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HSBC Credit File Entries Cost Me A Job - Advice Needed

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Having endured months of disgusting standards of customer service and making multiple complaints resulting in 4 separate compensation payments totalling £160 and £150 of refunded fees, I have now had the final insult.

 

After a long spell of unemployment, earlier this month I managed to land a job offer in the financial sector. I was informed at the end of the interview that a formal offer of employment would be pending a CRA check. To my utter surprise, a few days later I received a very apologetic letter from the employer stating that I had failed the credit check, and therefore regrettably, the offer of employment would be withdrawn.

 

I was stunned. The last time I saw my credit file some 18 months ago I had a blemish-free record and had worked hard to maintain that good track record

 

After the shock and upset had subsided, I decided to take advantage of an online 10-day free trial service offered by CallCredit, and discovered that HSBC had made 3 separate entries of 'Payment late by one month' against me

 

According to the file held by CallCredit, my account overdraft facility hadn't been exceeded, and as was a Student/Graduate account, wasn't due to start making payments on the overdraft until mid-October this year when it converts to a standard Current Account.

 

Upon cross-referencing the dates of these 3 entries with my statements and notes taken whenever have had to deal with the bank, found that they all fell on the same dates when I had had fees overturned (and in two instances, compensation also credited)

 

The first entry on June 2009 related to an account-status error where I was due to be charged £50. I had gone into the branch prior to the charges being applied and spoken with staff who noticed the mistake in my account records and made the amendment, informing me that the fee would still be taken as was an automated process, but then immediately re-credited.

 

The second entry on December 2009 related to an overdraft arrangement fee of £25 that I successfully challenged on the basis of incorrect information given by callcentre staff, and a few days later was re-credited the fee amount, but not before being sent £25 over my OD limit and then brought back to its limit of £1000 with the re-credit, but no letter was sent to this effect, or 'informal overdraft charge' applied

 

There was also an odd entry on 25 December 2009, a credit and then an immediate debit of 10pence debit interest...an xmas present Mr Scrooge would approve of!

 

The third credit file entry was on February 2010, and the only event to have happened then was two credits of £25 as compensation payments under the heading 'Correction formal OD arrangement fee'

 

I've read through the Data Protection threads here, and also have documentary proof of the tangible damage these entries have caused, in my losing a job offer that would have gotten me out of a financial hole

 

I'm sending off my SAR letter in the morning to see if there are any other internal notes that could shed extra light on this. I've not made HSBC aware of any of this as of yet, as I want to hit them with a broadside out of the blue if I can

 

I'm not sure what sort of case I may have, or how I could bring it, and would appreciate any advice.

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Hi Gil,

AS you know already, you have to be prepared to expect this sort of behaviour from HSBC. If this happened to me, I would be looking for a solicitor with a good reputation in the financial field who would be prepared:

 

1) To give me an intial discussion free of charge, who would soon advise you if you had a case and a strong one at that.

 

2)To handle your case on a no win no fee/cost basis.

 

These comments do not of course preclude any one else on this site offering advice, which may be different to what I have suggested. But I think this one would be very difficult to handle yourself.

 

On another point, this perfectly illustrates the whole charade of the Bank, CRA relationship and the very lax manner in which the Banks activities are contolled by the FSA, OFT and ICO. In my honest opinion CRAs certainly need firm regulation.

 

Carningli

Edited by Carningli
Correct spelling

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Thanks for your suggestion Carningli :)

 

I'm beyond angry at this point, more of a mind of calm vengeance. After many job applications over the last 12 months, I had the first firm offer of employment, only to be shot down at the final hurdle.

 

My SAR is on its way to them to get hold of everything they have, so will have 40 days to wait and see what their database contains

 

What I dont understand is how HSBC can request late payment entries be made against me, when I have letters clearly stating that the charges involved were all overturned?

