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Lloyds bank – phantom changes to standing order reference leading to local council CCJ

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Hi all -

 

Hoping to get some help here with what to claim from Lloyds Bank.

 

In a nutshell, I have been paying service charges as a Standing Order for via Lloyds, for £88.96 per month. This was set up since 2010.

 

According to the beneficiary, my SO's were being made but not hitting my service charges account because payment reference was removed - that's what the beneficiary use to allocate the SC monies. It was found to have been going through but placed in beneficiary's suspense account on investigation.

 

However, according to Lloyds, I cancelled my original SO, set up a new one in Aug 2016, but without a reference. I only went into the bank early Jan 2018 to put the payment reference back on.

 

I have complained to Lloyds, who have admitted liability because they should have asked for a payment reference, but they didn't. And offered £500 compensation to which I declined.

 

During this time, I have also made a DSAR to provide me with copies of the change in SO because I've never gone in or made any changes to my SO set up in 2010. The DSAR reply was that these documents cease to exist. I have since complained to FoS.

 

The CCJ was made in June 2017, and I only found out in early Jan 2018. Ofcourse, if the bank did not remove the payment reference, I would not have got a CCJ issued against me. As a result, I lost a house in the process.

 

What can I do from this point on wards?

 

Many thanks to you all in advance for your help.

Jay

 

 

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

this thread is a split of a larger thread involving a number of issues. For the history and context see http://cag.tw/273m

Edited by BankFodder
Split off fromhttp://cag.tw/273m

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Hello -

 

Based on BF's recommendations as there are many issues involved, but in respect of the bank side of things:

 

- Original Standing Order Set up: March 2010 for £88.96 until today, with my unique SC account number

- Supposedly, original SO cancelled in Aug 2016; a new one set up

- When new one set up, it was done so without payment reference

 

But as the incident was being unraveled, it came to light that:

 

- there were 5 payments, made without reference - Aug 2016 to Dec 2016; then

- between Jan 2017 to July 2017, payments made with a reference; AND

- 5 payments without reference between Aug 2017 to Dec 2017

 

Then I went into the bank on Jan 10th 2018, to put the reference back on.

 

I only went into the bank to put reference back on because it came to light in preparation to buying a house late last year, a CCJ was issued against me in June 2017 (unknown to me as court paperwork were sent to wrong address).

 

Bank admitted liability and offered £500, to which I declined as it seemed like they wanted to just pay off and close complaint. Final response letter given. I have now complained to FoS.

 

Attached are all the bank correspondence.

Let me know if anything needs to be clarified.

 

Thank you all in advance,

Jay

 

 

March 2010 – standing order set up. Payments correctly made until July 2016

August 2016 payments made without reference to Dec 2016

January 2017 payments made with reference until July 2017

August 2017 payments resumed without reference until Dec 2017

Jan 2018 I visited the bank and manually applied the reference after having realised that the standing order had been incorrectly processed once again

 

January 2018 discovered CCJ – which is now being set aside

DSAR Response.pdf

Lloyds Bank Complaint_Closed.pdf

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The bank claim to have no idea as to how the standing order was changed and have in fact suggested that

 

  • you must've visited the bank, cancelled the standing order and then set it up again but without reference.
  • Then you visited the bank again, cancelled the standing order and then set up again but this time with a reference.
  • Then you visited the bank again, cancelled the standing order and then set up without a reference.
  • Then finally in January of this year, you visited the bank and added the reference.

The bank say that it has nothing to do with them – but as a gesture of utter generosity and astonishing goodwill, they offered you £500 – basically to go away and shut up – and very sensibly you told them to go and do the other thing


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Have you sent the bank an SAR in respect of this?


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Have you sent the bank an SAR in respect of this?

 

Hi -

 

Yes SAR was sent to bank requesting any mandate/proof of me changing my SO's by way of paper trail etc. Mysteriously, they said this info did not exist/unable to locate it.

But they were able to provide me with a screenshot of some sort showing that I made a change (that is, adding a reference back on) in Jan 2018. If they can provide me with this, I am sure they have the info I requested but are not playing ball.

 

I feel like I have hit a brick wall with the bank.

Would be grateful if I can do anything to really get them to compensate.

 

Jay

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Have you posted the screenshot? Could you do so anyway on this thread please.

 

I think you will have to send another SAR. I don't think there's much else you can do for the moment. As you may have read elsewhere, the existing Data Protection Act regulations are being supplemented by the new European GDPR which come in force on 25 May.

 

This creates new standards for data processors and data controllers and I think that it would be worthwhile sending an SAR but waiting until 25 May. At that point you will be able to bespeak your personal data without paying a fee and also the maximum time they have to comply changes from 40 days to 30 days.

