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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"