 

Also, could anyone suggest what timeframe they operate on, from late-payment, to it appreaing on the credit file...ie: would a fee applied in January only show up on-file in February? It would help narrow the focus to find exactly what triggered the event and its reporting to the CRA

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Hi Gil Jnr , welcome to the forum :-)

 

This is an abominable state of affairs and is an example as carningli says , of the collusion between banks and CRAs , where they just take the bank's word for whatever they're told and getting it redressed is a mammoth task . It needs addressing urgently .......

 

However , I wonder if a 'no win , no fee lawyer ' is the way to go..... certainly in the first instance . ..... and considering there is no direct money involved a lawyer would take most of any compensation claimed as his/her cut ........

 

Once you get the SAR documents , have a look to see if there are any letters advising you of the Defaults to CRA........you should have been warned of their intentions ..... OK , it wasn't supposed to happen (according to the bankstaff ) , but it did .......

 

What i would try in the first instance , is a letter of complaint to the Customer Complaints Section (but with a copy by e-mail to the CEO) outlining what you have told us here ... how you lost a valuable source of income and career because of their actions...... and asking the m what they intend to do about it ..... before you involve the Ombudsman, FSA, courts or the Press (which , you tell them .....you are fully prepared to do .)

 

It has been known for complaints which are copied to the CEO to be dealt with quickly and expediently, so I'd say it's worth a try before you call up the big guns

- it will also demonstarte to a court that you tried to resolve this yourself before resorting to legal action ..........

 

addresses you require are :

 

HSBC Bank Plc

Service Quality Team

Arlington Business Centre

Millshaw Park Lane

Leeds

LS11 0PP

 

and

 

 

Paul Thurston, Chief Executive HSBClink3.gif :-

 

I'm not sure if Paul Thurston is still the CEO , but no matter , it should get to whoever is .......

 

And of course come back and ask if you need any more assistance , someone will answer , and we're user-friendly on here .....:-)


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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PS - according to this link .... it is still Paul Thurston and there is good advice on how to proceed wit a complaint ...........

 

http://www.connectotel.com/marcus/ceoemail.html


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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Once you get the SAR documents , have a look to see if there are any letters advising you of the Defaults to CRA........you should have been warned of their intentions ..... OK , it wasn't supposed to happen (according to the bankstaff ) , but it did

 

I can state with good confidence, that no letter or any other form of communication was made regarding defaults, nor any warning or intent stated to inform the credit agencies for late payments

 

The first I knew of this was through the rejection letter from the prospective employer, who strongly suggested I obtain my details from Experian, whom they used to perform the search.

 

And of course come back and ask if you need any more assistance , someone will answer , and we're user-friendly on here .....:-)
I've spent a long time reading through here and have learned a lot already, and applied various strategies used by others to get the compensation and overturned charges gained so far. Thankyou :)

 

 

A bit off-topic, but still related to the background story...

 

Along with the SAR sent today was also a signed acceptance of a 'Full and Final Offer' of £75 in additional compensation for the whole mess (so far)

 

However, just prior to that F&F, I was offered a £10 payment that I had to raise yet another complaint in order to get it credited to my account. When the credit was eventually made, it was for only £5!

 

In the letter that the F&F form came with, they stated that the mis-credit was due to 'human error' but the wording of the letter doesn't make any reference that the £75 payment is in any part to cover the missing £5.

 

Would it be a good move to wait until I have recieved the money as per F&F and then send a snotty letter (CC'd to the CEO) demanding the outstanding balance of £5 be paid in full immediately? How many days should I allow...14 enough?

 

HSBC has no problem doing such a thing to its customers for such small amounts, so I'd like to return the sentiment!

 

At least it would keep me busy whilst the 40-day SAR clock ticks down (as of Monday)

Edited by gil_jnr

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I'll forget the fiver, was one of those moments you defiantly realise you can stick two fingers up to the schoolyard bully :)

 

Back to business...

 

Sent off 3 £2 stat requests sat morning for equifax, experian & callcredit. And am anticipating tuesday as the second day of postage and therefore official reciept for the 5 sent all together

 

Will also send an access request to the would-be employer for recruitment and other records first thing monday (tho more politely worded as they've been helpful so far) by special delivery for tues as well.

