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Today sent my first letter to HSBC - Despite being a newbie!


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Hi all...

 

At 22yrs old and a current university student, I've spent virtually all my time since turning 18 being in debt, and though I'm on the mend now, I can't forget the outrageous penalty charges HSBC have burdened me with.

 

I still hold my the account with them which all the charges were applied to, though i'm glad to say this account is no longer in debt, and the majority of my banking is done elsewhere.

 

I took a letter from the library section of the site and changed it somewhat so i felt it was personalised to my situation, and that I was sure of what I was saying in the letter.

 

*my address*

 

7th February 2006

 

The Manager

HSBC

*my local branch address*

 

WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

 

Dear Sir,

 

Account Number: ********

Sort Code: ******

 

I have held the above mentioned current account with your bank for numerous years and since turning the age of 18 in 2002 my account has spent the majority of it’s time overdrawn, in addition to this I have held a credit card with yourselves and taken out a personal loan. Whilst being in debt with HSBC, I have incurred charges for various reasons, such as exceeding my overdraft limit and cheques being cleared with insufficient funds in the account. Thankfully I now stand in a position without debts on my HSBC current account, though I feel that much of my time in debt, particularly when verging on the edge of my overdraft limit, was not helped by the numerous charges applied to the account, which inevitably led to more charges.

 

It is my opinion, and that of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), that these charges are punitive in nature. It is true to say that as a bank you may apply a charge to a customers account, but only to the extent of covering costs to reimburse your losses for a breach of contract occurring. I feel it unfair that where a breach of contract has arisen in the past, charges exceeding £30 have been applied when the true cost to the bank would appear to be the cost of sending a computer generated letter informing myself of the charge.

 

I would like to point out that further to the 1999 Consumer Credit Regulations quoted by the OFT, there are numerous cases in law that prove that punitive charges in contracts are unenforceable at English law.

 

Murray v Leisureplay (2004)

Dunlop Tyre Company v New Garage and Motor Co. (1915)

Bridge v. Campbell Discount Co. Ltd. (1962)

 

There are many more cases of this type – far more than I have room to list here.

 

Further to these cases, I also believe these charges to be a direct breach of the 1977 Unfair Terms (contracts) Act which require that contract terms be reasonable. I do not believe these charges are reasonable as outlined in the aforementioned act.

 

With this in mind, I respectfully request that you return to me all charges made on this account in the last 6 years within 7 days of receipt of this letter by way of personal cheque or direct credit to the account in addition to a confirmation letter. If you choose not to do so, I will start proceedings for recovery in the County Courts, as I believe that legally I am entitled to this money back. By doing so, you will be eligible for my court costs and for an extra 8% APR as allowed by the County Courts Act (1984).

 

Further to this, if you decide NOT to accept my offer of settlement of this issue, I would like to make a formal request under the Data Protection Act (1998) for a complete and exhaustive list of all charges made on this account over the last 6 years. As you are no doubt aware, you are afforded 40 days to comply with this request or you must request an extension from the Information Commissioner. If you are of any doubt that this information is covered by the act, may I respectfully draw your attention to the case of Durant v FSA 2003 where the judge ruled that bank statement information is indeed personal information and thus covered under the Data Protection Act. In any event, this information is requested with a view to prospective legal action on my part and therefore would be covered under the same act.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Richard Simkiss

 

I'm expecting the letter to just be ignored to be honest. My main problem is that if they don't supply me with the appropriate list of charges, i can't make a claim because i don't know what all the charges are!! I've got most of my statements from November 2003, and there have been no penalty charges since July 2004. during this 8 month period I recieved £719.50 of penalty charges, i imagine my penalty charges started around 18 months before this, so really do wonder how much I have forked out in total!!!

 

I was right to address the letter to my local branch wasn't I? Of course I sent it recorded delivery... Just worked out that during the 8 month period for which i have statements showing charges, I was averaging £3 a day in penalty charges!!!! I'm determined to take this as far as possible to get my charges back.