 

It might be that eventually companies will become a slack as they are now about responding to SARs under the present regime – this is partly because of the limp wristed approach of the Information Commissioner. However, there is a lot of flap about the new regime and people are very worried and are investing lots of money training the staff and getting ready. I have a sense that even if the system goes limp after a few months, in the early days of it companies will be quite rigourous about satisfying data disclosure demands.

 

I suggest that you get ready to send off an SAR – but send it on 25 May under the new regime and we will see what it produces. On 25 May you will find that the SAR link leads you to a modified template which reflects the new regime – so don't bother to download a template yet.

 

On your other thread I posted a question about making a council complaint and you have responded to this. Please do so. I think that it is the next step in respect of dealing with them.


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Hello -

 

I am pretty sure I had the attachments in PDF inserted in my previous post.

I am doing it again here:

 

So I will wait until May 25th in submitting a new request.

 

I have complained to the FoS, the wrote to me saying they will write to me within 4 weeks of investigating etc.

 

I will keep you posted.

Jay

DSAR Response.pdf

Lloyds Bank Complaint_Closed.pdf

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Yes, now that you have posted them here I realise that you had posted them in the other thread. However, it's a good idea to make sure that this thread is self-contained and as clutter-free as possible.

 

Here's the next question which may be I've already asked and maybe you've already answered. Have you responded to these? I remember that I thought that it was an extraordinary letter – but now looking at it again, I see that they simply say that the standing order was set up without a reference number and so they are accepting responsibility for this. They really have an answer the question at all – although I'm not too sure what the question was.

 

I don't know of I've said already, but one trick that these people use when giving the final response is to couch the complaint in new terms or from a new angle so that when it goes to the FOS, it really is completely off-point and tends to be slotted in their own favour.

 

So the question is: have you responded to this? I think it needs a very clear and assertive response saying to them that they have not dealt with the matter. That your complaint is that a person or a system within the operation altered a perfectly function standing order on at least three occasions and without any intervention or authority from you.

 

You say that you have complaint to the FOS. Can you post up here what you said to the FOS. When did you complaint to the FOS? If your complaint to the FOS has not challenged the final response them afraid that once again you are losing control of the complaint because the FOS will simply deal with it on the basis that the bank's version represents the basis of the complaint.


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Here's the next question which may be I've already asked and maybe you've already answered. Have you responded to these? I remember that I thought that it was an extraordinary letter – but now looking at it again, I see that they simply say that the standing order was set up without a reference number and so they are accepting responsibility for this. They really have an answer the question at all – although I'm not too sure what the question was.

 

Hi BF -

I have not responded to the bank's final response nor respond to DSAR findings.

The main question I'd asked them was, why didn't the bank ask for a payment reference? I am sure it is optional for all banks to ask, as my HSBC account, they ask for a payment reference even for a £10 transfer...that is the exact example I gave them.

 

I don't know of I've said already, but one trick that these people use when giving the final response is to couch the complaint in new terms or from a new angle so that when it goes to the FOS, it really is completely off-point and tends to be slotted in their own favour.

 

You did not mention it, but reading their final response letter again - I can see that. I have always felt that their final response was like 'yeah, we messed up, there is nothing more we can do than £500 (in my case)'. Frustrating.

 

So the question is: have you responded to this? I think it needs a very clear and assertive response saying to them that they have not dealt with the matter. That your complaint is that a person or a system within the operation altered a perfectly function standing order on at least three occasions and without any intervention or authority from you.

 

I have not responded. Should I do? If so, how can I formulate this letter? Do I send it to the bank and/or FOS?

 

You say that you have complaint to the FOS. Can you post up here what you said to the FOS. When did you complaint to the FOS? If your complaint to the FOS has not challenged the final response them afraid that once again you are losing control of the complaint because the FOS will simply deal with it on the basis that the bank's version represents the basis of the complaint.

 

Here is what I sent to the FoS last Sunday - they responded acknowledgement of receipt on Friday 13th, stating they would get back to me within 4 weeks:

 

If I should add anything more, I am able to send those in with my reference to FoS - hoping it won't be too late.

 

Let me know if you need anything clarifying.

Thanks,

 

Jay

FoS_App1.pdf

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Although it is rather late in the day, I think that you should write a letter to Lloyds right now and explain to them that their final response has not address the issue.

 

Their final response has apparently limited itself to the question of whether or not a standing order was set up without a reference.

