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Avoid being charged in the first place...


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Discussion in the office this morning:

Me: HSBC charged £50 for going over the overdraft limit.

Colleague: What do you mean? I never get charged and go over the limit all the time.

Me: Are you sure?

Colleague: Positive, I'm sure they only anyone who just takes the p**s.

Me: Oh, hold on, doesn't your wife work for HSBC?

Colleague: Yeah, maybe that's it. It might be that we've a special kind of account.

Me: But you've got a limit, right?

Colleague: Yes, but I just ignore it, and I've not been charged yet.

 

Any eligible HSBC batchelors about looking for a wife???

Look out Spiceskull, you could be getting thread-dumped!!;)

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Thread-dumped? Bloody hell, technology moves quickly. Last year it was e-dumping, last week it was text-dumping and now it's gonna be thread-dumping...whatever next? Being dumped by letter?

 

See the steps I took to get my bank charges back.

Spiceskull v HSBC.

Thank you Consumer Action Group.

Read my blog.

 

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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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Ya well what do you expect.. she's only just found out your are a BAG-HAG.. personally speaking i'd act in exactly the same way.

"BA Group. The World's favourite CA Group"

 

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Lol. Actually it was a pun on my daughter being text dumped last week, but don't tell her I told you.;)

 

But what about the conversation I had! I couldn't believe my ears - fringe benefits or what!

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Hey wait a minute this is important. Vamps you are right - that means special treatment for staff, is that really allowed!

 

How does it work I wonder? Does a member of staff go in and remove the charge or is there an automatic buffer (used to apply at Abbey but they pulled the plug on it). If it's good enough for staff though surely it's good enough for customers.

 

Of course how it works may also give us more ammunition to attack the 'service' argument the banks so clearly love. Is there any way we can find out?

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I think we have to be careful not to take these conversations out of context. We have other bank personnel who have indicated very vociferously that they have been subjected to the same charging regime, but cannot risk seeking repayment for obvious reasons.

Alan, Derby, UK.

 

 

 

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Hmm, I notice that the conversation went along the lines of

Me: Oh, hold on, doesn't your wife work for HSBC?

 

Does your colleague really know what is happening with the household finances. I know my OH is unaware of things at times and I think that's because he is a bloke. Still this is not always the case and I am still concerned about what you say.

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The minute he said it he kinda started to shut up. He knows about me and BAG, and I can't push for more info as it's his own personal affairs.

 

He definitely stated that he has a limit, goes over it and doesn't get charged. It may have nothing to do with his wife working for HSBC.

 

And it's his finances not theirs.

 

I will try for more info but only if I feel I can without jeopardising my working relationship with the guy.

 

Sorry that's all I have.

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Thanks for the information anyway. No worries that you don't think you can get more. It's definitely one to be stored under 'interesting'. One day we might find out more.

 

I was more interested from the point of view of how it works. If the automated system merely ignores the fact that the account has gone overlimit it is good evidence that the actions are automated. The alternative is that someone at the bank sees the account in a manual intervention and sanctions what is happening - this is not very likely. However as Alan says staff can be penalised. BUT if the account is in the name of a spouse of staff the bank probably can't take any action. This implies that staff and family have a different signal set on their accounts. If his wife is canny enough she will have made sure it was in his name only so the bank can't touch her and any overspend is channelled through that account. Neat eh!

 

Anyway, it has given me something to think about!

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Just a thought on the matter:

 

I used to work at a bank. I shan't say which one, but, well, it had connections to Shanghai..

 

Anyway, whilst it was nowt to do with my job, Oasis (the IT system there) allowed us to wander over all kinds of crap that was none of our business. That's actually directly linked to the reason I don't work there any more :oops:

 

Anyways, I used the system to check my bank balance. On there one could also see your 'buffer overdraft' which everyone had, and which was calculated with a 'system decision' - presumably based on the amount you pay in each month, a calculated probability that you'll pay it off (on, say, payday) and past performance (that's pure speculation, though)..

 

Which is why it's different for different people.. It's the 'system' being mean..

 

As an aside, there's also an accessible, pre-calculated 'pre-approved' overdraft figure for each account.. Turns out my old dear could have had a massive overdraft if she'd only asked..

 

Ho hum

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As an aside, there's also an accessible, pre-calculated 'pre-approved' overdraft figure for each account.. Turns out my old dear could have had a massive overdraft if she'd only asked..

 

Ho hum

Not too great a thing though. They kept upping my overdraft limit and now I have a huge debt I can barely pay with no charges to reclaim. Grrrrr....

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On there one could also see your 'buffer overdraft' which everyone had, and which was calculated with a 'system decision'

 

That'll be the manual intervention then (NOT)!

 

No wonder we get cross with the banks. They know it's all automated, we know it's all automated and they still think if they say it's not we will believe them.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hi

 

Vampiress asked me this in a pm and I thought I'd put my reply on hear for all to see (hope you don't mind me saying so)

 

'I can't comment for certain, but it sounds like something known in the business as 'insider dealing'.

 

This is not only considered as gross misconduct and you'd be instantly dismissed, it's also v.illegal and the bank could take legal action as it's technically stealing their money. (although from all that's going on with charges I wouldn't like to be the solicitors arguing that one)

 

Capital One makes us do a training package on insider dealing every 6 months, they treat it that strongly. We're not allowed to look at an account if we know who it belongs to, even if it's our next door neighbous great aunty we only ever receive an xmas card from.lol '

 

So please don't think that bank staff get special treatment, that usually stops at being the guinea pigs to test the new offers. As soon as we mess up, we're treated the same as jane and john do.

