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tifo v Natwest (business account)

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I claimed charges back from NatWest in May 2007 from a business account i used to have in 2001. I was within 6 years in claiming.

 

In July 2007, they offered half the charges. I declined as i said i want all.

 

In August 2007, they put the account on hold re test case, despite being a business account. They said I could still accept the 50% offer within 2 months. I wrote, rang etc, to tell them the case does not apply but they ignored me.

 

I wrote to them again in April 2008 when the test case 'concluded' and they responded by saying my account had been logged as a personal account by mistake and they would look into it again. No mention of my previous letters and calls etc.

 

They then said they cannot find any charges as the amounts i am claiming are for business fees. I wrote back and said no, my schedule clearly says 'cheque return fee' and 'unauthorised borrowing fee', taken from my statements and that's what i want back.

 

Now they're replied stating the charges i have detailed are the non-refundable type and they can only look to pay back 'unpaid fees' and 'paid referral fees', none of which show on my account. I've wrote back and said that no matter what they want to call them now in their new Ts & Cs, i want a refund of the amounts they charged to return a cheque or direct debit.

 

During all my calls over the past year, the operator could see my letters, the charges on the system etc but just didn't do what they said they would.

 

I've now complained to them about the way my request is being handled and with them now trying to mislead me in this way by referring to a new name for the charges. I was told to write to the freepost London address.

 

Advice please?

Edited by tifo

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I'm moving this thread to the business account forum


Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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OK, sorry, didn't know there was a sub forum for business.

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No problem - we feel that ATM the fact that an account is a business account gives it more in common with other busiess accounts than with other accounts ata particular bank


Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

Confused by Simple Interest? Confounded by Compound Interest? Read my Interest Tutorial

My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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wrote to the Group Chief Exec and his office promised a thorough investigation.

 

received a reply now which is much the same as what i had before, i.e. that they do not refund the type of fees i have detailed (cheque return fee and excess borrowing fee as shown on my statements) as no 'paid referral fee' is showing on my account. Of course it wouldn't, because it wasn't called that at the time the charges were applied in 2001.

 

in my letter to the Chief, i asked for a refund of all penalty charges applied as a result of returning a cheque, direct debit or exceeding an overdraft, whatever they want to call them now. I couldn't put it simpler than that. I am sure they fully understand what i mean.

 

so i'm pee'd off (again) that they try to mislead me in this way once more and seem to think i will accept it.

 

they apologised for the fact that it was put on hold in Aug 07 by mistake, yet no reply on why my letters and phone calls were ignored and no offer of compensation for the fact i've had to wait a year to have it looked (and now rejected).

 

they say the offer of around £400 sent before that time still stands and i can accept it if i want, even though it was sent in error (i don't think it was an error as the CS team said that's all the charges they can find). The thing is, penalty charges are shown as more than £1,000 on my statements and that's not even all as i am missing some. The same charges i have detailed in my schedule to them which they now say are the type they don't refund.

 

i expected the Chief Exec's office to at least acknowledge what i am claiming and investigate the way it has been handled properly, rather than send it to the same CS office i had replies from before. They haven't done a thorough investigation as promised and i really don't want an offer for the same thing i had a year ago, otherwise i would have accepted it then.

 

i'm looking for a refund of all penalty charges as well as, now, compensation for the way they've dealt with the claim, as they have acknowledged their mistake. Should be a few hundred there i think.

 

Advice please.

Edited by tifo

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Tifo,

 

Just subscribing.

 

Is this just a complaint to the bank at the moment, or have you actually filed at court.

 

Unfortunately the only language the banks seem to respond to is litigation.

 

Their repeated misrepresentation, attempts at concealment and stalling tactics will not look good for them if it goes to court.

 

You should also perhaps consider the Financial Ombudsman route ?

 

PM


---------------------------

ARE YOU A BUSINESS CLAIMANT?

CAG NOW HAVE A BUSINESS CLAIMS FORUM !

GO HERE !

 

CAN'T FIND WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR?

Look here.

Got your old T&C's ?

Visit this thread to help others.

 

-----------------------------

All opinions and advice I offer are purely my own, and are offered without any liability. If unsure seek the help of a licensed professional

...just because something's in print doesn't mean its true.... just look at you Banks T&C's for example !

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Tifo, I have replied on CCS but they are right unless you can say which charge you have that has mutated?

Unpaid item charge has not mutated, paid referral fee has not mutated.

Can you post which one has because at the moment I think the bank COULD be right.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Tifo, I have replied on CCS but they are right unless you can say which charge you have that has mutated?

