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Ant84

£8,600 of charges in 42 months

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Sent the DPA letter this morning, awaiting confirmation of receipt from Natwest. Just wondering, are there any differences between claiming if you are a personal account holder or a business account holder?

 

We have had a business account with the Natwest for about 7 years now, and by my reckoning they've taken at least £5-10,000 in charges over the last 6 years. I've heard that £5,000 is the maximum you can claim for in the small claims court. If I work out our charges and they total £5,000+, what would be the best way to go about it (especially if it's closer to £10,000!)?

 

Basically I just need to know if there is anything that isn't mentioned in the FAQs that business customers need to know about.

 

Hope someone can help.

 

Cheers in advance.

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Sent DPA request for 6 years of accounts on 15/04/06, still waiting for them to arrive. Do Natwest usually take this long?

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If this 'Latest' is an update on your claim timetable then it should be posted in your claim thread. I am going to merge the threads for you...not being harsh, but people should stick to one thread for each of their claims...:(

 

However, when you do start a claim for the business account, DO start a new thread for that...:)


Alecto, Magaera et Tisiphone: Nemesis on Earth is come.

 

All advice and opinions given by Spiceskull are personal, and are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group. 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.

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If this 'Latest' is an update on your claim timetable then it should be posted in your claim thread. I am going to merge the threads for you...not being harsh, but people should stick to one thread for each of their claims...:(

 

However, when you do start a claim for the business account, DO start a new thread for that...:)

 

Sorry. I did try to find this thread but I couldn't find it, so I posted it in a new one.

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It's been 35 days since I sent the DPA request now, and I've had absolutely nothing back from them. Should I send another letter to them to remind them of the impending 40 day deadline?

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It's been 35 days since I sent the DPA request now, and I've had absolutely nothing back from them. Should I send another letter to them to remind them of the impending 40 day deadline?

 

38 days since I sent the DPA request now, still nothing from Natwest. What should I do?

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Can anyone help? Please?

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Re 5k limit. If you can identify two different charge types ie unpaid cheque and returned direct debit, you could concievably initiate two claims for different fee items (assuming a roughly equal spread to get £5K in each claim.

 

Re: DPA - telephone the address you sent the request. Did you send payment ie cheque, and if so has it been cashed? If it has then contact the IC - various threads on this including court action.

Natwest only sent my statements back to 2002, when it sahould have been March 2000 and still haven't followed up with the rest. I think it would be fair to say that NatWest business section are pretty hopeless.

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Thank you. I shall try and contact Mr Lyons tomorrow.

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Cheers for the replies. My statements arrived this morning (finally!) in the usual tatty brown envelope, and I've been going through them for the last couple of hours. They have only sent me 3 and a half years of accounts, dating back to October 2002. I have worked out the total amount I have been charged during this 42 month period, and it works out at £8,500! I must also point out that at two points in the statements, I saw something saying 'REFUND FEE' and 'REFUND UNPAID FEE'. Is this a sign of manual intervention in my account, or do I have to ask for that specifically?

 

Can you re-claim referral charges, too?

 

Should I go into my local Natwest branch and ask them for the remainder of the accounts I asked for?

 

Any replies would be greatly appreciated.

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Cheers for the replies. My statements arrived this morning (finally!) in the usual tatty brown envelope, and I've been going through them for the last couple of hours. They have only sent me 3 and a half years of accounts, dating back to October 2002. I have worked out the total amount I have been charged during this 42 month period, and it works out at £8,500! I must also point out that at two points in the statements, I saw something saying 'REFUND FEE' and 'REFUND UNPAID FEE'. Is this a sign of manual intervention in my account, or do I have to ask for that specifically?

 

Can you re-claim referral charges, too?

 

Should I go into my local Natwest branch and ask them for the remainder of the accounts I asked for?

 

Any replies would be greatly appreciated.

 

Anyone help please before I continue with this claim?

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I recieved my statements from Natwest in 2 seperate envelopes, the second arriving 3 days after the first. If you have still not recieved them i would recommend phoning them as it only took a week for mine to arrive.

