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My successful claim against HSBC (full record)


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HSBC took more than £700 from my account through penalties in the period of a year. I made a claim for this amount and eventually lodged a MoneyClaim online submission with the Small Claims Court. HSBC settled and repaid this amount, not wishing to take this to the courts.

 

I used a variety of sources including the Bank Action Group forums, in order to prepare for this action and to be ready to take the bank to court. My experience was that a lot of the forum submissions include updates on every single drawn out step whilst action is in progress and many of them include emotional and defamatory opinion which is not particularly relevant when putting together a legal case. As a result of my experience, I have collated the entire process I went through with HSBC and their legal representatives into a single chain below so that this may be a useful reference for other people.

 

My advice - don't be afraid to take the banks to court for this type of behaviour and to be prepared to go to court if you are following this course of action.

 

 

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

LETTER 1 to HSBC

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

 

Name

Address

 

The Manager,

HSBC Bank

Address

 

Thursday 3rd April 2006

 

 

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

RE: ACCOUNT NUMBER: xxxxxxx

 

I now understand that the regime of 'fees' which you have been applying to my account in relation to this account being overdrawn and so forth are unlawful at Common Law, Statute and recent Consumer regulations.

 

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

 

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

 

I calculate that you have taken £xxx.00 from my account plus £xx.xx which you have charged me in interest for the sum which you have taken. This is a total of £xxx.xx.

 

I require repayment of this money in full. If HSBC does not comply with this requirement fully within 14 days, I shall begin a claim against you for the full amount plus interest, plus costs and without further notice.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Name

 

 

 

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

REPLY 1 from HSBC

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

 

Name

Address

 

16 April 2006-07-28

 

Dear Mr xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Ref: xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Thank you for you letter dated 3 April 2006 requesting a refund of all your bank charges of £xxx.xx.

 

In circumstances where you have authorised a payment that would, if met by us, lead to your account going overdrawn or over an agreed overdraft limit, we have to consider whether to make this payment. A fee is payable for this service provided by the bank, details of which are clearly set out in our published price list. The circumstances in which the fee will apply are clearly set out in our Personal Banking terms and conditions which you were provided with a copy of when you opened your account. If your claim for a refund proceeded to Court, we therefore believe we would successfully resist any legal challenge in relation to these fees.

 

HSBC is, however, mindful of the management time and irrecoverable legal costs that it may incur in relation to such a claim. For those commercial reasons alone, and without any admission of liability whatsoever, HSBC is prepared to make a payment to you in the sum of £xxx [note: the amount offered by HSBC was approximately half of the amount claimed] representing the charges applied in full and final settlement of this matter.

 

If you accept this proposal please sign and return the enclosed copy of this letter to us and we will arrange for a refund to be made to you.

 

I trust this matter has now been addressed to your satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with the bank’s response, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Further details about the Ombudsman scheme are set ou in the enclosed leaflet and you have six months from the date of this letter, within which to refer your complaint to them should you decide to do so.

 

Thank you again for taking the time to write.

 

Yours Sincerely

Alan Pretty

Senior Service Quality Officer

HSBC Bank plc

 

 

 

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

LETTER 2 to HSBC Bank

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

 

Name Address

 

 

Mr Alan Pretty

Senior Service Quality Officer

HSBC Bank plc

 

Monday 2nd May, 2006

 

Your reference: xxxxxxx

My account number (former): xxxxxxx

 

 

Dear Mr Pretty,

 

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 16 April 2006 in response to our letter of 3 April 2006 to the Manager of your xxxxxxx branch, where my account was held.

 

Please supply me with a complete list of transactions and charges relating to my bank account from the opening date through to the closure date.

 

Additionally where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my banking business with you.

 

If you are unable to supply data relating to manual intervention because there has been no such manual intervention then please provide confirmation of this in your response to this request.

 

I enclose the statutory maximum fee of £10 if this is required in order for you to fulfil my request. Under the terms of the Data Protection Act, you have 40 days in which to comply. If there is specific information which you require in order to satisfy yourself as to our identities, please let me know by return. However please note that the above address is the one which you normally use to communicate my private business to and which you have hitherto found to be acceptable.

 

I would be happy to collect the data from my local branch if required.

 

 

Name

 

 

 

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

REPLY 2 from HSBC Bank

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

 

Name

Address

 

5 May 2006

 

Dear xxxxxxxx

 

Thank you for your letter dated 30 April with regard to information about transactions and charges on your account.

