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The actual nature of NatWest's charges.


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Well, I'm back after quite a while of being busy, ill, etc.

 

Don't know if this has been discussed at all, apologies if this is old ground.

 

Me and Mrs PR have a joint account with Nat West. Over the past few weeks we'd had one or two charges for unpaid DD's - my fault mostly as I forgot to pay in, we don't keep a lot in the account (it's just for paying the household bills), and once when her pay didn't go in on time and a payment was rejected.

 

Anyway, I had a read up on their T's & C's to see what it said about the nature of the charges. I knew they had changed their tune as to what the charge acually was so as to describe it as being a service they were graciously providing to you, rather than a charge for not doing anything. Anyway, this is the relevant clause;

 

 

 

"6.3 Unarranged overdrafts and unpaid items

6.3.1 If you issue instructions for a withdrawal or other payment which

would result in:

(a) your account becoming overdrawn, or further overdrawn,

without prior arrangement; or

(b) your overdraft limit being exceeded,

we will treat your instructions as an informal request for an

unarranged overdraft. General Conditions 6.3.2 to 6.3.4 describe

how we process your request and the charges we make when we

do so.

6.3.2 If we decide we are willing to accept your request, we will make

a charge known as a Paid Referral Fee.

6.3.3 If we decide we are not willing to accept your request, but

nonetheless accept it because we find that you have guaranteed

payment by the use of a cheque guarantee card or debit card,

we will make a charge known as a Guaranteed Card Payment Fee.

6.3.4 If we reject your request, we will make a charge known as an

Unpaid Item Fee.

6.3.5 Where you have an unarranged overdraft, in addition to any

charge imposed under General Conditions 6.3.2 to 6.3.4,

we will:

(a) apply a monthly charge known as a Maintenance Charge; and

(b) charge interest (known as debit interest) on the unarranged

overdraft at a rate which is higher than the rate we charge

on arranged overdrafts.

6.3.6 You will find details of the interest and charges mentioned in this

General Condition 6.3 in Personal and Private Banking – A Guide

to Fees and Interest.

 

 

Clearly from this the "service" they are providing in respect of the charge being made is one of deciding whether to honour the instruction for payment or not.

 

However, at no point is the customer made aware of how this decision is arrived at, what criteria is applied in the decision making process, who makes it, whether it can be appealed and when - exactly - it is made after the instruction is recieved by the bank.

 

It is clearly unreasonable to charge for a service of which the customer has no working knowledge, is unable to assess the nature and quality of and which is not open to scrutiny or challenge by the customer. In addition, the bank has offered no evidence that they are even performing the service - although, I'm sure they wouldn't stoop quite that low!

 

Anyway, I've email NatWest about this and will post what they say.

Edited by PhantomReclaimer

Northern Rock; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered. Recieved details of 6 yrs charges on 8th. Wrote back asking whether or not they hold information going back further than that.

MBNA; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered 14/8/06

Barclays; S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) request sent 11/8/06 - Del 14/8/06

Diners Club; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered 14/8/06. Recieved form to fill and return with fee on 17/8/06. Sent form back, delivered 4/9/06.

Intelligent Finance; Prelim letter emailed 16/08/06, claiming £318. Email recieved from "Anne-Marie" 17/8/06 saying my email has been passed to Customer Relations dept. Fob-off letter received 23/8/06, letter sent in return same day - Delivered 24/8/6 Recieved letter offer 25% settelement - refused - LBA sent. MCOL on 10th revcieved notification that they intend to defend on 13th. 06/9/2006 WON!!!!!!

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Another point that's long irked me given that these charges (whcih are EXACTLY the same) have magically become service charges why don't they invoice seperately for them like every other business?

 

Could it be that

A) Most people would take one look at the size of the charge and say sod that?

B) They know full well if they apply it to the account it feels as though the customer is powerless to stop it?

The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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The reply will probably be "we can charge what we like"

 

Ha Ha.

 

Lets wait and see if they can ?

 

Probably. It's not the charge I'm querying with them though - it's the actual service its self.

Northern Rock; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered. Recieved details of 6 yrs charges on 8th. Wrote back asking whether or not they hold information going back further than that.

MBNA; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered 14/8/06

Barclays; S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) request sent 11/8/06 - Del 14/8/06

Diners Club; S.A.R sent 11/8/06 - Delivered 14/8/06. Recieved form to fill and return with fee on 17/8/06. Sent form back, delivered 4/9/06.

Intelligent Finance; Prelim letter emailed 16/08/06, claiming £318. Email recieved from "Anne-Marie" 17/8/06 saying my email has been passed to Customer Relations dept. Fob-off letter received 23/8/06, letter sent in return same day - Delivered 24/8/6 Recieved letter offer 25% settelement - refused - LBA sent. MCOL on 10th revcieved notification that they intend to defend on 13th. 06/9/2006 WON!!!!!!

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