regime is put back to 1p in every £14 - at least we were slowly managing that. However they have point blank refused; Given their history of messing this issue up and being so unprofessional, that they call it quits and simply write off the £3509.35. They have refused to even entertain either of these. 7) I can go to the Financial Ombudsman, but I see that it has little teeth, and the banks seem to ignore it anyway? 8) Do I have a claim under BCOBS? it is clear with our credit rating we can not go to another organisation for a loan, or account, so Lloyds have effectively "trapped" us into paying extortionately high charges, or otherwise accept their terms, which they are unwilling to discuss or help with. 9) If there is a claim there, how do I go about it? 10) what should I do next re with contact to the bank, given they last sent me a brush off letter? Really sorry for the extremely long post - probably too much info?
  2. Hiya, first post here so hopefully will "do it" correctly so to speak ! setting the scene : I have a mortgage with Halifax and it has all been going fairly well until the last few months. I changed job which has meant that the day i get paid has changed to my personal bank account. My mortgage is a fixed rate 2 year deal, due to expire in march next year. the crux of the matter: due to my pay going in on the last day of the working month to my own bank there was an instance in May (I think) where there were insufficient funds when Halifax tried to take my mortgage payment (payment date for the DD is 28th of each month). I called them up and they advised i could recall the money via my own bank (Barclays) and as long as i paid the amount due for the mortgage before the end of the month all would be good. I did so and indeed all fine. However that gave me a concern....what about other months ? July and August have both been the same kind of situation paid after the 28th. I knew this was going to come up so called Halifax and had a lengthy talk with them. they couldn't change the payment date to the 1st without my having to pay on the 28th and again on the 1st - not really affordable. They then suggested a standing order. I confirmed with them that this would work. I got them to send in writing that i can cancel my DD and set up a standing order for the last working day of the month. Having done this i then got a letter at the beginning of July saying i had a late payment - credit file affected etc. I called them again and they confirmed they had received the payment on the last working day - but it hadn't been applied to my account until the 3/4 of august. they corrected the credit file and all was "safe" for that month. I raised a complaint though and suggested three options : 1) change hte payment date to the 1st without having to make a double payment - i offered to pay the interest covering the "gap" 2) eave as is and they monitor and correct credit file each time this issue occurs 3) allow me to switch my mortgage to another of their deals / another lender without the Early repayment charge. some bad customer service later - i escalated the complaint. eventually I got a call back from a senior person saying they can offer the below: 1) cancel the SO and just call to make a payment at the end of each month (not possible, i work in IT and could be working in Datacentres etc where i cant take my phone and can also be on night shifts depending on incidents and projects) 2) They would grant me a "Payment holiday" (even though i am not due one), then change my payment date to the 1st and i would continue paying that way. the second option was fine until they informed me that due to this i woudl incur extra charges and my payment amount would go up (not much but still an increase). Also if i were to need or request a payment holiday in the future having had this payment holiday it would need to be reassessed and potentially refused. To me i see the solution offered as unfair - it means i pay more and potentially lose the right of a payment holiday when I may need one. Going by the above (And i can share lots more info if needed) do i have a case to challenge the bank under BCOBS ? I've asked for the "offer" to be sent to me in writing and said i will read it over and go back to them. MY account etc stays the same until i respond. Advice appreciated if you don't mind. Cheers G
  3. I run a small company; I took Barclay's Bank to court as a Micro Enterprise. Under the FCA Banking: Conduct of business source book (BCOBS or COBS), the BCOBS states that a business with a turnover of under 2,000,000 Euros and fewer than 10 staff is classified as a consumer and to my understanding of the BCOBS has the same rights as such. Initially I was awarded judgement (by default) as Barclay’s didn’t respond to the court in time. But they had it over turned arguing that although we may be a Micro Enterprise, we did not have the same rights as a consumer and thus had no case, therefore the court argued Barclay's would have a strong likelihood of defending the case. As from last week they have 28 days to prepare their fuller defense. Can anyone shed any light on this, do I have consumer rights in this case, has anyone had a similar experience?
