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Big Pants v. First Direct. **WON**


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Signed up and sent my DPA request letter a few weeks ago, but didn't want to start a thread until I found out how much I was owed. Oh that I could go back 25 years and sue NatWest for my student years. I graduated (in '89) £10k overdrawn - of which I reckon more than half was charges & interest :mad:

 

Anyway, it transpires that over the last 6 years First Direct unlawfully charged £1668.50 to my sole cheque account, and £999 (which would be amusing if it wasn't so annoying) to our joint account. Both these sums are net of any interest - though if it goes to court (please God) there's an additional £766 at the 8% statutory rate.

 

But I have a question. I was always overdrawn. Each of these charges therefore cost me additional interest, to which I believe I am entitled as I can prove the fact (given that I was always overdrawn :eek: ).

 

How please, should I go about claiming that interest by quoting it in my prelim letter? I'd really appreciate a steer.

 

I also intend to claim for both accounts in the one letter, which seems to be common practice in the few cases where more than one account is the subject. Again, does anyone know any different? Please?

 

I can't thank CAG enough for the uplift this has given us - I like to think I can manage my money now, but it took me years to learn. The punitive effects of illegal policies like these only exacerbated the cost and misery for me. Nice to think we should get some back.

 

And I'll happily send 5%. God knows we could use every penny, with two kids 'n'all, but helping fund others to get what's theirs is a reet righteous result.

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FiveLaws very kindly pointed me back in the direction of the spreadsheets created by the wonderful Vampiress :p

 

Don't know how I missed what I was looking for first time around, but was happily able to calculate an additional £465 in interest charges that I had to pay as a result of the illegal fees being levied against my accounts.

 

Hence, this letter goes in the post today. Do let me know if you spot any issues.

 

moz-screenshot.jpgThe Big Pants Monkey House

 

First Direct

40 Wakefield Road

Leeds

LS98 1FD

 

 

29th July 2006

 

 

Request for repayment of charges

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

ACCOUNT NUMBERS: 12345678 and 87654321

 

 

My request

I am writing to ask you to refund to me the charges which you have levied from my accounts over the last six years.

I now understand that the regime of fees which you have been applying to my account in relation to direct debit refusals, exceeding overdraft limits and so forth are unlawful at Common Law, Statute and recent consumer regulations. If you say that they are not, then will you please demonstrate this by letting me have a full breakdown of the costs to which you have been put by as a result of my breaches, in order to reassure me that your penalties really do reflect your costs.

Additionally, it has now been confirmed that your particularly high level of penalties are considered to be unfair per se by the OFT who reported on the 5th April 2006 and are therefore presumed to be unlawful in the absence of specific proof to the contrary.

 

Your responsibilities

I would draw your attention to the terms of the contract which you agreed to at the time that I opened my accounts. It is an implied term of that contract that you would conduct yourselves lawfully and in a manner which complies with UK law.

 

I am frankly flabbergasted that you have operated my account in this way, as I had always reposed confidence in your integrity and expertise as my fiduciary.

I consider that your repeated representations that your charges are fair and reasonable are deceptive and that they have deceived me into agreeing to pay them.

Your concealment of the true nature of your charges has prevented me from asserting my right until now.

 

What I require

I calculate that you have taken £1668.50 plus £396.93 which you have charged me in overdraft interest for the sum which you have taken from my account 12345678: Total £2065.40 .

 

Additionally I calculate that you have taken £999.00 plus £68.81 which you have charged me in overdraft interest for the sum which you have taken from my account 87654321: Total £1067.81

 

In total I calculate that you have taken £3133.21 unlawfully from my accounts over the last six years alone, which I would request you return to me.

I enclose a schedule of the charges which I am claiming with this letter

 

My targets to resolve this matter

I hope that you will enter into a sincere dialogue with me about this matter and I am writing this letter to you on the assumption that you will prefer to do this than merely respond with standard letters and leaflets.

 

I will give you 14 days to reply to me accepting, unconditionally, my request in principle and letting me know a date by which I will receive payment.

 

If you do not respond, or you do not respond positively, within this time period, I shall send you a letter before action giving you a further 14 days in which to reflect. I believe that these targets are more than sufficient for a large company such as yours with dedicated staff and departments.

 

After that, there will be no further communication from me and I shall issue a claim at the expiry of the second deadline.

