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  1. In approx May 2007 I took on Abbey as it then was in a bank charges claim for £1358.50 (plus interest incurred) between August 2001-April 2007 which went to the County Court and was put on hold as a result of OFT Test Case same as everyone else's claims. Obviously following the High Court ruling which went in the banks' favour the County Court claim effectively ended. Whilst at the time I started the claim we were struggling to make ends meet, I did not think we had sufficient grounds to raise hardship nor during the time the court case was active/on hold until it was effectively ended by High Court ruling. But things have spiralled out of control over last few years to the point where we are now in serious debt (and utilising the services of CCCS). I am confident we now meet the grounds for a hardship claim that the Financial Ombudsman wants to see. So my questions are: (a) if I make a claim for six years of bank charges under the hardship route through the bank itself initially and then subsequently through the Ombudsman scheme as necessary, should I claim for (i) the six years from June 2005 to today which will be a different figure but probably near enough the same (and maybe I can get away without drawing their attention to the previous claim), or do I use (ii) the six years that I originally used when claim made via the Court system (eg effectively May 2001-May 2007)? And if I do use same details as Court claim presumably I'll have to explain why I'm using that particular period which obviously highlights that I have tried a claim previously (b) will it make any difference to hardship claim that although we are permanently at our max overdraft limit on said account and indeed frequently have DDs returned etc because if they were honoured they would take us over our maximum, in the summer of last year our account was changed into a "Zero" account and therefore for last year or so we don't now actually incur any overdraft/returned DD charges even when we go over our overdraft? © irrespective of which claim period I use (see (a) above), if the fact that we declined WITHOUT PREJUDICE the bank's initial offer of partial settlement in July 2007 comes to light will that be an issue? I can understand that the bank themselves will probably raise that in argument, but if it gets as far as the Ombudsman will the Ombudsman be obliged to refuse the hardship claim because of it? If that's the case then there is no point even starting the claim process. Incidentally, if we did pursue a claim and were successful then the amount we would likely receive would almost exactly equal the amount of our overdraft with them. Without a possible hardship claim we have no means with which to repay the overdraft amount. CCCS have suggested I write to them offering £1 per month as they are a non-priority debt and I can prove in an income/expenditure claim that that is all we can afford as we are struggling to meet our priority debts. I know it sounds a lot like blackmail but can anyone suggest a persuasive argument I could use along the lines of "if you refund our bank charges we can discharge our debt to you (you could do this yourselves directly if you don't trust us to do so), but if you don't then we can only afford £1 a month per CCCS advice". Any help/suggestions gratefully received.
  2. Has anyone heard of this happening to others since the transition of Abbey over to Santander? I set up an online 'Easy ISA' with Abbey back in 2006/2007 and used to manage it online via a passcode. I remember going into an AN branch one day back in 2008 and they couldn't find this account on their system, I was told because it was an online account only. I was reassured when I went home and logged in to my online banking, that I could still see the ISA. A couple of years passed and the name obviously changed to Santander, bringing about a new online banking system/interface. I forgot the log in details and didn't try and log in until recently. I requested new passcodes etc from the same branch (who still couldn't locate the ISA on their system) and now I've been able to log in again, I am horrified(!) to see no evidence of this ISA or any of my other account details prior to two years ago. I've logged this with their customer service ISA department, who wrote back to say they haven't been able to find it. I know it was there, with about 7k in it!! Even if they had provided acknowledgement that this ISA was once open, (with nothing in it even) I would be reassured...but they are saying they can't find it at all. I feel like I'm going mad, but I'm quite intelligent(!) and know I had some money in there. I've now logged this with the FOS but what else can I do?! I'm gutted! Stacey
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