 

We will forward you copies of statements covering the period in question. These will begin to arrive in separate batches and will be with you shortly.

 

We are happy to waive any fees for the production of this information and we return your cheque.

 

Although many of our systems are automated, a “manual intervention” by HSBC staff may be required in a variety of situations including; account opening, dealing with correspondence or telephone calls, when deposits or withdrawals are made over the counter at our branches and from time to time during account administration.

 

If you require more information, please let us know.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Ian Shepherd

Centre Manager

HSBC Bank plc

 

 

 

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

Letter 3 to HSBC Bank

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

 

Name

Address

 

 

Mr Ian Shepherd

Centre Manager

HSBC Bank plc

Coventry DSC

Harry Weston Road

Binley

West Midlands

CV3 2TQ

 

Friday 9th May, 2006

 

Your reference: xxx

My account number (former): xxx

 

 

Dear Mr Shepherd,

 

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 5th May 2006 in response to our letter of 30th April 2006 to Mr Alan Pretty, your Senior Service Quality Officer.

 

Although you have agreed to provide copies of statements for this account, you have failed to respond to my request under the data protection act for details of all manual intervention on my account.

I would ask once again that you provide this information.

Specifically, you should provide details and justification in your view of the following charges, an explanation of why these manual interventions on my account were made and provide information on the actual action required, what the actual cost of that action was and how these charges were calculated by HSBC in each instance:

28 Feb 05 - £xx.00

xxx – £xx.00

xxx – £xx.00

xxx – £xx.00

xxx – £xx.00

xxx – £xx.00

I respectfully request that you ensure that detailed information for each of these charges is provided in your response, as previous correspondence from HSBC regarding this matter has been vague and general in nature, where I am actually requesting specific detailed information about my account and charges that you have applied.

 

 

Name

Address

 

 

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

REPLY 3 from HSBC Bank

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

 

Name

Address

 

 

28 May 2006

 

Dear xxxxxxxxx

 

Thank you for your letter dated 9 May.

 

You have asked for information about “manual intervention” on your account by which we assume you mean the amount of time spent by staff in administering your account. You should be aware that HSBS’s charges are not fixed by reference to the specific amount of staff activity involved in the handling of individual accounts. The level of staff involvement in account management varies from case to case but our charges are set at standard rates, set out in our price list. Changes to these charges are notified to you in accordance with the Banking Code. By fixing and publishing standard charges, HSBC ensures that customers are fully aware of the charges that will apply to their accounts.

 

In addition you have asked for copies of notes etc. relating to “manual intervention” on your account, however, HSBC’s records are not structured in such a way that will enable us to give you a breakdown of the individual staff time involved in administering your account generally or in relation to any charges identified in the statements which were sent to your previously.

 

May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time and trouble to write to us.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Ian Parking

Senior Server Quality Manager

HSBC Bank plc.

 

 

 

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

MONEYCLAIM ONLINE SUBMISSION

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

 

The following claim was submitted on 16/06/06 against my branch of HSBC Bank

 

Particulars of Claim:

I had a contract with the defendant between 200x and 200x which was conducted on their standard terms and conditions. I am claiming the return of money taken by the defendant in the way of charges between xx/xx/xx and xx/xx/xx plus interest levied on those charges. The charges are a disproportionate penalty and therefore unenforceable as they are contrary to common law. Further, as a disproportionate penalty they are invalid under Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations. If not considered a penalty they are unreasonable within the meaning of the Supply of Goods and Services Act. I have repeatedly requested that defendant justify these charges and explain the true cost make-up of charges, but defendant has declined to do so. The claimant claims interest under section 69 of the County Courts Act 1984 at the rate of 8% a year from xx/xx/xx to xx/xx/xx of £xxx.xx and also interest at the same rate up to the date of judgment or earlier payment at a daily rate of 0.16p.

 

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

Notes:

HSBC acknowledged the claim within the 14 days permitted and stated that they would defend the action in its entirety.

 

 

 

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

LETTER 1 from DG SOLICITORS on behalf of HSBC

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

 

Name

Address

 

25th June 2006

 

 

WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

 

 

Dear Sir

 

Re: Yourself –v- HSBC Bank plc

 

We are instructed by HSBC Bank plc in respect of the claim you have recently issued.

 

HSBC is entirely confident that its charges are reasonable, are properly and fully disclosed in its terms and conditions, and that it would successfully resist any challenge in the Courts in relation to them.