  4. G'day Cagger's I need a bit of advice on what possibly I could claim for under BCOBS. Naturally I'm skinter than Flint and can prove this no problem with a budget planner and panoramic shots of a really cross looking wife. I have a few questions, I have a credit card with Santander that I defaulted on a few months back. Naturally Santander sold the debt on to some other sharks called Arden who have now sold the debt onto Wescots who will probably sell the debt onto their neighbours vicious looking dog as she'd probably have more chance of getting any money out of me. I requested the CCA and Adren admitted that there wasn't one and that the debt was unenforceable (but the jokers still chase after me) SAR'd Satanader and Arden with Arden sending me the equivalent of some crap written on the back of a fag packet whilst Satander wrote back telling me that they did not own the debt anymore and would forward the request to Arden. Arden duly obliged by sending me some account info going back a few years but hardly anything comprehensive. Credit card - I have all of my statements and there is no PPI at all but there are some pretty nasty late payment charges and hefty interest charges. Bank account - loads of bank charges for going over my agreed OD limit as well as payments returned charges etc. I did a bit of reading up on the subject but need some clarification on what I can try and claim for with respects to the credit card and bank account and how far backI can go when populating my spread sheets. Any advice would be really appreciated. Cheers
  5. I have received a form N5c and a repossession claim set for 4 April 2014 In 2005 with a friend I bought a rundown shop to knock down, build a new one and turn it into a business. The Bank agreed to fund a percentage of the purchase price and to finance the build when we attained planning permission. On this basis we bought the shop!!! Flat March 2007 I bought a flat. The bank had a legal charge over this (see legal charge referred to in The Bank POC) It was my intention to let out the flat and to apply for planning permission to extend it to the side to create a small flat for me to live in. September 2007 I attained planning permission for the small flat. I was given a further unsecured loan for £50,000 October 2007 the overdraft was increased for 14 days at a cost of £200 and secured without my knowledge to the flat I owned. Late 2007 my friend and I attained the planning permission to knock the shop down and build a new one. We had paid the loan for a year and a half whilst we applied for planning permission. The loan repayments and planning costs were in excess of £30,000. As we now had planning permission we asked the bank manager for the agreed funds to build the shop. Our bank manager said he couldn’t fund the build, this is when the credit crunch hit. As we couldn’t therefore develop the property we were left with a rundown dilapidated shell. My friends core business couldn’t therefore expand. His business was with the same Bank and they restricted his cash-flow so he didn’t have any money. I was then left paying the loan for the shop. I was therefore left trying to build the flat and at the same time pay for the loan repayments on the shop. As I was paying the loan my cash-flow was affected and my current account was being charged with unpaid charges of £35.00 and referral charges of between £40 and £90. I complained to th Bank through my bank manager about these charges, he said he would look into it, he never gave me a reply. As my cash-flow was impeded the bank manager then agreed to increase my overdraft for a short period and charged me another £800.00 for doing this. I explained that this whole thing was spiraling ant that the bank were just milking charges. My Bank manager agreed told me he wasn’t happy with how the bank was changing and the things he was being asked to do, he sadly left after having a nervous breakdown. His replacement confirmed that the Bank still wouldn’t loan for the build of the shop and told us that the Bank were calling in all their property loan facilities around the country. The shop had now been empty for 2 1/2 years. In its dilapidated undeveloped state we were forced by the Bank to put the shop on the market for sale, this was during the price crash at the bottom of the market. Due to this situation I became ill with depression and reactive arthritis and couldn’t work. Whilst the shop was on the market for sale I continued to struggle to pay the loan repayments and referral fees were charged to my account along with the occasional £35 cheque return fee. Inevitably the overdraft increased again with a fee to cover these charges. I again complained with no response. July 2008 the overdraft was increased to £60,000 for a period of 4 months with another fee. September 2008 I was bouncing cheques again December 2008 I paid some money in that I borrowed from a friend. the overdraft was then renewed and reduced to £50,000 This renewal was charged again at £750 January 2009 a bank manager I had not met before rang and wanted to meet me urgently. He came out to a tea room with two loan agreements backdated with someone else from the banks signature. I remember this and thinking this was odd. One was for the £68,000 and the other was for the £65,000 he was in a hurry and said that these had to be signed now otherwise the Bank would call in all of my facilities. A few days later I then got a letter acknowledging receipt of the agreements I had signed it stated: ‘I note that we are yet to receive information relating to your sources of income to confirm serviceability of the interest repayments’ One of the agreements I signed was for a previously unsecured loan, they had now managed to secure this against my flat. These new loans were now exempt from (sections 16B and 189 (1) and (2) Consumer credit act 1974) April 2009 we eventually sold the shop, the shop loan was cleared and in August 2009 my latest bank manager left as he couldn’t cope either, he left to work for one of his clients and charged another renewal fee. The stress and uncertainty due to this situation was unbearable for me, I was still living with depression and couldn’t function or work properly. January 2010 I was emailed by a special relationship manager to arrange a meeting with me and his colleague a Senior bank manager’s, he wanted to understand the risks to myself and the bank. I then met with them in a cafe. They knew I was struggling and offered to consolidate all of the borrowings at 5-6% over base. I was paying 2.5% over base at the moment. I explained that the overdraft was made up of unfair charges and fees. One of them then said ‘I don’t understand why you don’t want to make an agreement and risk losing everything including your family home’ I said I’m not risking it, that’s just unfair and untrue, the only reason I’m here is to discuss with you the way forward, I am happy to work with you and the Bank to move forward, but I’m not happy with these bully boy tactics and I think its unfair of you and the banks to try and mislead people into getting them to sign up to agreements with raised interest rates’ The next day I copied them the minutes of the meeting. I heard nothing for a month and then I received an overdraft facility written on the 27th February 2010 that expired on the 18th February 2010 signed by my Special relationship manager. This was confusing and worried me further. I rang my special relationship manager on several occasions to ask what was going on. I had no reply for a while. 