 

There's a particular reason why i want the employer and bank ones to land at the same time as the rest of the opening salvo ;)

Edited by gil_jnr

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Looks like you've got this well in hand gil jnr ....... I will watch with interest to see their reactions ..... you certainly know the value of timing ....... LOL! :)


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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Be aware of signing the F&F - add a sentence stating that it is F&F in this matter only as HSBC have a tendency of cross referring these to other complaints in my experience.


HTH (Hope This Helps) RDM2006

 

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All advice and opinions given by people on this site 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, please seek qualified professional legal Help.

 

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Be aware of signing the F&F - add a sentence stating that it is F&F in this matter only as HSBC have a tendency of cross referring these to other complaints in my experience.

 

I've 2 accounts with them, the F&F relates solely to a matter on the saver a/c (for which I have full documented evidence) but had previously recieved compensation payments for matters on the current a/c as well.

 

This new complaint is to be based on evidence (and hopefully additional information contained somewhere in the SAR docs) of credit mis-reporting and its tangible, physical impact on the person.

 

The previous complaints relating to the mis-handling of BOTH my related accounts, and the payments recieved/charges overturned, although now accepted and settled, will be used to illustrate the context of the claim and the factors that lead to the current situation

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It is unbelievably how these banks can trash your life! Hopefully you will win this one and then hit them hard for compensation.

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Hopefully you will win this one and then hit them hard for compensation.

 

I hope so too :)

 

After combing through the papertrail so-far and highlighting various dates to build an events timeline, I realised that I had previously opened a standard current account with another bank with no business associations to HSBC, in the October. Thereby establishing a 'date of last known good credit'.

 

As the case will be based around the declining of a formal offer of employment, on the basis that my damaged CRA file meant that I could not fulfil a primary condition of contract in holding an appointed current account as stated by the employer, I can now show that I was previously able to open such an account prior to the first mis-reported 'late payment' default marker.

Edited by gil_jnr

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I think you have everything in hand at the moment - there's not much else you can do until your evidence starts arriving.

 

Once you've got all the information you need, the next step will be to write a letter before action to HSBC.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thankyou for your input RMW

 

I've already recieved written confirmation of my SAR from their Data Compliance office stating that it will be fulfilled by 12th Nov at the latest (40 days from reciept of signed-for postage)

 

Once you've got all the information you need, the next step will be to write a letter before action to HSBC.

 

Could you, or anyone else, recommend an LBA template or guide to follow to help with the drafting?

 

Also, what legal precedents/points of law would be the most appropriate to cite? I'm thinking that I could make a legitimate claim for loss of earnings/loss of utility of income

 

Its not a case of jumping the gun, but rather having a draft lba ready prepared so as to keep the momentum going, and my mind positively focussed on the task

Edited by gil_jnr

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This thread contains my research on pre-action protocols http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?153324. You should read and understand what you need to include before you start.

 

Using the general protocol as a starting point, there's no harm in starting to put your LBA together now. It would be much better if you wrote the letter yourself as that way you will be absolutely certain that you understand what you're writing, and that it's relevant to your case. I'll be happy to proof read if you would like a second opinion.

 

I'm pretty sure that my thread contains a draft particulars of claim which will cite the correct bits of the Data Protection Act (though you should also read and do your best to understand that) and, somewhere in the thread if not in the POC, there should be mention of any relevant cases.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thankyou for that link, is just the point in the right direction I was looking for!

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Just to keep the thread updated whilst the SAR date-limit ticks down...9 days to go!

 

HSBC have been eerily quiet since the letters landed. My account is still effectively unauthorised-overdrawn since they removed my overdraft during the last dispute and sent it to the collections team but not one phonecall nor letter demanding immediate payment...maybe it was something I said? :D

 

Recieved the CRA files from CallCredit, Experian, and Equifax all detailing the same late payment entries and on the same months.

 

Thanks to CAG I've learnt a hell of a lot on legal self-help so far...roll on the 12th for the next stage of decoding and compiling any evidence held in the SAR records!