 

Any comments, advice and encouragement will be thoroughly appreciated as I feel a tad lost at sea with all the legal stuff... in return i'll keep you all updated with the proceedings.

 

 

Cheers Guys,

 

Rich.

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I really would get the bank statements first so that you know exactly how much you are talking about.

 

If you haven't sent your letter then hold on to it.

 

Get the statements

Work it out

Send the letter containing the figure that you want and the threat and then go for it.

 

 

 

In the meantime, read through the forum carefully and understand what you are doing. It's not hard. When you know your stuff.

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Doh!

 

I just thought i'd follow what the letter from the library section said... ah well, i guess this way they have a chance to pay me back straight away, if not then i've made an official request for a list of all the charges... think i'll then write a 'final warning' letter outlining the sum and giving them a further 7 days, after which I'll take legal proceedings.

 

I've read up a fair amount and understand the basics of it all, but think i might struggle if i had to argue my point face to face with the bank manager. I'm hoping with the help of you guys on here I can beat the sods and pay back the rest of my debts (other than student loan :oops: )

 

This site really has been a huge help already! thanks guys!! :D

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Guest stephen

sorry

 

but when i submitted my claim i never had a total figure i wrote on my cliam form

 

I expect to recover no more than £2000

 

 

then once the bank asked how I came to this I said it was my best estimate since I had not kept copies of my bank statements,

 

they then sent me them Free of Charge.

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I'm in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. (Midlands)

 

I've been thinkin about it all day and could only guess the charges to be between £1000-£1500, but then again I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were more than that!

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well blow me down, after a long few hours sifting through HSBC online banking to get my statements, then sifting through the statements to find my charges and then putting them into the interest calculating spreadsheet, i've reached a sum of Penalty charges totalling £1579, which will have another £311.57 added in interest should it goto court!

 

I really hope this works and I get my money back, it would finally bring me out of debt (again, other than student loan) and be a great point in life :o) Almost feels too good to be true :?

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today i've gone through all my charges and added a few coloumns to my spreadsheet. I noted my account balance at the time when every charge was applied.

 

I've also made a cumulative coloumn of the charges (grammar?!), using these two I've worked out what my balance would be If i'd not had any bank charges applied to the account.

 

I have subsequently worked out that had no charges been applied to my account, i would have only exceeded my overdraft limit on one occaision since the first charge. Since 15th April 2002 i (theoretically) would not have exceeded the overdraft limit and therefore would not have incurred any more charges (this is going on the principal that the total of charges to that date is in excess of the amount by which the overdraft limit was exceeeded, if that makes any sense).

 

Could I perhaps use this in some way to support my court case? (if it goes that far) Or is the fact that the charges kept me over my overdraft limit (and thus incurring more charges) irrelevant to the argument of whether the charges are fair? i.e. would it help me at all in getting my charges back?

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today i've gone through all my charges and added a few coloumns to my spreadsheet. I noted my account balance at the time when every charge was applied.

 

I've also made a cumulative coloumn of the charges (grammar?!), using these two I've worked out what my balance would be If i'd not had any bank charges applied to the account.

 

I have subsequently worked out that had no charges been applied to my account, i would have only exceeded my overdraft limit on one occaision since the first charge. Since 15th April 2002 i (theoretically) would not have exceeded the overdraft limit and therefore would not have incurred any more charges (this is going on the principal that the total of charges to that date is in excess of the amount by which the overdraft limit was exceeeded, if that makes any sense).

 

Could I perhaps use this in some way to support my court case? (if it goes that far) Or is the fact that the charges kept me over my overdraft limit (and thus incurring more charges) irrelevant to the argument of whether the charges are fair? i.e. would it help me at all in getting my charges back?

 

This is something that I have often wondered, as I believe that banks are not allowed to charge you for going overdrawn when it is those very bank charges that have contributed to you going overdrawn. I think that it can get so complicated to work out, that most people leave it and just blame themselves. It's an interesting premise though, and certainly an added angle of attack in any court case.

