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RBS and the Army


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My son went through Army basic training last year at Pirbright. While he was there, his course was given a presentation by someone from the RBS Farnborough, telling them all the advantages of opening an account with RBS. A number of them signed up and arranged for their pay to be paid into their brand new RBS account, including my son even though he already had an Abbey National acount.

He (my son) then arranged for two direct debits to be collected from his account. He then saw his error and emptied his account and then arranged to send his pay to his Abbey account but forgot to cancel his direct debits from the RBS. This started incurring charges, surprise, surprise. When he tried to cancel his RBS account four months later, he discovered that he would have to pay £170 in accrued charges first.

We discovered why his charges had escalated without his knowledge. When he passed out at Pirbright, he was posted to Deepcut but his address was changed to Aldershot??? How did this happen?

The Army use a system where anyone with an RBS account has their address changed to their new unit automatically and without the account holder's knowledge.

Is this legal?

Therefore all of the bank's letters were being sent to the wrong address hence the accrued charges.

Initially, the bank refused to repay the charges, but soon after a telephone conversation between my self and the so called military manager, the charges were repayed in full. I simply threatened the bank with Ombudsman action.

There are a few other anomalies which I won't bore you with here, but I have complained to RBS customer service and they have replied saying that they have done nothing wrong.

i.e. It is OK to open an account without the neccesary photo ID and proof of address.

It is OK to change an account holder's address without their knowledge.

I have now received the bank's final response letter and am about to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to inform them of the RBS' policies, but would like to hear some other opinions on the matter.

Are there any soldiers who have had similar problems with RBS which would strengthen my case?

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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Not a soldier or a lawyer, but I would have thought that to be in the army, then you would have had to have gone through quite thorough background checks. The army surely would want to know exactly who was in its ranks. Because of this, maybe the army was able to pass on enough details to teh bank to satisfy the anti-fraud measures.

 

I would have thought getting verified by the army would be stricter than getting verified for a bank account?

 

Just my £0.02

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Thank you for your twopence worth Candice. I agree with you and that is the answer the bank has given. However, why don't they apply the same rule to others whose identity is not in question?

Are you aware that long term prisoners in their last year of sentence can go to work for a regular employer, provided they have earned the privilege through good behaviour? These prisoners cannot open a bank account because they cannot provide photo evidence of their identity and have no utility bills.

Some employers will only pay staff through their bank account. Prisoners, therefore, have a limited choice of where they can work.

Surely prisoners' identity cannot be in question either and have they not been stringently checked out to find them guilty?

I feel that banks should play their part in rehabilitating these men and women who have paid their debt to society and have proved their eligibility to rejoin the general public.

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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I never thought of that but it's a good point. I'm not going to debate whether it's right for this to happen (giving convicted citizens automatic jobs per se) but maybe if they already had a bank account open it won't be an issue.

 

I'm either going crazy or can't find reference to the government saying that everyone in the UK should have right to a basic bank account. Lots need them for benefits also. In a way it's a shame that TSB isn't government owned any more, as that seemed to be the logical solution.

 

I wonder if one can apply for an account at the Bank of England? lol

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All I know is that army or police id can be taken to open an account but we are not legally allowed to photocopy it.

We need some address verification too (bank statement, utility bill, driving licence, voters roll search etc etc (full list is about two pages long!) If it's not possible to provide anything like this then I suppose we could potentially have a letter from the army but this would need authorised specially by a head office dept before we opened an account.

 

I once heard a story that a new member of Sir Fred Goodwin's (chief exec of RBS) household staff did not have relevant id (she was foreign) and they had to phone Sir Freds office and politely ask for a personal reference before they were allowed to open an account!

 

If the branch you are talking about regularly opens army accounts they may have different systems in place however.

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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Thank you thegoodsamaritan. What do you think about the RBS changing account addresses without the knowledge of the account holder? This actually happens throughout the soldier's career whenever he is posted!

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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Glad to help.

I'm not quite sure what you mean though. Is it when a soldier is moved from say a base in Nottingham to a Glasgow base that the army automatically tells the bank of the change of address?

 

I've a feeling these may not be set up as regular personal accounts because of the way they sound like they're run, could you tell me what type of account they have? (Interest Paying Current Accounts or Royalties or R21 or Key are the usual accounts for personal customers)

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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  • 2 weeks later...

The bank gets a print out when a soldier is posted and the bank then changes the address without even informing the soldier. Too bad if the Army gets the address wrong!

 

These are normal bank accounts that Joe Public opens.

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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Sorry I haven't heard of this before, maybe its an army branch thing and unfortunately I don't know of the legality of the army changing soldiers addresses automatically.

If the army have wrongly changed your sons address I'd say they are liable for the charges. Obviously though you could just claim them back through the systems as laid out here.

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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Initialy, the bank refused to refund my son's charges but following a heated telephone conversation with the so-called Military manager, the charges were refunded in full. I think that the word Ombudsman did the trick.

 

I have six months to write to the Ombudsman and am waiting a while to let them think I have gone away. Then they will be hit by an Ombudsman investigation when they least expect it. :o

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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  • 12 years later...

This topic was closed on 03/08/19.

If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support there.

If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened.

- Consumer Action Group

Don't let the fatherless chillen get ya! :grin:

 

Barclays - settled in full £4799.38 ;)

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