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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
Anyone any experience of challenging an increase in interest rates on their Coop credit card? I received a letter notifying me of a 1% increase effective 60 days from the letter as a result of a review of my account. This is the first time in the 30+ years I have held the card I have received such notification and I have never received notification that the interest rate was to be reduced as the result of such a review! I suspect that the review process is a one-way street and would like to challenge it, probably directly through the County Court as an unfair practice under COBS. I will first contact Jon Bowen (Head of Customer Services, ex head of Sales) for an explanation of the EXACT review process and elements they considered as a part of the review but do not expect a timely or useful response. In the letter they provide a broken link to the UK Cards Association fact sheet on re-pricing (I eventually found the doc myself) but that does not throw any useful light on the topic other than the issuing bank has the right to review and alter the interest rate to reflect risk and they can decide what elements to review. If I do not know EXACTLY what elements have led to this increase how can I possibly change my spending/payment behavior to not only ensure there are no further increases but to reduce the current level? By not making this data available to me they are denying me the opportunity to reduce my CC interest rates and using opacity to gouge another 1% out of me! PS I am a member of the Cooperative movement but that obviously makes no difference; we are all treated equally (sometimes badly) , members or not....
Hi I have had a long term arrangement with Lloyds TSB regarding a Trustcard account. I have been paying a nominal amount for several years. I was contacted by Lloyds TSB earlier this year to review the arrangement and I forwarded a statement of means in the late summer. I then received a reply from BLS, who I hadn't written to (but who are, I believe, part of Lloyds TSB) advising me that the proposed monthly amount was acceptable. However, they then appear to have almost immediately sold the account to a DCA. It strikes me that this is not treating me fairly and is a breach of Lloyds TSB's statutory obligations under COBS. I wondered if anybody who knows more about such matters could advise me whether this view is reasonable and accurate as I intend to write to them to this effect? Also, I was provided with this credit card when I opened a TSB bank account in the 1990s. If you wanted a cheque guarantee card, the card they gave you doubled as a credit card. I know it pre-dates BCOBS but I wondered if BCOBS was applicable as it was provided by the bank as a cheque guarantee card? I hope that somebody can advise me. Thank you.