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A question regarding accounts in dispute

 

I found out from some individual in the collections dept that my account has entered a 'countdown to default' stage. Effectively, when it was passed over to them, a 150-day limit clock started ticking, and today is 66 days to default (expires 7th Jan 2011)

 

Once I send a Letter Before Action to start the claim rolling would that effectively then render the account as 'in dispute' and therefore not liable for collection, reporting to any CRA, or liable for further interest?

 

I doubt that this matter will be resolved before the 7th Jan, so anything that could be used to jam the cogs as it were would be most useful

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HSBC had made 3 separate entries of 'Payment late by one month' against me

 

And you have had confirmation from the prospective employee that these three 1 month late markers were the ACTUAL reason you had your job offer retracted?

 

You do realise CallCredit only show selective credit history, you would need all your credit files (inc. full Experian and Equifax reports to get your complete history, and 6 years worth of addresses).

 

I cannot really see (though obviously cannot definitively comment on behalf of the company) on how three 1 month late markers would lead to job offer being retracted. A default, CCJ's, CAIS, CIFAS or strings of 2 or 3 months arrears then perhaps. I would suggest that you contact the company who declined you and ask them some further questions.

 

I have been in situations like this plenty of times, mortgage applications, credit and loan applications, job referencing etc. and like many of the population have missed an odd payment here and there purely through oversight, these have never stopped me obtaining employment or financial services. So I would suggest further investigation as they may have had access to, or seen information that you have yet to see (whether it's been placed correctly or incorrectly is an entirely different matter).

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And you have had confirmation from the prospective employee that these three 1 month late markers were the ACTUAL reason you had your job offer retracted?

 

Prior to the markers entered on my record I has a squeaky clean record with a score of 1000+, the retraction of employment was solely due to the record recieved by the employer from Experian as stated clearly in the rejection letter from them. Upon first investigations, my credit score had plummeted to 540 as a direct result of these markers

 

You do realise CallCredit only show selective credit history, you would need all your credit files (inc. full Experian and Equifax reports to get your complete history, and 6 years worth of addresses).

Full reports obtained from all 3 companies all detailing the same error (did you read the above posts?)

 

I cannot really see (though obviously cannot definitively comment on behalf of the company) on how three 1 month late markers would lead to job offer being retracted. A default, CCJ's, CAIS, CIFAS or strings of 2 or 3 months arrears then perhaps. I would suggest that you contact the company who declined you and ask them some further questions.

Now forgive me for this reply, but "Cannot definatively comment on behalf of the company" ?

 

You sound awfully like a HSBC employee monitoring this site for just this sort of case, as other major banks do, and has been noted by other members as being such the case.

 

Full details as to why employment was declined have been fully volunteered by the employer who is engaged in the financial sector. Those who are employed in such a capacity are required by FSA and other regulations to have a clean credit record prior to official employment, mine was, until this incident occurred

 

I have been in situations like this plenty of times, mortgage applications, credit and loan applications, job referencing etc. and like many of the population have missed an odd payment here and there purely through oversight, these have never stopped me obtaining employment or financial services. So I would suggest further investigation as they may have had access to, or seen information that you have yet to see

See above regarding the nature of the employment and reason for rescinding of offer of contract.

 

The SAR is on it's way and should reveal the evidence required. Failing that, an application for disclosure of further information under CPR regulations will be sought

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And you have had confirmation from the prospective employee that these three 1 month late markers were the ACTUAL reason you had your job offer retracted?

 

Prior to the markers entered on my record I has a squeaky clean record with a score of 1000+, the retraction of employment was solely due to the record recieved by the employer from Experian as stated clearly in the rejection letter from them. Upon first investigations, my credit score had plummeted to 540 as a direct result of these markers

 

You do realise CallCredit only show selective credit history, you would need all your credit files (inc. full Experian and Equifax reports to get your complete history, and 6 years worth of addresses).

Full reports obtained from all 3 companies all detailing the same error (did you read the above posts?)