This completely distorts your complaint. Your complaint is precisely that you set up a standing order on a single location in 2011 and that for some reason rather in 2016, and without any intervention from yourself, Lloyds started to generate payments to the council but without the standing order reference. Mysteriously disappeared to correct itself at the beginning of 2017 and the payments continued correctly for six months. However, in the middle of 2017 Lloyds systems once again incorrectly generated the payments without reference number to the council and this was only eventually corrected as a result of your manual intervention in January 2018.

 

Any suggestion from them that you cancelled the standing order and then set it up again without a reference – repeatedly – beggars belief. The incorrect processing of your instructions and of your personal data is exactly what has led to this problem and you hold them completely to blame. Furthermore, you hold them completely responsible for not having addressed the issue and failing to deal with it in their final response.

 

I suggest that you do this immediately.

 

I suggest that you write to them in these terms.

 

I'm afraid that I can tell you now that Lloyds will attempt to dodge the bullet by telling you that the matter is now out of their hands and it is with the ombudsman and they are not prepared to take any further action in respect of it. I'm afraid that by not challenging their final response at the outset, you have lost a very good opportunity to force them to take a closer look. The fact that the final response has been written and that you have now begun your complaint to the ombudsman essentially has given them a get out clause. However get the letter into Lloyds so that at least it is on record.

 

Secondly you should write to the ombudsman. You should do that immediately. You should write to them and tell them that you now understand that you may not have expressed your complaint is clearly as you might and you are therefore writing them a letter in clarification and that they should take this is the central basis of your complaint against Lloyds. You should also tell them that the final response which was produced by Lloyds has distorted your complaint and has not addressed the issue.

 

Tell them that the issue is that you set up a standing order in 2011 which was properly constituted and which was operated correctly by the bank until 2016. In 2016 for no reason that you can understand and certainly without any intervention from you, Lloyds started to generate the payments to the council without any reference number. Mysteriously – and once again without intervention from you, the payments were resumed correctly six months later in August 2016. Six months later in January 2017, and once again without any intervention from you, the payments were once again generated without proper reference numbers. This continued until you corrected the matter manually in January 2018.

 

Your complaint is that the Lloyds systems have malfunctioned and that they have failed to investigate properly and that they have distorted your complaint in their final response. You have complained to Lloyds and Lloyds have suggested that the errors occurred purely as a result of your own intervention and that Lloyds suggested that at various times you cancelled the standing order and then set it up again immediately but this time without reference number – and then later on cancelled it and set it up again but this time with reference number et cetera.

 

This pattern of behaviour beggars belief and that it is significant that Lloyds appear to be unable to locate any data relating to this and you feel that this is evidence that they are not processing your personal data correctly.

 

I probably got the dates wrong in the suggestion that I have written above – but you know what I mean and you can correct them.

 

I think you should get this letter off immediately. I think that you should send it by email if you can and also by recorded delivery. I suggest also that you get onto the telephone to them and using the complaint reference number that they would have given you, try to talk it through with somebody and explain exactly the situation. Read our customer services guide – not for the recording advice, but advice as how to take charge of a customer service call and to make sure that the customer service operator has noted down your complaint accurately.

 

Unfortunately you will find that the people who work for the ombudsman – at the adjudicator level are very often poorly trained and experienced and not adequate for the task.

 

At the end of the day, the messages is that you need to start making your complaints rather more effectively than you do. You need to respond to things much more quickly – particularly when somebody is producing a version which is not the same as yours. You need to be prepared to correct the record every time – and rapidly.


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Hello. Any update on this please? Did you send off the suggested messages?


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Dear BF -

 

I sent this off to the bank and Ombudsman aswell, soon after you had suggested it. Had no time to send through a reply on here as I've been away for work.

Once I get a reply, I will let you know.

 

Thanks,

Jay

Edited by dx100uk
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Thanks


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Sorry, I've been very busy. I do have the details and I will be using them at some point – but I think the important thing is to get the SARs off on the 25th. After that we will know more.

 

It's very frustrating having to wait – but hopefully it will be worth it.

 

Have you had any responses to anything?


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No problem at all! I was just checking in.

Is there a template for the new SARs I can use?

 

I submitted the letter as you informed me to. However, I only sent it to the Ombudsman who acknowledged that they received my clarification on the issue and have added to to the case file. I contacted the bank beforehand, they said since I elected to go to the ombudsman, I am unable to add any further info to my complaint with Lloyds.

 

I will keep you posted. I should hear back within 2 weeks.

Thanks,

 

Jay

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Hello!

 

I just had a call from Ombudsman service - the adjudicator introducing herself etc. She confirmed to me that she asked Lloyds for info regarding my existing standing order being changed back in Aug 2016 when it all started. Lloyds said they didn't have anything.