07 June 2010 I sent a letter to the ‘Senior Bank manager’ that I’d met in January to ask what was going on. I said I was worried about the changes of managers. I explained that I didn’t understand the agreement that the special relationship manager had sent on the 27 February 2010 and that there was so many things wrong and I didn’t understand my accounts and the various agreements. I disputed the amounts as I didn’t think the figures were correct because of all the previous unfair charges and high fees and account changes. 09 June 2010 I received a letter dated 28th May 2010 being a formal notice of intention to file a default The Notice was served under section 76 (1) and 98 (1) of the consumer credit act 1974 for account number xxxxxx (This was the overdraft account.) It stated: Your overdraft is repayable on demand being made by the bank and such demand will terminate the overdraft arrangement. The bank intends to demand payment of the total amount outstanding as set out below (if necessary by Court action) and accordingly terminate the overdraft arrangement on or after 14th June 2010 unless by that date you have made an alternative arrangement for repayment which is acceptable to the bank. Principal sum £ xxxxxx interest to the date shown above £ XXX Total outstanding £ xxxxx This gave until 14th June 2010 14 days from the 28th May. The amount was still in dispute and It did not give time to remedy 9th June 2010 I therefore sent a Subject Access Request to request my paperwork, various stalling tactics were used by the Data controller at the Bank in order to not send me my paperwork. 11 June 2010 I then received a letter from the senior bank manager acknowledging my letter and complaint of the 7th June 2010. 25th June 10 I received a letter dated 21 June 2010 stating that ‘where your accounts are regulated by the consumer credit act you have failed to comply with the requirements set out in the recent default notice/termination notices served on you. By this further notice we are terminating all banking facilities, please now make alternative banking arrangements. Your current account will only be available to accept credit payments to reduce/repay the debt. We now demand that you pay no later than 7 days from the date of this letter the total amount outstanding on the accounts as detailed above. 26 June 2010 I then received a letter from another bank manager, this had a slightly different and softer tone saying they’ll give me 8 months more time to build and that I should pay the tenants rent into the overdraft account. (This is the one they terminated) 9th September 2010, 90 days after the original subject access request and after further persistence, I eventually received incomplete paperwork I do feel that things would have got much worse if I hadn’t recorded conversations and then notified the Bank of this fact. I started again to build the property on the side of the flat. However I had to stop again and reapply for planning. I explained this to the Bank. They left me alone for a time whilst I have been building. However for the last 9 months the Bank has been sending me 15 day possession notices. January 2013 The Bank wrote to me confirming formal demand for the total sum of the overdraft and two loans was made in June 2010 and that they had not received satisfactory repayment proposals. January 2013 I wrote back and said I have outstanding complaints and asked what settlement they would be happy with. February 2013 They wrote back and said there wasn’t any outstanding complaint. March 2013 I rang and complained that they didn’t recognize my complaints, and asked if they would freeze interest whilst they were looking into my complaint. The lady said no. I asked what proposal was acceptable she said you must pay the balance of all of the money within 7 years minimum. March 2014 The bank sent a letter saying they were going to send a Surveyor to value the property. March 2014 I received a 15 day notice of possession Proceedings Notice. April 2013 I complained again and told the Bank that they were deliberately ignoring my complaint. I explained I was paying the rent into the overdraft account. I offered to pay the rent into the account for 7 years (their default would have dropped off) and then I would remortgage. I asked them to confirm if this was acceptable. June 2013 The bank wrote bank and said 'they were not able to agree with my complaint. I am sorry I am also unable to agree with your complaint about the closure of your accounts being unfair treatment. This is because your accounts are not closed, but open and non-operational in line with Bank policy.' They ‘acknowledged my comments about being treated unfairly and agreements being forced upon people. They replied ‘ that all new applications/products are offered in line with stringent application processes that are regulated by the FSA. Furthermore each application is provided on the basis of completed affordability checks as well as other assessments. I must now advise that unless you’re in a position to make continued monthly repayments of £2355.82 the bank will enforce debt recovery against xxxxRoad (the flat) This is a non-negotiable figure. January 2014 the Banks Solicitors wrote to me stating: they were going to issue court proceedings. They said the following options are available to you: 1 Repay the full amount outstanding or refinance 2 Put forward alternative proposals you may wish our clients to consider Jan 2014 I sent a letter to the Bank and complained again about the charges on the overdraft and the way I was treated with my accounts being closed and defaulted. I offered a full and final settlement figure of £ 65,000 (offered to me by a family member) I had no reply from the bank so I rang them and they said they were not taking further action. I have still to this day not received a reply to my offer of settlement. 27 January 2014 I sent a Subject Access Request to understand my position. I’m still awaiting to this day for my data. 24 February 2014 I received a N5c Claim for possession form from the Court I have been living in a campervan and have spent every spare penny on this flat. Even though not all the services are connected I now stay in the flat when I’m working there and intend to finish this in 6 months (cash permitting). To this day I have continued to pay all of the rent into the overdraft account. This is the account I cannot use as it is terminated, this is the account made up of all of the unfair charges. The balance has reduced marginally in 4 years due to the rent payments. All the money I earn I have used to continue the building, for weeks I’ve had nothing. It is not easy building with your bank account being unuseable. As I have a default issued against me I cannot get finance and I have continuously hanging over my head the threat of knowing that at any point the Bank can step in and take the property. The Bank has been waiting for me to create value with the intention of taking the property has been sole destroying. I do believe I have been treated unfairly and that for 7 years I have been caught in a dark place. A place made up of them promising to lend and then changing their mind and then for 7 years paying their fees that are a consequence of their actions. Now the Bank has had the flat valued and have seen it is almost built and only needs a few thousand pounds to finish it off the Bank have sent a possession notice. I have continually made offers in writing and on the phone and have complained that the figures are unfair and incorrect and in dispute. They ignore the complaint and tell me whatever I offer is not enough. I have even asked them what they would accept. They have told me that they require the whole lot paid back in 7 years, this works out at more than £2355pcm and is ‘non-negotiable.’ The rent is only £350pcm. They know I cannot afford this. The Bank relies on the fact that as they have issued a default notice I cannot borrow elsewhere over a longer more affordable period. As per the Lawrence Tomlinson Report he accused RBS of operating like a "hit squad" by withdrawing lines of credit from healthy firms and burdening them with huge fees so they could seize the businesses assets, normally property, at discount prices. All I have tried to do is to build myself a property, If the bank repossess I have been through this nightmare for 6 years for nothing, The tenant in the flat I own next door to the one I am building is vulnerable and doesn’t work due to mental health reasons. She has a six month tenancy agreement and we get on really well, she doesn’t want to leave. This forum has given me hope and I now feel I may have options, I can see that numerous other people and small businesses also had facilities chopped and changed, or stopped. It is now evident that during the credit crunch Government banks in particular needed to shore up their balance sheets and manage down exposure for certain assets, property related in particular. Escalating loan charges, and repossession had become profitable for these banks. Many small businesses were manipulated and treated unfairly by the banks. The banks have disproportionate power in their relationship with their business customers, small businesses are unable to fight back. I do not know how to move forward or deal with them so I am looking for help. 1) Do I defend the repossession and deal with the unfair relationship and claim back the unfair charges and costs during this defence? or 2) Do I put in a separate claim for unfair relationship? 3) I do not know how to defend this repossession or challenge the agreements and unfair charges. Thank you Kind regards, SittingDuck
  6. Hello, would like some advice if possible... I had a current account with Halifax, which had a direct debit going out each month. I opened a savings account and transferred most of the money into that. I moved to a different address and forgot to change my address with them as I was really busy studying. I later found that my direct debit wasn't being payed, and that the current account had gone into overdraft which I was getting charged for. I found out that they had taken the money from my savings account to pay off the charges they had given me and then closed the account. The person I talked to at the bank told me this and didn't say anything else about any more money owed to them. It was really annoying as I had over £1000 in there which had just been eaten up by extreme overdraft charges. But I left it and just thought it was a harsh lesson for me to check my account. But then I started getting phone calls from Cabot finance. After a while of not even answering them I was curious what they actually wanted so I answered. He asked for my address which I didn't give. Then started talking about a debt I had no idea what could be. I found out he had my old address on file and they had sent a letter there. So I went to my old address to get the letter and it said they had bought the account from Halifax. It was bad enough Halifax had taking all the money from my account, but now Cabot wants £166.89 from me as well. God knows how much more they will try and charge for interest as well. Needless to say I am not keen on handing my money over to these blood suckers, and I don't even have the money to at the moment. I am living in overdraft and it's hard enough to make sure I have money to pay the rent. I'm not sure what the best thing to do is.. .do I try and reclaim the Halifax bank charges? and just not answer to Cabot? I haven't given them my new address..
  7. Rohannah


    Hi, first post so please bear with me. My husband submitted his NDL Cashflow to the HSBC in April this year when he realised he could not meet his commitments, mostly in return he has had letters advising him to get help from a DC and of course the phone calls. The HSBC also denied that he had written to them so he sent them copies of the recorded delivery receipts and complained about the way he had been treated, he did receive a better response to this and an apology and a refund of charges for that month, he also pointed out that he would not deal with this matter on the telephone and would they please deal with it by letter, he also received a letter offering him a reduced full and final settlement which he replied to saying if he had any money he would be making his monthly payments, no reply yet. Frankly this is one of the more baffling elements of being in debt, you do what you think is the right thing and offer what you can and it gets ignored? I cannot see any merit in totally ignoring an offer,they can always say no (in writing of course). I think it is back to the drawing board Rohannah
  8. Hi, firstly as a regular viewer of the site but very rare contributor, thanks for all the information put out there (particularly by the site team and the very frequent contributors) to assist us mere mortals, it really does help to know you're not alone. The following situation might be of some general interest in terms of the above areas and I'd welcome any comments, positive or negative. After sadly putting our business into liquidation in 2010, I'm now being chased by the bank (no names yet, don't want to give them any warning) albeit some two and a half years later, for the personal guarantee. No arguments that I signed a guarantee, but their entire attitude since contacting me (including now taking the matter to court despite the fact that there is a formal complaint to them still in progress) has utterly hacked me off, made me review the entire history of the 'relationship', and I'm now determined to fight them all the way, and if possible, even turn the tables somewhat using COBS / BCOBS. My argument is that as they arbitrarily withdrew 80% of the available credit on our business credit card overnight, and additionally demanded repayment of the entire overdraft (albeit by knocking a sum off every month rather than instantly) this seriously damaged the business at a point where it was already vulnerable, and as such was a clear breach of the implied terms of contract in relation to the FCA/FSA COBS / PRIN requirements 2.1.6 and 2.1.8. I should mention that while the business was indeed struggling in the recession, we had held both forms of credit since its inception some three years earlier and had never missed a payment on either. My personal losses from the business folding were around £70k, and I think it entirely reasonable to get at least some of that back from the bank, never mind stuff the personal guarantee....... This all happened in 2009, so I believe it should be covered by COBS. I've initiated a complaint with the FOS (yes, I know they're ineffective but it will give the bank something else to do, and it's another way to use the same argument to pursue them for 'compensation') and I've sent a warning letter to the bank that they should not pursue the legal avenue while the Ombudsman investigates (for personal reasons I could really do without the court related hassle at present). I'm also hoping when they see the substance of the FOS complaint and / or legal defence they'll rapidly back off and make me an offer. However, if they continue with the legal action, I guess the more immediate option is to use the above 'breach of contract' argument to both get the personal guarantee rendered null and void and to counter-sue for (a proportion of) my own losses. I think it is reasonable to link the two things as without the failure of the business the personal guarantee wouldn't have become payable. The really galling thing is that the bank already haven't lost a penny! The loan & interest repayments we made over the years while the business was operating, plus the small business loan guarantee insurance (premiums paid by us, naturally) have already more than covered the original loan and overdraft, so they are, in effect, coming after me for their profits, despite playing a major part in destroying the business......you couldn't make it up..... I would probably have to engage professional legal help for the above, as I'm somewhat unsure about the counter-suing bit in relation to the original action, but I would very much appreciate opinions on a couple of issues; 1. Any views on my chances of success.....!? 