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Still haven't received the rest of the statements. Should I go ahead with claiming the 42 months worth of charges and then press ahead for the rest when they finally arrive? Might be a good way to keep the claims under £5,000 that way.

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That's actually a very good idea, I think. If your maths add up. According to your previous post, you already have £8.5 k of charges, so how are you going to keep it under 5K ?

 

However, if you can get this claim out of the way (as I said, I don't get your maths here), once settled, hit them with a non DPA compliance to demand rest of paperwork, not much they can argue, since it's their own mistake that stopped you from lodging one claim.

 

You get a little genius award for this idea of yours trophysign.gif!!!

 

Sory no-one answered your previous query. I wouldn't worry to much about manual intervention, that angle is dead in the water, IMO. Referral charges, yes, they're reclaimable charges too.

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Cheers Bookworm. The £8,600 of charges have accumulated in the last 42 months only. As people have advised in this thread, I shall go ahead and split them by the type of charge giving me different claims and hopefully therefore keeping all claims under £5,000.

 

Do you think that would be the best way to go about it?

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Right, I've spent the last 8 (yes EIGHT!) hours creating the spreadsheet to work out the exact sum plus interest.

 

I've decided to go ahead and claim as far back as they've sent me the statements for now, which date back to October 2002. I have had to split the claim into two parts, one for unpaid Direct Debits and unpaid standing orders, and one for unpaid cheques and referral charges. Luckily, both come to just under £5,000 each, does it matter if the interest and court costs take it over the £5,000 limit?

 

I am now ready to go onto the next stage of the process, do I need to send them a letter now asking for the money to be refunded, or move straight to the letter before action?

 

I am claiming for charges on my business account, anything else I need to take into consideration before I go ahead and get the ball rolling?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Quick update...

 

Have spoken to our business advisor at Natwest and he said he is going to address the matter. Dad and I have agreed that we will offer Natwest the chance to waive the remaining 30 months of charges on the proviso that Natwest do not close our account due to us claiming back the money and also that we receive the money immediately.

 

Does that sound reasonable?

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Right, have spoken to the business advisor again as our offer has been on the table for 14 days and it has been all but rejected by Natwest. We will now press ahead for the full claim, which will take it well over £10,000.

 

One thing he said which I am slightly worried about, he says he has made enquries about reclaiming these charges, and that it only applies for personal accounts and NOT business accounts. Also he said that if it got far enough, then it would be referred to the Ombudsman and that we would be awarded a maximum of £1,500 if it did get to that point.

 

Can someone please let me know if what he says is right, or whether he is just attempting to put us off claiming?

 

I would really value a response, as I have had none lately when I have posted questions. Thanks.

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Guest NATTIE

Just a few points. 1)the bank statements prior to Oct 2002 when NatWest changed it computer statement can be sent to you, 2) It does seem that the £1500.00 re financial ombudsman could be an amount where the bank is at fault. What that means is that the amount is the maximum the Ombudsman would give but this is specifically where the bank is at fault. The charges side of it is not something the Ombudsman would deal with in relation to unfair charges

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Not so quick update...

 

I've managed to get hold of another 18 months worth of statements from our accountant's records, which now makes it 58 months from March 2001 to April 2006.

 

The list of charges now stands at £11,399.00 plus £2,192.19 interest, bringing the total to £13,591.19. After reading over this forum today, I think that we should go for it all in one, rather than splitting the claims. The reason I say this is that I am of the opinion that Natwest will NOT want to have to go to court and reveal the breakdown of their costs.

 

Also, a big factor in this decision is that Natwest didn't bother telling us, in the entire period of having the account - until now, about a facility called 'account factoring'. For those not familiar with this, when you run a business and you have your invoices, Natwest will pay out most of the invoice before the payment from the customer has cleared, thus preventing any cashflow problems in your business banking. Had we been told about this when opening the account, there is no way we would have incurred even 5% of the charges we have in this period.