 

Yours faithfully

 

He of the Big Pants

 

It's cross yer fingers and wait time now...

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  • 3 weeks later...

No response barring the standard "here's a leaflet" and "we'll get back to you within 10 days" (which they didn't), so LBA sent today. With the closing paragraph "First Direct, I'm surprised and disappointed. Shame on you."

 

Hoping to reach closure on this around the end of the month. Fingers crossed.

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So. A letter yesterday from John Ruane. "Confident of their position... blah blah...

...However, mindful of management time & irrecoverable legal costs (yeah, they are irrecoverable when you lose, aren't they?)... Prepared to make a payment of £2112 in full & final...etc" This against a claim of £3133.21. Dream on, John.

 

So far, so exactly as laid out in these wonderful forums. I have been invited to escalate my concerns, so will be dropping Robert Kernaghan a note shortly :rolleyes:

 

Can't wait to file the MoneyClaim. The 8% interest would be extremely handy.

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  • 5 weeks later...

OK.

Should I now be concerned?

 

FD wrote to me a while back offering £2112 in "full and final" against my claim of £3133.21 + interest.

 

Sent back a "thanks but no thanks" response, reminding them of my timetable for action, which crossed in the post with another offer from them of the same amount, which stated that this would be their final communication on the matter.

 

Filed Moneyclaim on September 5th, and received notice from the court that DG Solicitors intend to defend the action (dated 13th September).

 

Can't find too many cases similar to mine, and I'd be really grateful for any guidance or reassurance others might be able to offer. I'm beginnning to wonder if I fouled up somewhere, though I don't believe I have...

 

Can anyone lay my fears to rest?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks for the support. Much appreciated.

 

So you think they'll still make an improved offer before it gets to court?

 

Have they settled yet, just interested to see hwo it all went.

Haven't seen too many posts of settled claims recently?

I love the smell of banks coughing up refunds early in the morning

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It all happened yesterday, but I've been too busy (and too depressed at the overall state of things) to post.

 

Yep. All is settled - so I must email the mods and also send my 5% with grateful thanks!

 

£3310.99 refunded in illegally taken charges (after much arseing about and an unfeasible delay in crediting my account). Strangely there was no comment from the solicitors on my suggestion that we discuss confidentiality as a separate commercial agreement at £5000.

 

One in yer eye for the banks' dodgy behaviour - despite their professed confidence if it did go to court.

 

So stick with it everyone. You can do it.

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Just to point out the charges are unlawfully taken, not illegally, there is a big difference

BEFORE starting your claim read through the FAQ's and if there's something you aren't sure of then ask.

If you win, donate to this site

Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions, some formed by personal experience and some from research. If in doubt seek qualified legal advice.

 

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Just to point out the charges are unlawfully taken, not illegally, there is a big difference

 

My apologies. Recognise the difference in legal semantics - poor choice of words on my part.

 

Nevertheless...

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Big pants, might I know you from another forum of the wedding kind?

HSBC - Received offer for 3621, accepted confidentiality crossed out. Money in bank 10/10/06!

 

Barclaycard - 180.00 LBA sent 5/10/2006

72.00 offered, rejected.

 

MBNA - S.A.R sent 13/9/2006 :idea:

 

Mint - 244.00 prelim sent 30/9/2006

 

Dorothy Perkins and GE money - S.A.R sent 30/9/2006

 

Simpley BE - S.A.R sent 30/9/2006

 

What I say is of my own opinion. Seek professional legal advice if need be.

 

If I have helped, tip the scales! Thank you x :)

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Waaaah! Sorry! I got you confused with a big pants that was on a wedding forum at the same time as me when I was getting married!

 

 

 

If I wasn't married, I might proposition you ;)

HSBC - Received offer for 3621, accepted confidentiality crossed out. Money in bank 10/10/06!

 

Barclaycard - 180.00 LBA sent 5/10/2006

72.00 offered, rejected.

 

MBNA - S.A.R sent 13/9/2006 :idea:

 

Mint - 244.00 prelim sent 30/9/2006

 

Dorothy Perkins and GE money - S.A.R sent 30/9/2006

 

Simpley BE - S.A.R sent 30/9/2006

 

What I say is of my own opinion. Seek professional legal advice if need be.

 

If I have helped, tip the scales! Thank you x :)

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