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Half reclaim charges awarded- should i claim all of it?

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I have been in financial difficulty since being made redundant last November. Since then i went overdrawn on my Barclays current account a few times but borrowed the money from family to bring my account back into balance. I could not keep this up as i had no savings and no other money coming in and in the end was overdrawn by £320 this included bank charges.

I began my claim for job seekers allowance the first week of February and rang Barclays up to tell them I could not pay the whole amount as I had no money to give but agreed to pay them £20 from my JSA of £120 every 2 weeks until I could find a job and then look to clearing the balance. The consumer finance department of Barclays agreed and then sent me a payment arrangement plan.

You still with me?

I then had my British Gas bill come through at £2,000 and could no longer borrow money to help with my rent and bills. After going through Bank charges reclaim forums I realised I still had a chance to claim charges from a 6 year period.

And so…

I rang Barclays requesting statements going back 6 years and I was told they would charge me £5 for this. I got my statements about 4 days later and went through them immediately and the following day 09/03/09 I sent my letter (by recorded delivery) to my Barclays branch requesting a refund of the charges in the amount of £1865 with interest of £203.91. And also stating I was in financial difficulty due to being made redundant and the break up of my relationship.

I waited…

And on 21/03/09 I got 3 letters back from Barclays Customer relations advisor.

The first…

They acknowledged the receipt of my complaint about bank charges and my claim for financial difficult and that they are assessing my claim and will advise me of the outcome asap.

The rest is all blah blah blah with references to the legal proceedings with the OFT and that they have asked the FSA to suspend the normal timetable for dealing with bank charges complaints and that the FSA has agreed to this request subject to conditions that protect my rights. Once legal proceedings have finished they will resolve my complaint as quickly as possible.

They continue to apologise and that they are sorry they are not able to respond in full to my bank charges complaint now, but they (together with the FSA and the OFT) think it is necessary to resolve the key issues before they respond to my complaint.

Also, they have asked the FOS and the courts not to proceed with any other case until the outcome of the test case and that the FOS has agreed not to proceed with cases. And, that I wish to proceed with a claim through county courts then Barclays will immediately apply to the court for an order to stay my action until resolution of the banks proceedings with the OFT.

The second…

They are writing to me regarding the charges applied to my account following the introduction on the 18th August 2008 of their new terms and conditions.

Then they advise me they will not be refunding these charges as a result of my complaint and that they wrote to all their personal current account holders in June 2008 to advise them on changes to personal current accounts.

They hope that the literature they sent with the letters helps me keep my finances in check in the future ( finances? what finances?)

They will keep my complaint file open for 8 weeks so I have time to consider their response. If not they will close my complaint. They’re aim is to resolve complaints internally and if we fail to agree a way forward then I can ask the FOS to review my complaint (even though they were trying to put me off from going down this route in the first letter). They hope they can resolve matters before I take this step.

Third and final…

They are writing to me further to their letter dated 17/03/09 (wrong, letters were dated 18/03/09) regarding unauthorised overdraft charges and my claim for financial difficulty.

They see that I am in discussions (one discussion) with their Consumer Finance Debt Management dept regarding my financial circumstances. They have passed my financial difficulty claim to this team to assess my claim.

Depending on the complexity of the information to be looked at it could take up to five working days and that someone will contact me by phone or by writing to me to discuss me claim.

Questions I’m asking

Are Barclays trying to “fob” me off in the second letter?

Does the 3rd letter mean they are now considering my claim and may payout? Or is this a means of keeping me happy but not over the moon?

Am I really not able to go through the courts without it being thrown out in the first instance?

What’s my next step?

Any advice or guidance would be much appreciated

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Hi Rossiq and welcome to CAG.


1st Letter - They haven't really acknowledged your claim for consideration under the Hardship rules. The rest is general template stuff.


2nd Letter - Here, they are saying any charges incurred after they introduced their new "Reserve" system are not repayable. This is general template stuff and it does not stop you seeking repayment of the new Reserve fees. They'll claim the new fees need not be refunded at all. However, we have reason to believe they may reconsider this if, for instance, the FOS tell them to.


3rd Letter - We'll have to wait and see if they contact you as they promise.


In the meantime, be aware that they may try and avoid repaying under your Hardship claim as follows:-


1. They consider their new Reserve charges to be non-refundable as they are fair and reasonable, etc, etc.


2. They consider your Hardship to have started after you lost your job. so they'd NOT consider repaying any charges from before then.


Re your specific Q's above:-


Yes re the Fob Off technique.


Re 3rd Letter, see how/when they respond but I doubt they'll offer too much, if anything.


If you claim through the court, your claim will be Stayed (put on hold) because of the Test Case.


Next step - see if they reply in the next few days as they promise. If they don't, write to them pointing out their duties under the terms of the Waiver as agreed with the FSA (about Hardship claims being dealt with properly).


Also, read Rory's useful post here - http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/barclays-bank/190665-financial-hardship-but-barclays.html#post2057970



Edited by slick132

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Thankyou Slick132, your advice is very helpful. Its Wed 22 March and still heard nothing so they have two days left. Me thinks they will wait till the very last second on Friday and then give me the bad news.