 

HSBC is, however, mindful of the management time and irrecoverable legal costs associated with litigation in the small claims regime. For those commercial reasons alone, and without and admission of liability whatsoever, HSBC is prepared to make a payment to you in the sum of £xxx.xx [note: this was the full amount of the claim, including the moneyclaim online fees] representing the charges applied in full and final settlement of this matter. HSBC does, reasonably, require your confirmation that you will treat this payment as confidential.

 

If you accept this proposal please sign and return the enclosed copy of this letter to me and I will arrange for a refund to be made to you.

 

Yours faithfully

 

DG Solicitors

 

I accept the sum of £xxx.xx in full and final settlement of my claim against HSBC. I agree to keep the fact of my claim and HSBC’s ex gratia payment strictly confidential.

 

Signed ………………….. Dated ………………..

 

 

 

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

LETTER 2 from DG SOLICITORS on behalf of HSBC

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

 

Name

Address

 

2nd July 2006

 

WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

 

Dear Sir

 

Re: Yourself –v- HSBC Bank plc

 

We look forward to hearing from you in response to our letter of 25th June 2006.

 

Yours faithfully

 

DG Solicitors.

 

 

 

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

LETTER 1 to DG SOLICITORS

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

 

 

DG Solicitors

12 Calthorpe Road

Edgbaston

Birmingham

B15 1QZ

 

Friday 27th June 2006

 

Dear 'DG Solicitors',

 

I refer to your letter dated 28th June 2006 (your reference DMD). As I have previously advised your client, I am happy to receive repayment of monies taken from my account by HSBC and will therefore accept the payment you have proposed of £xxx.xx as full payment of the amount owed to me. Once that payment is made, I will consider this matter resolved and closed.

 

I do not feel it necessary, nor do I intend to sign any confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement as you have proposed.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Name

Address

 

 

 

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

LETTER 3 from DG SOLICITORS on behalf of HSBC

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

 

Name

Address

 

25th July 2006

 

WITHOUT PREDJUDICE

 

Dear Sir

 

Re: Yourself –v- HSBC Bank plc

 

Thank you for returning the signed settlement letter.

 

We confirm the agreed sum will be credited in the next day or so. If the credit does not appear within the next week please telephone the writer and we will chase the Bank.

 

Yours faithfully

 

DG Solicitors.

 

 

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

NOTES: I did not sign or return the settlement letter that DG Solicitors sent to me. I simply agreed in Letter 3 to accept the payment as full and final settlement of the matter but did not agree to any terms of confidentiality regarding this matter. The amount was credited to my bank account and listed as REFUND OF CHARGES.

 

 

 

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

Final LETTER from HSBC

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

 

 

Name

Address

 

 

24th July

 

Reference: letout

 

Dear xxxxx,

 

Account number xxxx

 

I am writing to advise you that we have credited your account today with the following:

 

Amount Details

 

£xxx.xx This relates to refund of charges as agreed

 

Please note that this item will appear on your statement with the description "refund of charges".

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

Colin Langdale

Senior Service Quality Officer

HSBC Bank plc

 

 

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END

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  • 3 years later...

Hi bainesey , welcome to the forum ........:)

 

Unfortunately ,the experience of Andy Notts has changed somewhat since then , due to the 'OFT Test Case' which is currently at the House of Lords awaiting judgement .

 

However , we at CAG are confident of eventual victory and so you should not be deterred from starting (or continuing with) a claim for refund of charges ......

 

If you would like advice on how to proceed , please start your own thread and post your situation bainesey , you'll find we're user -friendly on here - and you'll always get an answer........ :D

 

PS - to start your thread ... just go to the main HSBC site page - top and bottom left of the grid are the 'NEW THREAD' Buttons .........

Nemo me impune lacessit

 

 

Advice & opinions given by johnnymitch are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

 

If you think I've helped you please feel free to tickle my star :-D

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Hiyabainesey, as Johnny said the game has changed since the heady days of 2006 :rolleyes: but there are still plenty of us about with fresh bank blood on out trousers who can guide you in the right direction.

 

In the short term this should mean they climb off you back and give you some breathing space, in the long term we believe you will get your money back along with me, and thousands of other claimants :).

 

Start your own thread here

 

newthread.gif

 

and give us a few details of what they are doing to you :)

 

pete

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Also, read up on the forum.

 

Here is an example of an approach which can be taken

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/hsbc-bank/231839-iiyama-hsbc.html

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