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Can anyone please confirm 100% that i'm correct in pursueing this matter correctly by addressing my letter to my local branch manager?

 

Or should i really be sending the letters to someone higher up in the company? It's time for me to send another letter, last one before starting court proceedings... but i don't want to send it to my local branch manager again and then have to start again from scratch when I find out i've been targeting the wrong person!!

 

As i'm sure you can imagine i'd rather get it right first time round! If i should be targeting elsewhre in the company, where should I be sending my letter to?

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Finished writing my 'final warning before action' letter which i intend to send within the next hour.

 

Would anybody care to have a look over it for me? giving any advice of any poor use of grammar and/or any facts that i should have put in/left out?!

 

 

15th February 2006

 

The Manager

HSBC

 

WITHOUT PREJUDICE

 

Dear Sir,

 

Account Number: ********

Sort Code: **-**-**

 

I am following up a letter sent by recorded delivery on February 7th 2006, which was received at your address on February 8th 2006. In the letter I outlined a request for all charges on the account to be refunded within 7 days, and that County Court proceedings would be started should the matter not be resolved.

 

I have calculated charges to total the sum of £1579.00 (one thousand and seventy nine pounds). I have duly noted that during the time I have held an account with you several charges have been refunded; I have accounted for this and as such they do not figure in my calculated total.

 

Whilst your charges may be in line with those of other high-street banks, it does not excuse the fact that they are punitive in nature. The charges have pushed my account substantially beyond its overdraft limit resulting in more charges being incurred. Surplus to problems with this account, these charges created difficulty in maintaining payments on my credit card formerly held with HSBC and resultantly damaged my credit rating a substantial amount.

 

I now make a final request before action, for a refund of charges on the account to the sum of 1579.00 (one thousand and seventy nine pounds) within 7 days of receipt of this letter by way of personal cheque or direct credit to the account. Should you refuse to refund the charges within seven days I will start proceedings for recovery in the County Courts where you be eligible for an extra 8% APR as allowed by the County Courts Act (1984) which I have calculated to be an additional £313.31 (three hundred and thirteen pounds and thirty one pence) in addition to my court costs.

 

Please note that only full satisfaction of my request will avoid court proceedings, any partial refund will be refused by myself as I believe I am entitled to this money.

 

Yours faithfully....

 

Any help much appreciated as always!

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It looks fine.

 

Issue the claim against your local branch to avoid problems with court locality.

 

Please let us have details for our litigation section.

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Yes please.

 

Not many people are using our Litigation in progress section and I like to encourage more people to enter their details.

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This morning I've recieved a letter from HSBC (the 8th day since they received my original letter requesting a refund of the charges)

 

Dear Mr Simkiss

 

Thank you for your letter dated 7 February 2006 concerning bank charges

 

I am looking into the matters you have raised and will contact you with a full response as soon as I have completed my investigations.

 

In the meantime, I enclose a copy of our leaflet which explains how these matters are dealt with.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Alan Pretty

Senior Service Quality Officer

 

I'm expecting my follow up letter to arrive at my local branch today, now i'm in two minds as to whether i've done the right thing in writing my final warning before action letter so soon.

 

On the one hand they've got a letter from me which doesn't relate to their response at all, dated on the 15th February (the 7th day since they received the letter) so i guess technically I didn't give them a full 7 days :oops: Also in the leaflet it says to first contact your local branch manager, and if not satisfied contact the manager of the customer relations department. I've sent my second letter to the local branch manager! D'oh!

 

On the other hand, i didn't recieve a response within 7 days of their receipt of the letter, it shows i'm serious about following up the charges, and have now stated that only full satisfaction will avoid court proceedings. I feel the "will contact you with a full response as soon as I have completed my investigations" line could mean i'm waiting forever and a day?!

 

 

Your thoughts on the situation would be much appreciated guys! (+gals :wink: )

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Put simply they are trying to take control of the situation. I wouldn't let them do this. Either go ahead and follow through on your stated course of action or, if you feel that you can be assertive enough, give the guy a ring and tell him that he must resolve this matter to your satisfaction immediately.