 

Just out of curiousity - under Data Protection - how long is the bank supposed to hold all my info? I'm really interested in the proof/documents relating to my change in Standing Order such as a signed document etc.

 

Thanks in advance.

Jay

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According to sections 221 and 222 of the Companies Act 1985, a public company is required to maintain records for a period of six years (section 222(5)(b).

 

As a loan agreement is active until the agreement is terminated, I would suggest that all the payment records (and other documents making up the file - including the agreement/application etc) would be "live" until the account is paid, or terminated - thus, the full file should be retained for at least six years after that.

 

This interpretation fits in with Inland Revenue legislation that requires prime documents to be retained for a period of six years - AFTER THE END OF THE RELEVANT ACCOUNTING PERIOD. That would mean some files need to be retained for up to seven years. The relevant legislation is found in Schedule 18 of the Finance Act 1998 (paragraph 21) - of particular significance is sub-paragraph (6) which states:

 

"The duty to preserve records under this paragraph includes a duty to preserve all supporting documents relating to the items mentioned in sub-paragraph (5)(a) and (b)."

 

Finally, key documents/application forms etc must be kept until 5 years after that business relationship has ended. This is a requirement of The Money Laundering Regulations 1993, 2003 and 2007. “


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According to sections 221 and 222 of the Companies Act 1985, a public company is required to maintain records for a period of six years (section 222(5)(b).

 

As a loan agreement is active until the agreement is terminated, I would suggest that all the payment records (and other documents making up the file - including the agreement/application etc) would be "live" until the account is paid, or terminated - thus, the full file should be retained for at least six years after that.

 

This interpretation fits in with Inland Revenue legislation that requires prime documents to be retained for a period of six years - AFTER THE END OF THE RELEVANT ACCOUNTING PERIOD. That would mean some files need to be retained for up to seven years. The relevant legislation is found in Schedule 18 of the Finance Act 1998 (paragraph 21) - of particular significance is sub-paragraph (6) which states:

 

"The duty to preserve records under this paragraph includes a duty to preserve all supporting documents relating to the items mentioned in sub-paragraph (5)(a) and (b)."

 

Finally, key documents/application forms etc must be kept until 5 years after that business relationship has ended. This is a requirement of The Money Laundering Regulations 1993, 2003 and 2007. “

 

Hi Andy

 

Thanks alot for your in depth answer.

I just wanted to clarify - does that apply to any signed documents for a change in our Standing Order? As mentioned in this thread, apparently the existing SO started in March 2011 got changed/cancelled and a new one set up. And if that was the case, then there must be a document or paper trail declaring this to be so - i certainly did not make such changes.

 

From what i read above, it does cover the situation regarding my dad.

 

Thanks

Jay

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Hello BF and CAG community -

 

I received FoS reply, which as guessed, was not helpful.

Please see attached:

 

FoS2.pdf

 

Its very bizarre because this adjudicator seems like she did not understand my concern/complaint, just like the bank. Despite me sending a separate email following on from BF's advice a few posts earlier.

 

And also, she goes onto mention about NatWest when the issue is with Lloyds!

 

I would obviously like to appeal to the chief adjudicator because the response is unsatisfactory.

 

What do you think I should do? I will send off the new GDPR template to bank tomorrow?

 

Thanks,

Jay

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It's rubbish. Apart from being rubbish, it's completely irresponsible. I know that these people are under resourced but to make such serious mistakes as even to identify the wrong bank undermines complete confidence in the process.

 

Clearly you're going to send them an SAR today but I will get back to you later and suggest that you make a complaint about the way it is being handled. The whole thing is too serious


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Do you happen to know if bank standing orders have reference numbers? I can imagine they must do. I don't mean your own reference number I mean a reference number given by the bank to every instruction it receives.

 

I can scarcely imagine that they don't employ that kind of system. I take it you are sending the bank an SAR today – and maybe that will reveal the reference number. Also, if you look at your bank statements, maybe you will see some kind of payment reference which is the banks own number. It would be interesting to see whether they are all the same or they are different.


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Yes all SO have a mandate number and a Bank Reference number printed on Bank Statements


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In that case may be we need to know more about that. Maybe that is something which has been overlooked so far.

 

I'm not sure if it will be more interesting if the standing order references were all the same – indicating that standing orders had not been cancelled and then set up again, or if the references were all different – in which case the bank should be able to produce records of the cancellations and the new standing orders.

 

I think that the reference numbers may shed a loss of light on the direction to take on this complaint


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All identical each time BF


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Yes, what I mean is whether the reference numbers on the OP's statements are all the same – in other words relating to the same instruction or whether they are different – indicating that different standing orders have been set up


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