 

I cannot really see (though obviously cannot definitively comment on behalf of the company) on how three 1 month late markers would lead to job offer being retracted. A default, CCJ's, CAIS, CIFAS or strings of 2 or 3 months arrears then perhaps. I would suggest that you contact the company who declined you and ask them some further questions.

Full details as to why employment was declined have been fully volunteered by the employer who is engaged in the financial sector. Those who are employed in such a capacity are required by FSA and other regulations to have a clean credit record prior to official employment, mine was, until this incident occurred

 

I have been in situations like this plenty of times, mortgage applications, credit and loan applications, job referencing etc. and like many of the population have missed an odd payment here and there purely through oversight, these have never stopped me obtaining employment or financial services. So I would suggest further investigation as they may have had access to, or seen information that you have yet to see

See above regarding the nature of the employment and reason for rescinding of offer of contract.

 

The SAR is on it's way and should reveal all the evidence sought.

There are further details to what I have outlined here that add a twist to the tale, but until I have all the evidence I'm seeking, will keep under wraps for now, and I promise the irony will make you a laugh ;)

Edited by gil_jnr

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Dont know what happened with posts #20 and #21..was supposed to be an edit to remove original insomnia grumpiness, so apologies where due.

 

I've finally gotten my hands on the requested information and there's a ton of paper to wade through, thankfully, the folks at the data compliance centre have included several long lists of terms and acronym explanations :)

 

At first scan through there's no explicit reference to my account information having being passed to the credit reference agencies on or around the dates concerned, will have a finer-tooth comb trawl and see what else I can find, then its time to draft the first letter demanding clarification of their actions

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Sounds like progress gil-jnr ...take it slowly , you'll be amazed what you find in that lot ..... and sometimes - what you don't find ...which is what you're aim is I think .... :)


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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After a long spell of unemployment, earlier this month I managed to land a job offer in the financial sector. I was informed at the end of the interview that a formal offer of employment would be pending a CRA check. To my utter surprise, a few days later I received a very apologetic letter from the employer stating that I had failed the credit check, and therefore regrettably, the offer of employment would be withdrawn.

 

Some creditors try to take away any prospect of survival, let alone success in life. Why do they do this? You'd think it was in their interests to help people financially recover so they get paid and maybe, just maybe, get some business out of the again. It really disgusts me how consumers are treated by the banks and why the Gov't does nothing to stop this ludicrous behaviour is beyond me. he CRAs should be BANNED unless there is responsible and accountable use of adverse data.


Advice and comments posted by The Debt Star reflect only my personal opinion and it is up to you alone to decide what action you should take. You should always seek independent legal advice from your own qualified legal advisor.

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Sounds like progress gil-jnr ...take it slowly , you'll be amazed what you find in that lot ..... and sometimes - what you don't find ...which is what you're aim is I think .... :)

 

You're right...it's what I didn't find that was part of the plan. Specifically, I didn't find any data concerning late payments in the printouts, nor any reference to CRAs being notified.

 

So here's where we're up to, so far..

 

After wading through piles of paper and putting all my notes together, I decided to break the rule of 'Written communication only' and phoned their call centre with a brief outline of my complaint to start the proceedure rolling, though I did get the odd impression that they were expecting my call this time

 

That was at the tail-end of Nov.

 

This morning a letter arrived stating that "We have now fully investigated the matters you have raised.." and goes on further to say:

 

"Following investigation, I can confirm that corrective action is required by the bank to rectify the incorrect reporting of payment history on your account. Our Customer Credit Services department have instructed the Credit Reference Agencies to amend their records accordingly."

 

Have they just made an admission of guilt in breaking the Data Protection Act? I think so :D

 

Now it's time to put all the pieces together in one bombshell of a letter, and this time a copy is going to the CEO, and we'll see what happens!

 

 

 

And just to add, that all debts and overdrafts have also been repaid in full and account now in credit, so there's nothing that the bank can use as leverage to get me to accept any lesser offer ;)

Edited by gil_jnr

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