2. When I clicked through on the very useful post from Bankfodder re COBS/BCOBS, the 11 principles which came up on the FCA website appeared to be listed under PRINS rather than COBS. Is this just as relevant in terms of a breach of implied terms of contract? (That part of the FCA website isn't entirely clear). 3. If the legal action goes ahead, am I better just to counter-sue for a nominal sum and then (assuming success) use that judgement to get a better result from the Ombudsman, rather than going for the amount I really should and risking substantial costs? 4. Would the court consider it reasonable that I'm defending the claim and counter-suing for personal losses based on the breach of contract, even though the breach occurred in relation to the accounts and agreements (with the exception of the personal guarantee) which were in the name of the (now liquidated) business? (I personally think the link is obvious, but then I don't have a legal mind......). Thanks for your attention, Regards, scotcat65
  9. Hi all, thanks for reading. Girlfriend is having trouble with Natwest. We would greatly appreciate some guidance on this, as it seems a pretty serious mickey take by the bank. Brief outline: Opened account as a child. Used as main account through to uni. Became student account, eventually entered student overdraft. Usual student account kept in good standing with working as well. When leaving uni had overdraft. Got a graduate job. New employer requires employees to bank with another firm. Girlfriend does this as a term of the work contract. She calls Natwest, outlines this and says the new account will be her main one as it is where the money goes. She checks the outstanding o/d balance of about £1400 and makes an agreement with the Customer Service Assistant on the call - to make a payment of £35 every month to pay off the overdraft. She made this payment every month for 3 years. It is her only account with Natwest. Other than the monthly payment – that has never been missed - there has been no activity on the account at all. The account has not been used in any way for the last three years. Yesterday we got a letter from Natwest saying things 'were now serious - but we can still help'... she called to ask what was going on. Turns out they 'changed the terms and conditions' a few months ago (4 or 5 I think), but they didn't send us a letter; she was told they emailed her (to an old email that is still checked occasionally) and we knew nothing about it. We cannot find this email. They also say she's had two other letters (all in the last 3 weeks) but we haven't received them. As I say, we’ve had this address for 5 years, and we got a letter yesterday, so this seems odd to say the least. Today we received a letter from a DCA regarding the same account. Seems they were trying to trace her... at her home address (to be fair that's a good place to start). The account has snowballed. They introduced daily charges, increased interest well beyond the regular payment amount and breezed past the overdraft limit last month. This then drew unarranged overdraft fees and charges for not paying enough in... you get the picture. She now owes nearly double what she owed 3 years ago despite making monthly payments for 3 years... During the call yesterday the she clearly voiced her outrage at the situation – but they offered no goodwill at all and she was told ‘the charges are fair’ and ‘all in line with the T&C’s’... They were told to expect a formal complaint. Surely they can’t do this???? Could really use a hand with this to make sure we get it right: From what I can see there are a few clear breaches of BCOBS. 1/ They have to notify changes by post – email isn’t enough. 2/ They can’t default an account unless there have been no payments for 3 months. 3/ A payment agreement (though informal) was made with them 3 years ago – and stuck to. 4/ It is a snowballed account. 5/ They have clearly acted against her interests. FCA investigation also seems interesting: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?422802-What-the-FCA’s-latest-investigation-means-for-free-banking(1-Viewing)-nbsp Now I’m sure there’s something else or something I’ve just missed, so any help or advice is gratefully received. There are some pro's on here who could definitely help out with the letter
  10. Does BCOBS now extend to loans? Or is COBS and FSA? In one article it says that BCOBS has taken down COBS so if it has whats the guiding principles for taking action? Thanks
  11. Hi I am wondering if I can take on Co-op using BCOBs for some charges they hit me with. I have wrote to them asking for the money back but I did not really quote any legislation, it was more a plea asking for help due to me struggling with finances. Co-op refused as from my experience bank employees are trained to have no compassion and to solely focus on profits. I bet they have not even read my letter properly and have just sent me a standard rejection letter. There are 6x £15 =£90. Here are what the charges are for... In December I was not paid enough to cover all my Standing orders. I have quite a few of varying amounts. Co-op could have refused to pay the highest one and therefore only inflict 1xcharge on me but instead they refused the 4 smallest ones so they could charge me 4 times. I think this is unfair and they are profiteering on my poor financial situation. I also tried to cancel two direct debits later in the month. But because the co-op banking system is archaic (I remember more advanced systems in the 90's!) then the direct debit cancelation was not processed in time by them and so bounced and they charged me twice again. This is £90 total in charges. I was going to just have my wages paid into my other account with another bank and tell them to get lost, but a friend sent me some money to pay for something for her. She sent it to co-op by mistake instead of my other account so £90 got swallowed up. I asked them to send it back to her as it is not my money but of course they were not interested and just blamed me for everything. I know I probably cant use the money not being mine as a reason but I just wanted to give some background on why I need to do this rather than just abandon the account like I had planned to. Reading through info on BCOBS I think I have a good case especially where Co-op decided to reject 4 standing orders instead of one so they can charge more. Opinions/advise welcome please? Thankyou
  12. I have been attempting to gather information on BCOBS, in order to make a claim. I have read a few posts which explain that BCOBS was introduced November 2009 and is not retrospective. Under these circumstances if a claim was brought for unfairness in 2008 BCOBS could not be applied. Could it however be argued that BCOBS should be used as a guide for unfair customer treatment pre Nov 2009, as BCOBS is the standard banks are held to now but in the absence of legislation pre 2009 the banks had no less resposnability to their customers. Also if anyone knows why this legislation is not retrospective I would be interested to know.