 

As a side issue, we have had to cancel massive contracts with big companies due to us not being able to wait for money being paid if they only pay us every 1 or 2 months. Had we known about 'account factoring', we would still have these massive contracts now but for Natwest's negligence. I think it's fairly obvious that these charges have been a massive reason in the huge loss of business for us, and therefore surely would not have a case against us if they decided to take it to court.

 

Opinions on this would be massively appreciated.

 

Cheers in advance.

 

Anthony.

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Also, a big factor in this decision is that NatWest didn't bother telling us, in the entire period of having the account - until now, about a facility called 'account factoring'. For those not familiar with this, when you run a business and you have your invoices, Natwest will pay out most of the invoice before the payment from the customer has cleared, thus preventing any cashflow problems in your business banking. Had we been told about this when opening the account, there is no way we would have incurred even 5% of the charges we have in this period.

Interesting. Although factoring isn't just 'another simple service' that banks can provide (as you probably know it's a little more involved than that), I'd seriously be questioning Nat West's total lack of care for your relationship with them. I mean any business account manager worth his or her salt should be working with their clients to not only make life easier, but also to see which of the banks products would help them run their business.

 

Alternatively, they could have at least increased your overdraft limit to stop these charges :)

 

Had we known about 'account factoring', we would still have these massive contracts now but for Natwest's negligence. I think it's fairly obvious that these charges have been a massive reason in the huge loss of business for us, and therefore surely would not have a case against us if they decided to take it to court.

Depends. As far as I understand it, each factoring decision is taken on a case by case basis. You might not have got the best deal with a slower paying 'big client' than an SME client, but at least you would have had a good chunk of your money.

 

I'm no expert, but I think the legal grounds (vs moral and 'common sense' ones I was working by earlier in my post) for claiming against Nat West for negligence is a bit shakey. They don't have to, by law, have to tell you about products that'd save you money in bank charges. Cue the argument about the bank being a fiduciary and having assumed confidence in their integrity, but I'm erring on the side of caution here.

 

However.. bank charges - bring it on. I know you spoke to your business account manager, but have you sent anything in writing? If so, what stage is it at?


If my reply or advice was helpful, please click the scales!

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DISCLAIMER: My opinions are strictly personal, and should not be taken as a substitute for individual professional legal advice on your own particular situation.

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We spoke to our business manager in the hope of coming to a settlement around 3 weeks ago. He offered us a paltry £800 as a 'goodwill' payment. Needless to say, I told him where to shove it. All correspondence there was over the phone, the derisory offer was by letter. Basically, he said that businesses cannot reclaim charges, to which I told him he was wrong. Then he went on to say that it would be passed on to the Ombudsman, and that if it did, we would receive no more than £1,500. Another load of crap. I got the feeling that he was underestimating how much I know about the whole thing, with me being only a fairly young lad, but as soon as I mentioned this website and that I'd been reading it for months, he soon perked up!

 

I wasn't saying that I'd use Natwest's negligence as my case in court (if, indeed, it did get that far), merely that it would be another factor I could use in the case against them.

 

I'm going to send the preliminary letter tomorrow morning requesting repayment of the £13,591.19 in full (I'll let them off with the 19p if they're nice about it). Should I send this to the business manager, or just the general Natwest address on here?

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I'm going to send the preliminary letter tomorrow morning requesting repayment of the £13,591.19 in full (I'll let them off with the 19p if they're nice about it). Should I send this to the business manager, or just the general NatWest address on here?

Judging by what you've said so far the business manager wouldn't be able to tell the difference between his arse and his elbow even if you pointed out that it's not normal for people to go to the loo from halfway down their arm.

 

So, I'd send it somewhere else.. sure there's plenty of suggestions as stickys in this forum :) Oh and also it'll get back to him that you're corresponding 'above his head' as he's as much use as a chocolate teapot. That's bound to annoy him too. :)


If my reply or advice was helpful, please click the scales!

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DISCLAIMER: My opinions are strictly personal, and should not be taken as a substitute for individual professional legal advice on your own particular situation.

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