I won't give up and i will pursue my claim till the very end. They can go home and enjoy their weekends and nights where as it is us who have the sleepless nights worrying about when the next big bill will drop through our letterbox.


Thanks again.


Power to the people

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, i have had the same 3 letters from barclays just over a wk ago, before that they sent me a letter saying i they don't think i fit the financial criteria, so i got on the phone to them and asked them to look again considering i am 9 months behind with my council tax, behind with my rent and loans, i am constantly using my reserve which i am gettin charged £100 a month, this difficulty happened a yr and a half ago when me and my husband got made redundunt(we worked 4 same comp)i was on maternity leave, but he was out of wk 4 8months, then he has had a pay cut in dec 08, my claim is nearly 5k, but i think they r justin fobbin me off,they said that i should hear something within 5 days so i phoned bak after 5 days, now they r saying it will take upto 3 wks..

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Hi Sonia,


Im am sorry to hear about your problems Sonia. Looks like you have had not the best of times , but i will say is your cloud might have a silver lining pretty soon. As of last Friday 03/04/09 Barclays sent me a letter stating they were giving me half of what i am asking for and the rest is to be on hold pending the courts decision.


This whole process has taken me a month of i must say not much effort on my part. These are the steps i took and i hope these will help you and your family.


1) ordered bank staements going back 6 years, once received i calculated all that i was owed with interest and promptly sent off the first letter stating the amounts, reasons why i am claiming and description of my hardship.


2) Got the three letters from Barclays I call them the " fob off " letters. I waited for 5 days for them to get in touch with me. Guess what? they never did.


3) So on the Sat i sent them i letter stating quite clearly my hardship once again and reminding them that they do have to look at my case as i am in hardship and with that i sent them an income and expenditure form which showed them that my income clearly did not cover my expenditure. I worked this out as monthly. I used the template off this website to do this but i would recommend that you get one from your local CAB as the bank will get the impression that you are going to pursue this until you get something out of it.


4) Following Friday i receive the letter stating that they will give me half of what i asked for and put the monies into my account in the next seven days and that the rest is pending the outcome of the court case.


5)I rang Barclays customer services on Tuesday 07/04/09 and to my amazement they had already credited my account with the money a day before i had actually received the letter on Friday.


I recommend you fill out and income and expenditure form if you have not already done so and a hint from me is if your income does not cover your expenditure which means your family cannot afford to live within its means and so things will only get worse for you without the money. Make this clear on your expenditure sheet. My form showed i needed another £600+ per month to help me survive. I am on JSA and i would recommend you show this clearly if you are on benefits of any sort. Also since losing my job my income was just my JSA and my statements clearly showed this and im sure once they looked at my account and saw that my income had been drastically cut since losing my job they obviously had a change of heart and gave me the money.


Do not wait 3 weeks for them to get back to you as they might try the "fob off " technique again and so it will go and on. Send them another letter stating your hardship with an expenditure form. As with all the letters you send do it recorded delivery.


Below is the final letter i sent them with the income and expenditure sheet.

Sorry i would have done an attachment or link but not sure on how to. The template used for this letter was used from this site if that helps and you will also find the income and expenditure form on here too.


I wish you the best of luck and hope things out sorted out for you soon. Times are hard and these big companies are making life hell for everyone considering we are the people they should be thanking for making them as big as they are today. They just want to make sure the directors and shareholders get their bonuses and lavish lifestyles at our expense and turmoil.


If you need any more help with this then post your question on here and this goes for everyone else. I will help where and if i can.


Keep up the fight. Power to the people.


Your name

Your address


Barclays Bank

Consumer Finance Debt Management


LE87 2BB

Dear Sir/Madam,


Notice of Consideration for Hardship Status

Claim reference Number:

Account number:

Please find attached a detailed summary of my financial standing, as evidence in support of my claim/request, be treated sympathetically and speedily in view of hardship.

In making this request, I remind you of your duty to comply with conditions agreed in the waiver of July 2007 and continuation of July 2008 between yourselves and the FSA.

I look forward to acknowledgment of this, with an undertaking that you will proceed to process it, as per the requirements of the terms agreed within the waiver.

Yours Faithfully

Enc; Financial Statement.

Data protection act 1998.

I give my permission for you to process/use data related to me, in the course of processing my claim/inquiry to a satisfactory conclusion.

Signed: Name:


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Last week i was refunded half of what i was entitled to on my bank charges. Barclays also said that they have closed my claim pending the big court case decision.


What i want to know is should i be pushing for all the money owed and how i set about claiming for the rest? or shall i wait till the end of the court case?


Any advice would be appreciated, thankyou.

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Hi Rossiq,


2 threads merged - please keep to the one thread, thanks.


If you're not happy with the amount refunded, you can refer your complaint to the FOS and see if they recommend Barclays should make a further refund.


This will take several months because the FOS give the bank 8 weeks to respond on each exchange of correspondance.


The choice is yours.

We could do with some help from you

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