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Whistleblower, this is what I would expect every organisation to do. I know my employer does and I have seen good staff sacked for just looking. I actually expect my bank to be the same. It's the reason why I don't believe Ian Mullen and comments by the banks that not all manual interventions are recorded. They certainly will be because the bank as indeed any organisation will, want to be able to take action to prevent abuse. I also have a feeling they have to show they are complying with Data Protection Act in that information is only accessed and used for a business reason and no other.

 

I remember when Jill Dando was killed, some bank staff were punished or sacked for accessing her records, so it is clear that the banks do know and record what happens every step of the way. It just highlights that the statements over manual interventions being unrecorded are not sustainable.

 

Anyway rant over, sorry Vamps, hope we haven't got anyone into trouble

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Guest NATTIE

As anyone who reads the job pages for working in a bank will know you do get certain perks of the job and yes some fees are not applicable, however charges for returned DD cheques and card misuse are applicable. Youhave to remember Bank staff can check their account every day so they should not have problems with charges. Most banks DO have an automated system which will return DDs for some but not others

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Guest Lueeze

When I worked for Vodafone it was the same, and we were not allowed to check a relatives account, however i know of staff who did.

 

Also I know for a fact virtually all computer systems leave a footprint of who has accessed a particular account, what time/date and thier user name.

 

Even if they do not amend anything or write notes, as soon as you type in an account number and access someones information you are automatically logged as doing so.

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When I worked for Vodafone it was the same, and we were not allowed to check a relatives account, however i know of staff who did.

 

Also I know for a fact virtually all computer systems leave a footprint of who has accessed a particular account, what time/date and thier user name.

 

Even if they do not amend anything or write notes, as soon as you type in an account number and access someones information you are automatically logged as doing so.

 

I used to work at a major law firm, who had a large contract for processing the conveyancing work for a high-street lender's mortgage applications. We (yes, i used to do it too) used to look up relatives'/friends' records to see if they had mortgages with this particular lender. There was also a "premier" version of the mortgage, for larger loans, and we used to scan this for celebrity mortages (Liz Hurley, Steve McManaman, Katie Price, John Snow).

 

I'm sure it's probably very tightly controlled/disciplined in banks/credit companies, but I think if you give a lot of low-paid staff access to a lot of potentially juicy iformation, the temptation will always be there to have a peek. :p

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Guest NATTIE

Banks have markers on those sort of accounts so that unauthorised use would be referred to a manager,team leader,etc,. Misuse is sackable because under the DPA it is illegal to view information about someone else when you are not dealing with them. And yes, we've all broken it.

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Well, in my view banks need far more watertight systems than that. Flagging up unauthorised access to celebs accounts is insufficient.

 

It's fairly widely known that a lot of money laundering gangs get round the "know your customer" rules by bribing bank staff. Similarly quite a lot of ID theft info is obtained from staff in various organisations rather than sifting through peoples' trash.

 

I think every single user of banks systems should be clearly identifiable and any manual or enquiry access to anyone's account details should be logged by the computer system. An exceptions report should be produced based on rules for inappropriate or repeated access as well as a periodic audit on a random basis. No doubt this would involve quite a lot of bureaucracy for the banks but at the same time they are quite happy to impose ridiculously strict know your customer and money laundering rules.

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I think you will find that most of this is in place already for fraud protection, privacy, distrust of staff, money laundering regs, etc. This is why I won't believe the statement that they give out about not being required to log manual intervention.

 

Nothing happens on a bank account that doesn't get reflected in the audit trail, that includes viewing the account as well as making any change or transaction. The audit trail will include at least the account number, date & time of access, type of activity, staff ID (or program ID for automated processes), previous value & changed value with to & from account details (where a transaction has occurred). If they didn't do this the regulators would come down on them like a ton of bricks. And how do you think banking forensics work when they track down the movement of dodgy or terrorist related funds?

 

They use this line purely because there is no manual intervention to show when the charges are applied - because they are automatically applied - but they do not want to let you know that as their charges argument would fall flat on its face. They are being economical with the truth at many levels, as well as being extravagent with their charges and interest rates! :eek:

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Guest NATTIE

Seminole, you didn't get what I was saying. For us ordinary people, if you have a friend or relative, they can access your account and you wouldn't know. It is a breach of contract which you sign before you start working for the bank and is sackable. Remember a few years ago and Michael Owen's details were released to the News Of the World. That staff member would have been sacked. Celebrities don't want everyone to know where they are, where they shop, etc,ets, as a result there is an additional marker that can be placed on an account so that only authorised people can view their details. A trace as "Mywifeandi" is traceable if need be for audit purposes or when you need to verify something.

As for the comment about known customer criteria and bribery, that is absolutely rubbish. Name and shame if you can. No one would want to get the sack for that. I know fraud happens within the bank and people are sacked but to take a bribe.....RUBBISH.

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  • 2 weeks later...

why would fraudsters pay bank staff when they can just 'bin hit' accounts which is far easier and cheeper?

 

A Bin is the banks identification number. Each account that is the same within a bank e.g. all Gold MasterCard accounts with bank x would have the same first few numbers with random numbers after it. All fraudsters do is guess the rest, if the transaction goes through, they'll repeatedly 'hit' it until the bank's fraud team stops it.

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  • 1 month later...

Commercial staff in banks accessing any account, just to browse it, for sure can leave a traceable footprint tracked by software designed to audit access. However IT staff of necessity need to perform system testing, and have carte blanche to browse copies of live accounts, 18 million of them at a time.

 

Believe me, no account is safe, all are browsable by IT staff, using various formatting tools, completely bypassing the access transaction used by commerical non-IT staff.

 

 

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