  13. Hi everyone, I am new here and looking for some advice regarding Nationwide charges and my credit score. I had some store cards when I was at university and got into trouble (no ccj's). It's now 12 years on and my OH and I are hoping to buy or first house in 2 years once we've saved up the deposit. So I recently checked my experian file for the first time, and whilst there is no mention of my previous bad accounts (all statute barred by now), I was surprised to see some numbers in the 'Account Status' section where my Nationwide accounts are shown. I opened up a second current account (no overdraft) with Nationwide last year with the intention of using it solely for business, and set up a standing order to my accountant every month. Shortly after I stopped using the account, and forgot all about the standing order A couple of months later I saw to my horror the SO had kept trying to go out, hadn't, and NW had charged me for it! Charges ammounted to over £200! I transferred money over to cover the charges which now amounted to an unauthorised overdraft. However NW kept charging me again every month, an interest charge, and a few for the unauthorized overdraft, all without my knowledge (I'd paid £200 to cover charges and thought all was fine). Anyway I saw my statement and rang NW in tears. The lady was very nice and said as I'd never had any charges refunded before she would stop all charges and interest and close the account. I didn't ask, and wasn't offered a refund on the charges I'd already paid for. Fast forward a few months to now. I checked my credit report and saw this [0] 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 £0 £81 £61 £41 £21 £0 £0 £80 £45 £30 £15 £0 Account Status Details: (1 - 12 months) It does not say there is any kind of default but it shows 'settlement date' 19/12/13. I cannot see my score but on noddle it shows 1/5 so this has obviously decimated my credit! My question is can I get these awful markers removed from my credit file, and if so how? I have read about BCOBS and wondering if I could use this? My second question is, with these markers on my file is there any chance I could still be accepted for a mortgage in 2 years time? We will have around a 25% deposit, looking for a house around £200,000, and have a combined income of £60,000. I will have 5 years self-employed records by then.
  14. Hi this is my first post on CAG.I have however scoured your pages many times and used the information you provide to good effect reclaiming many thousands in charges Alas the golden years are now behind us. I worked for TSB bank 1988 to 1999. I have started a letter to reclaim charges applied to my partners account from 2009 to 2013. Many appear straight forward eg returned dd or informal od charged when funds deposited on the same day or £25 charged for a £15 informal ovefdraft request. The next part is aclittle trickierand therefore I would invite opinions and comments with regard to bcobs, charges etc. In the explaination of hsbc charges it expliakns that items are not automatically returned but each time an item is presented for payment it is considered before a decision is made and when a decicion is made there may be a charge accordingly. In a recent communication online to hsbc re a formal overdraft Iivreceived a respose whichcstatedvthat a marker was put on the account in 2010 which precluded any form of lending and the marker would be reviewed on an annual basis. I have checked the statements and since the marker was put on the account no obe informail overdraft has be3n granted and any direct debit presented have been returned even when funds deposited on same day. It is my belief that this marker overides all decisiohs to pay items when presented and insufficient funds availiable and is in conflict with hsbc promise not to automatically return items and to consider items as they are prevented. But would this be considered unfair under bcobs.
  15. Last November I went overdrawn on a Flex Account Plus. (I hadn't asked for the upgrade, just got upgraded automatically after 18 months, couldn't be bothered telling them not to bother) Phoned Nationwide CS, the lady I spoke to told me there were some charges to be applied and these would appear on the next statement- December 2012. Doh! Without prompting from me, the lady then told me, that as a goodwill gesture, she would ensure that I wouldn't be charged after all, if brought the balance into the black the next day, which I did. I phoned again the next day, to get them to confirm that the charges wouldn't be applied and the person I spoke to assured me once again that I hadn't imagined the previous evenings conversation and that no charges would be applied. This time I recorded the conversation. I checked December's statement and true to their word, no charges had been applied. However, on January's statement there they were, but with no explanation as to where they came from... Also, last week I drew £10 from the cash machine outside my branch, at the same time I got a mini statement from the same machine to check my balance. While I was reading it, the machine took my tenner back! The tenner was not recredited to my balance. At least Dick Turpin had the decency to wear a mask. I don't consider that I have been treated fairly and intend to sue for reimbursement for both the above using BCOBS.
  16. Just wondering with the FSA being closed down and restarted as the FCA. How will this affect the way we use BCOBS when dealing with the banks?