Unpaid item charge has not mutated, paid referral fee has not mutated.

Can you post which one has because at the moment I think the bank COULD be right.

 

your post suggests their charges for returning cheques etc. are legitimate business fees. This is the first i've heard of this.

 

i am asking for a refund of the charges applied for returning cheques unpaid and for being overdrawn/overlimit. These are clearly shown as 'cheque return fee at £30 each' and 'excess borrowing fee at £3.50 a day'. Are these penalty charges or a true reflection of their costs?

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Tifo,

 

Just subscribing.

 

Is this just a complaint to the bank at the moment, or have you actually filed at court.

 

Unfortunately the only language the banks seem to respond to is litigation.

 

Their repeated misrepresentation, attempts at concealment and stalling tactics will not look good for them if it goes to court.

 

You should also perhaps consider the Financial Ombudsman route ?

 

PM

 

This is just with the bank, no court or FOS yet. They offered £420 out of £1,000 charges claimed, put the account on hold re test case, now apologise for that being wrong, despite letters and calls we exchanged, and now state there are no charges to refund as they cannot see any 'paid referral fees', while i've asked for a refund of 'cheque return fee at £30 each' and 'excess borrowing fee at £3.50 a day'. They say the £420 offer was in 'error' but they will honour it. The poster above suggests they are right and this is the first i've heard of Natwest business account penalty charges being lawful, yet the same charges are the subject of the test case, in respect of personal accounts and to some extent business accounts as well.

 

At court, the claim will be stayed. With the FOS, it will take over 12 months and i've had bad experiences with them. I'd rather have the Chief Exec's office deal with it properly and offer me my refund, after they accept that there are daily charges for returning cheques and being overdrawn, as shown on my statements. They're trying to fob me off.

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TIFO, in that case, I think you are going more than 6 years. Is that right? In that case WITHIN 6 years are there those charges on the business account?

 

Tifo, did you read your thread on CCS? I said exactly the same as Nattie. I didn't however check what charges we were talking about or timescale.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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TIFO, in that case, I think you are going more than 6 years. Is that right? In that case WITHIN 6 years are there those charges on the business account?

 

Tifo, did you read your thread on CCS? I said exactly the same as Nattie. I didn't however check what charges we were talking about or timescale.

 

The charges were within 6 years from the time i wrote to the bank in May 2007. It is not my fault they put the account on hold for 8 months re test case and the charges are now outside this limit. They have now admitted that was wrong and that they will go back 6 years from May 2007. It is within this that they say there are no charges, despite my schedule being made from my statements and showing nearly £1,000 of the type i mentioned.

 

The bank cannot hold an account according to the waiver and then say you're now outside the 6 year limit, otherwise we'd all be losing out. And mine was wrongly on hold anyway.

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In that case, they're wrong completely. I was wondering whether they were hiding behind the 6 year rule.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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In that case, they're wrong completely. I was wondering whether they were hiding behind the 6 year rule.

 

Yes, i think they are trying to. Even after promising to go back 6 years from the date of my first letter.

 

They're implying they can't find any charges (without mentioning any 6 year limit) and then saying sorry about the confusion on the hold (but no mention that i was within 6 years before that).

 

Crafty eh?

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Request letter received by them 30 May 2007, i am claiming excess fees from 31 May 2001 and cheque return fees from 20 July 2001, well within 6 years.

 

I went over 6 years in October 2007, but part settlement offered in July 2007 and account put on hold in August 2007, before 6 years were up. They looked at it again in April 2008 and they're now sorry about the mistake. But i sent them letters in Aug/Sept 2007 and spoke to them many times that it's a business account. All times i was promised it would be looked at. This seems to have been ignored until April 2008, when i wrote and asked for charges back as test case is over and the OFT have won (the first round).

 

Looks like now they're pretending there are no charges within the last 6 years but they need to go back from the date of my letter, as promised.

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Dare you to ask NatWest what "cheque return fee" is for?

Even for entertainment value that could be class.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Dare you to ask NatWest what "cheque return fee" is for?

Even for entertainment value that could be class.

 

Yes, most definately. I intend to call the Chief Exec's office and ask what they're playing at as i expected more than a standard reply from them, and what do they mean there are no charges on the account and what exactly are 'cheque return fee' and 'excess borrowing fee' for as shown on my statements?

 

They'll have to pay up in the end but why go through all this hassle?

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If you have it in writing what they both are I guarantee you can make them look complete fools.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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If you have it in writing what they both are I guarantee you can make them look complete fools.

