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Matthew31

Santander - Irresponsible lending

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I'm just wondering if this is in breach of responsible lending rules and if I could do anything about it.

 

Years ago I realised I had a bit of a gambling problem and when having a slip what would happen is I would lose all of my money, then keep extending my overdraft to the maximum chasing the loss until everything had gone.

 

Around 2 or 3 years ago I told Santander about this gambling problem and made it clear to them I wanted no overdraft facility on my account whatsoever. At the time they told me that overdraft facility had been removed from my account. I tried to create a £50 overdraft in my online banking and sure enough I couldn't.

 

Several months later I had a huge gambling slip and when I emptied my bank, I tried to see if I could create an overdraft in my online banking account and sure enough, I created a £500 overdraft and lost the lot.

 

I made requests several times again to stop any overdraft facility on my account, but they never helped with this.

 

Last year was horrid. In January they let me extend my overdraft to £2000 (Which was ridiculous considering I was only earning £420 a month carers allowance and income support). I had a huge slip when mum died and lost everything in my bank and the entire £2000 of my overdraft.

 

Towards the end of last year and start of this year, 2 more slips where I was allowed to create overdraft amounts of around £1000 where I had to sell my Santander shares to clear the overdraft.

 

 

Then this year. I made a complaint with them about this, yet it was vastly ignored. I got a complaint response in a letter but again they said nothing apart from every few months they review overdraft facilities on peoples accounts and set the maximum overdraft limit.

 

2 months ago after doing so well I had another slip, I was allowed to extend my overdraft to £600 and again lost the lot gambling.

 

Then now in the last 2 weeks, just as I managed to clear my overdraft (After paying £1 a day in charges for the last 2 months), I had a slip. I only had about £80 in my bank, but Santander allowed me to extend my overdraft to £700 and I lost the lot trying to chase back that £80 I lost.

 

 

The thing is, Santander have been fully aware of my gambling problem. I can safeguard myself by leaving minimal money in my bank (withdrawing as much as possible to store at home), but the overdraft facility is something they won't stop for good on my account.

 

In fact, every single time I have increased my overdraft limit or created an overdraft, it has been lost gambling online right after. I have never once increased or created an overdraft for any other purpose.

 

Thanks

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As I can't edit, I will post something else I had to add.

 

Now in no way am I blaming the bank for my own actions of what I did. The complaint about them really is more to do with them being fully aware of my gambling problems, how during a slip I end up creating/extending my overdraft, losing the lot and putting myself in debt (as well as incurring £1 a day in bank charges), yet they will not remove the authorised overdraft facility permanently from my account.

 

Furthermore they have allowed me in February 2016 to extend my overdraft to £2000 (which seems like an irresponsible amount to allow me to access, based on my income at that time as well as knowing about my problems with gambling and wanting the overdraft facility removed prior to that).

 

Looking at the secure message inbox I first contacted them in 2011 and told them about my gambling problem. At that time I wanted my debit card downgraded to a cash only card. Their staff were useless with 1 telling me they have removed the ability for my debit card to make online transactions (I tested this by making a low value purchase online which went through) and finally, another telling me they need to cancel the card and assign me with a cash only card.

 

I then contacted them many times including in 2014 and the start of this year specifically about getting the authorised overdraft facility removed from my account permanently because I realised at some casinos I could pay by PayPal (could do a direct transfer to my paypal account from online banking page and deposit that way). Which resulted in being told it's been removed (when it wasn't), that they review the facility every few months or I can remove it myself by setting overdraft amount to 0 (Which doesn't remove the facility as I can extend my overdraft again right after)

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