  17. Hi Guys Ive had serious failings at Lloyds and today it has just got worse. Could i take Lloyds to court over poor treatment and failure of service for BCOBS? Its making me ill and im fed up of dealing with people who cant do their job properly and fail to notify me of any changes to the account
  18. 22 months ago I approached my bank for a loan to purchase a new car. While my credit rating was 'fair', I had no outstanding debt and no defaults. In fact I hadn't had any credit for 8 years or more simply as I didn't need it. Hence the 'fair' rating as my bank account was the only item on my credit file. I had my account with Lloyds for about 8 years and in that time my bank account was kept in good order, not straying over limit and very rarely using an overdraft facility. I earned a reasonable wage of c40k. The guy in the branch stated that I was eligible for a loan up to 16k and so will filled out an application for a 10k loan. The loan was declined. When I enquired as to why I was informed that there was a marker on my account stopping any loan. I queried this as the guy had said I was eligible for up to 16k and so he contacted the lending team who simply refused to give any reason and just said that they would not loan me anything. They didn't even perform a credit check. As I was about to start a new job, I would no longer be commuting into London to work and so would need a car in order to do the new job. Knowing that I had insufficient credit history I knew that I'd struggle with some of the hire purchase companies and so really needed to access money to buy a car immediately. The solution offered to me by the bank was that I look for a cheaper/older car and that they could offer me up to £3500 via an overdraft facility. I queried this and said that I would rather enter a loan agreement with them for £3500 but was told that they would not allow any lending on a loan agreement, only via an overdraft facility. That there was a marker on my account, that they were unwilling to explain, that meant i could not get a loan, but that they could offer an overdraft. Obviously overdrafts are not regulated in the same way as loans and I knew I was being 'done' here but had little option but to take the overdraft; knowing that I'd find it difficult to pay this down in the same way I would have a loan given that there would be no structured payments. 22 months later and they are now trying to offer me a loan. In fact they are saying that I have guaranteed acceptance for their loan and should take it to clear my overdraft.They have been doing this since I wrote to them stating how unfair the whole practice is about 10 months ago. I've sorted the lack of credit history since that time and now have an 'Excellent' credit rating. However, I really do feel as though I've been treated badly and unfairly by Lloyds. They were prepared to lend £3500 by overdraft but not by a proper loan. Do I have any recourse under the BCOBS and unfair treatment process? Any thoughts/advice welcomed. Thanks...
  19. I'd appreciate some clarification on this as I have an appointment at my bank tomorrow. I'm unsure of the details but I think if one has an agreed overdraft then they can apply charges. But, if charges are applied, then the money available to me to use for day to day items is then diminished. What happens in this case? I was on ESA and then JSA since February 2009 and in September 2011 I became a pensioner. I have an agreed £1000 o/d although the only income I have is my state pension + about £4.00 pw from a County Council pension. I have been charged for various failed SO/DDs. I'm not able to bring the o/d down and it's use is slowly being worn away. Is BCOBS of any use to me? Thanks for any info on this situation.
  20. i challenged the natwest about bank charges in 2006 on a current account with a £500 o/d facility. at the time it was about £200, so the account lay dormant whilst this was challenged by me and the whole lot was put on hold. .then natwest continued to apply charges to the account and defaulted it with an outstanding amount of over £1800.. .bearing in mind the account was dormant from just under £500 o/d and i was continually challenging both the bank and all the silly collectors it employs . .72 letters in total and god knows how many complaints about everything, in the end they said will not collect and will close the account. .i presumed they would delete the default but instead they marked it as satisfied. .i never checked as i presumed they had removed the default and markers.. . it is is due off in december next year. since i have discovered the info on a recent credit check i wish to challenge the default and wonder if i can challenge it under bcobs as the default was before 2009, but the info is still on now so surely i can use bcobs to challenge it right?