 

They're penalty charges for cheques being returned and for being overdrawn/overlimit. I know that and they know that as well, the court would know that and the FOS. It's no different from the same charges the bank makes in relation to the same actions on personal accounts and the same as every other bank makes when returning items.

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am i right in asking for some sort of compensation payment (through the Chief Exec's office) for the mistake they made in putting my account on hold, ignoring my correspondence in the matter and now trying to faff about with 6 year limit? They've clearly apologised for it, but that don't do anything for me and my case, does it?

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doubt it as it is a bank charges claim.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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doubt it as it is a bank charges claim.

 

Yes, but they made a mistake and have apologised. They held my claim up for no valid reason and saying sorry is no compensation, i told them in writing and by phone it shouldn't be on hold, so they can't say they weren't aware, even if they did make the mistake initially. Then they now try to use their mistake as an excuse to say no charges applied as i am over 6 years.

 

I know it's a bank charges claim, but these have a way of growing into bigger things as the claim progresses and new info comes to light. I've had it before with other banks.

 

I'm going to try. No harm in that and they did make the mistake, otherwise i should have got my money a long time ago.

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The made a mistake in classifying as per FSA guidelines on complaint handling. If you had filed a case in the courts then the 8% s.69 would be being racked up. Sorry but I would say to you that you do need to tell them that they should be looking at charges from may 2001 up to now as a result of their mistake. If there has been charges since May 2007 then they need to look at those as well.


.

FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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The statute of limitations is a forward looking act.

 

That is, you have 6 years from discovery of your rights to claim something in which to file an actual court claim. This date could only at most be claimed by them to have possibly been a couple of years back when such charges hit the media.

 

It also has no correlation to how far back you can claim.

It is only relevant in so far as making you obliged to claim for something within 6 years of discovering your right to claim it, regardless of how long ago the event was.

This means you still have plenty of time to file.

The 6 year rule could only go in their favour had you actually discovered and complained to them about the possibility that the charges were recoverable over 6 years ago.

This can be easily demonstrated as not having been the case.

 

Even then, in the unlikely scenario that they were somehow able to identify a time over 6 years ago that you had or could have become aware of your right to challenge the charges, then they have subsequently concealed this fact. In fact even just their recent attempts at confusing the issue amounts to concealment on their behalf.

You can also easily demonstrate that you conceded to the charges at the time of them, and did not challenge them due to acting under mistake.

 

This is all enough if need be, to invoke sec 32 of the Statute of limitations, thus raising any obstacles to claiming beyond 6 years.

The statute only requires ANY act of concealment, whether it has happened at the time of the charges or subsequently.

 

Ask them for further clarification on their recent argument, as it will then serve as even more evidence of such acts and attempts at concealment.

Read up on the act, and look at the various threads, then when you come to file if it were me I would submit a claim for all charges regardless of age (it worked for me, and many others).

 

PM

 

 

PS: CAG are in an ongoing process of determining the best way forward now for business claims. There are some very strong possibilities currently being looked at, and much work going on behind the scenes.

You should hold fire on actually filing a court claim for a short while. Once the site team have decided upon the best way forward for business claimants then news of such will appear in this forum.


---------------------------

ARE YOU A BUSINESS CLAIMANT?

CAG NOW HAVE A BUSINESS CLAIMS FORUM !

GO HERE !

 

CAN'T FIND WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR?

Look here.

Got your old T&C's ?

Visit this thread to help others.

 

-----------------------------

All opinions and advice I offer are purely my own, and are offered without any liability. If unsure seek the help of a licensed professional

...just because something's in print doesn't mean its true.... just look at you Banks T&C's for example !

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The made a mistake in classifying as per FSA guidelines on complaint handling. If you had filed a case in the courts then the 8% s.69 would be being racked up. Sorry but I would say to you that you do need to tell them that they should be looking at charges from may 2001 up to now as a result of their mistake. If there has been charges since May 2007 then they need to look at those as well.

 

They already told me they'll look from May 2007 going back 6 years, but they don't seem to be doing this. This is what i'm fighting against, being told something else, them then doing otherwise.

 

The charges are only in 2001. The account was closed after that.

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spoken to Chief Exec's office and told them what i think of the letter after their 'thorough investigation'. They told me to write if i'm not happy with the response.

 

so going to draft a letter up (again). Any specific points i should raise and ask them, apart from asking what the 'cheque return fee' and 'excess borrowing fee' is and why they think these are the type of charges they don't refund? I'm also going to ask them to send me a full statement of all items from my statements showing as the above.

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