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Well I'm in a bullish mood today so I think that you should send them a letter which includes a passage how these matters are dealt with by you.

 

Explain to them that their lack of any response targets are not acceptable to you. That they have received your letter before action dated the 15th and that it expires on 22nd and that you wil be as good as your word. Tell them that only a fully satisfactory response will interrupt this process. Fax it to them today.

 

on the 23rd get on to Moneyclaim online and issue the Good News.

 

Did you know that you can draft your moneyclaim online and save it so that you can be working on it and have it ready to issue the moment that old bell tolls the knoll of passing deadline.

The all you have to do is to click a button and it's done.

 

It is nice to have something to occupy oneself with while waiting for a target to come around :twisted:

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right well the letter i sent yesterday has been delivered this morning courtesey of royal mail recorded delivery.

 

they haven't given me a fax number, and would prefer to stick to doing things in writing (rather than using the phone) in case i'm backed into a corner or say something i later regret, also in writing i can keep record of exactly what is said.

 

I think i'll send them (customer relations department) an email telling them i've sent a second letter to my local branch, outlining what you've said bankfodder.

 

 

I didn't know about drafting a moneyclaim... can crack on with that 8)

Should I still be addressing my local branch manager or now address the manager of customer relations. With the moneyclaim, am I claiming against my local branch? against the manager? or HSBC head office or what?! :?

 

Cheers for being such a great help guys!

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Send you letters to anyone - it's not important. it will test their internal communications.

 

The claim you addresss to the local branch to avoid any problem about which court you have to go to.

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Have emailed hsbc customer relations:

Dear Sirs,

 

This morning (16th February 2006) I received a letter from Alan Pretty, Senior Service Quality Officer. The letter acknowledged a recent letter I sent to my local branch manager regarding bank charges on my account and stated that I would be contacted when investigations were complete. Whilst I appreciate HSBC are looking into the matter, the lack of any specific response dates are simply not acceptable.

 

This morning a second letter from myself was delivered via royal mail recorded delivery to my local branch manager. Since sending my first letter I have calculated all bank charges that have been applied to my bank account since it opened in the year 2000. In letter delivered this morning I have requested a refund of all these charges to the sum of £1579.00 (one thousand five hundred and seventy nine pounds).

 

As stated in my second letter which has been confirmed as delivered this morning, HSBC have 7 days to refund the charges by way of personal cheque or direct credit to the account. Should HSBC refuse to refund the charges within seven days I will start proceedings for recovery in the County Courts where HSBC will be eligible for an extra 8% APR as allowed by the County Courts Act (1984) which I have calculated to be an additional £313.31 (three hundred and thirteen pounds and thirty one pence) in addition to my court costs. Please be assured that proceedings will start on 24th February 2006 to claim the sum on £1892.31 (one thousand eight hundred and ninety two pounds and thirty one pence) plus court costs, unless the matter is resolved.

 

Please note that only full satisfaction of my request within 7 days will interrupt this process. I feel 7 days is a reasonable period of time for HSBC to resolve the issue and will not delay proceedings. In addition, any offer of a partial refund will be refused as I believe I am legally entitled to this money.

 

Yours faithfully,

Richard Simkiss

I've also just noticed there was a fax number on the letter they sent me, but nevermind eh!

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right i'm starting to draft my online claim,

 

gonna need step by step guidance from you guys cos i'm pretty paranoid about making a mistake or two!

 

As i've mentioned in my past god knows how many posts, i been sending my letters to my local branch manager, though for the defendant details, do I just put that the claims against an organisation, organisation name: HSBC, and then give the address of my local branch? may sound a silly Q but don't wanna cock anything up!!

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Give the address of the branch. the banks full name will appear on a letter somewhere so address it

Bank name >

Toytown branch > > You subtitute these for the real details :!::!::D

branch address >

 

You've certainly made a lot of posts here and had no money back yet. Doesn't look too good! What are you a student of? :lol:

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