  21. Hi all, I've read a little around BCOB Regulations and have an idea of the general points but unless there's a template to follow I'm too unsure about things to actually construct a complaint letter to reclaim charges on my Santander account.. I'll get to the details next but so that people don't switch off after reading it all, I'll get to the main question first.. How do I go about complaining and how do I work out which parts of my bad experience constitute unfair treatement under BCOS? Do they all constitute unfair treatment under BCOS? Any help would be greatly appreciated including any links to example BCOS complaints or templates. I have seen the one sticky relating to RBS but then there's a recent comment at the bottom saying that a similar letter was ignored by another institution.. Thanks in advance.. ------ So, the details : In October Santander allowed an unauthorised card payment from Quick Quid (payment was unauthorised because the agreement was quite specific about the date and amount of any loan repayments and this amount and date were outside the agreement - relevant later) to go through which took me £83 over my overdraft limit which I then duly covered the next day with a cash deposit to take me back within my overdraft limit. The following day however, Santander charged an Arranged Overdraft Fee of £8 which took me just £3 back over my limit and so incurred £45 in Unarranged Overdraft Fees. I called Santander about the unauthorised transaction from Quick Quid, explaining that despite having made authorised payments to them before, they were now using my details to take money from my account outside the contract and therefore without my authorisation! I asked them to block all outgoing transactions on the account until further notice as I considered these to be fraudulent acts by Quick Quid. At the same time I also flagged up concerns about money taken by Wonga a few days earlier as they had 'tested' my account by taking a small amount before then taking a larger one. I couldn't say that this was fraudulent as I was uncertain about the specific Wonga loan terms at that time - the contract appeared to authorised ad hoc payments, even though these might be unfair terms - but reported that I thought this was suspicious behaviour. Santander said they would look into it. On 19th October, despite being fully over my overdraft limit by £3 (with up coming charges for this over limit) and despite my request that the account be frozen for safety reasons, Santander allowed a payment of £83 to be taken from my account by Wonga, taking me further over my limit. This incurred a Paid Item fee of £25. The next day I received a letter from Santander saying that they had reviewed my account and that their records had shown that amounts had previously been debited by the same merchants before and so they did not consider them of concern and would not freeze my account. This completely ignored my concerns that despite already having had authorised payments go to Quick Quid and Wonga, that these companies were now using my bank details and taking payments WITHOUT authorisation. I moved over to another bank whilst these problems were ongoing but one salary payment slipped through and my account balance returned to within my overdraft limit, just. A few days later and I am hit with an arranged overdraft fee and the previous month's £45 unarranged overdraft fees taking me back into unarranged territory. At this point, I'd forgotten about some cheques that in normal course of events would have been paid. Firstly Sandander bouced two of these (three in total) incurring 2 x £25 Unpaid Item Fees, yet for some unknown reason allowed a third to be honoured despite already being well over my limit. The a few days later, on re-presentation of one of the bounced £100 cheques, Santander allowed it to be honoured taking me a further £100 over my limit and incurring a £25 Paid Item Fee. The following day the second £100 cheque was honoured despite yet further lack of funds and incurring a £25 Paid Item Fee. In December and January the above fees all kick in and I'm being charged £105 a month in unarranged overdraft fees and £5 Underfunding Fees. In February I attempt to complain by phone using my newly aquired knowledge of BCOB Regulations. I tell them that unfair treatment and treatment that is designed to maximise their profits at the expense of me the customer is illegal. I also complain about sloppy treatment reguarding my concerns of fraud on my account. They offer to refund my account by £200 and I refuse wanting this to be taken further. They tell me that someone will be in contact to discuss things. I never had that contact and on my next statement find that I have been refunded £200 as a good will gesture. Later I receive a letter hoping I am satisfied with my refund and asking that now the matter is 'resolved' could I now clear the outstanding balance! Now we're up to July and the account is now frozen, no longer incurring further fees but default is being threatened. I have also suffered the misfortune that an idiot employer who has paid two recent invoices into this frozen account despite instructions to delete the details and use my new ones - Santander will be under the impression that I agree with these charges and am paying them off. That unfortunately was my only income this month so I'm stuffed..
  22. A friend of mine was in despair following Santander not only charging him for a failed direct debit,but then continued to add further daily charges. He informed me that he had called them and emailed them,explaining that the charges were punitive since his only income is Jobseekers allowance. The fees stood at £55 and were rising. He asked me if I could help,and duly wrote him a letter. I was finding it hard to understand,how a bank like Santander,were openly flouting their obligations. My friend had pleaded with them and explained his situation. Santander of course could see from the account too-that he was in reciept of benefits since they were paid into this account. No excuses then...lets get to work. Account number xxxxxxxxxxx Sort Code xx xx xx letter before action Dear Sir/Madam, I am very disappointed in your response to my complaints which were made to you today, and that you have chosen to ignore my request for hardship, I therefore have no alternative but to seek recourse through the county court system. I believe that Santander have treated me unfairly under the following BCOB rules of which Santander should be compliant with,since Santander is a firm regulated by the FSA. Rule 5.1.1 R states “A firm must provide a service in relation to a retail banking service which is prompt, efficient and fair to a banking customer and which has regard to any communications or financial promotion made by the firm to the banking customer from time to time.” Rule 5.1.4 G “Principle 6 requires a firm to pay due regard to the interests of its customers and to treat them fairly. In particular, a firm should deal fairly with a banking customer whom it has reason to believe is in financial difficulty.” Santandar have been informed that I am in reciept of state benefits and that I need these to cover essential living costs including food and heat/lighting. Santander have not at any point acknowledged that this is a hardship case despite me notifying you.You have levied charges of £55 in recent days,and have refused to refund these in your return call to me on 6th.June. For these grounds I feel that I have been treated unfairly. In order for this claim to be settled without the need for court action I require that the full amount taken of £55 returned to me by way of a credit to my account. If I have not received a satisfactory response within 14 days then court action will be commenced without further notice and further costs will be incurred. A judgment for a breach of BCOBS is very serious and the FSA would be empowered to act. Yours Faithfully Mr V. Upset Would the recipients of his email to Santander actually know what the letter was about ? You bet they did! He got a reply quite swiftly...in fact in the space of 30 minutes. Message: Good Afternoon Mr V. Upset Thank you for your email. I am happy to reverse the amount of £55, which have been waived due to exceptional circumstances. To ensure no further charges are incurred on your accounts, we would ask you to monitor your accounts throughout the month. This can be completed through Online Banking, Local Branch and Telephone Banking. I hope this information is useful and if you have any other queries, please do not hesitate to contact me via Secure Messaging or my colleagues on 0845 9724724. Kind Regards, The nice man (who knows his BCOBs from his bankcharges) Santander Customer Services So the message to all those who believe they have been treated unfairly,is to give them a taste of their own famous words when they fob you off with sorry we cant refund the charges..... "This may not be the reply you wanted"
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