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Cobbetts Defence


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Hi I am new to the forum. What a lot of activity?!

I have issued claims for unlawful charges for two accounts. Both are under £5k (total £8k).I used the BBC Claims template and the Martin Lewis charges schedule and attached those. Natwest have sent a full and final offer for one of the claims which reflects the charges but not the statutory interest which I have added to the claim. They have not factored in the £120 issue fee probably because Borehamwood do not yet know I have issued. I have sent a letter of rejection and want the whole lot.

The Defence from Cobbetts is aggressive, technical and interesting, and the following is a summary:

1) The claim is not specific enough, they cannot make a proper defence and they will apply to strike out the case;

2)At allocation they will ask for directions so that I will give proper particulars;

3)Natwest does not admit what charges have been deducted.

4) If I allege that the charges are unenforceable penalties then I have to state

a) the clause(s) purusant to which the charges were applied.

b)the charges were applied because of a breach of contract by me.

c)Identify in each case which breach of contract the charge relates to.

d) Until the above is done they deny any charges have been applied pursuant to unenforceable penalty clauses.

5)In relation to the UCTCR 1999 I must identify which contractual clause breaches the regulations.Then state in relation to each charge all the facts as to why the sums paid are disproportionately high.

6) Alternatively the charges are a payment for services.


Seems to me that this is a very clever way of tying Joe Public up in technicalites and time consuming work. My instinct is that clearly monies have been taken our of my account and they cannot deny this. However as I am bringing the case I have to prove it. I have set out the monies I am claiming in the schedule attached to the claim. There is only so much I can do since they have all the info. I think I need to answer the following:


1) I will need to look at the bank's standard terms and conditions over the past 6 years and identify which have applied in my case.

2) Then looking at my statements, I admit that I breached those terms (I can probably point to a specific example of each type of charge) over six years.

3) As for the UCTCR I need only state that whilst the contractual term itself is not admitted to be fair or unfair it is the cost of the breach of such a term that is unfair, is an unenforceable penalty and is disproportionately high. I have to rely on the Dunlop case for this.

4) The "THIS IS REALLY A SERVICE" defence is clearly rubbish and the answer will no doubt lie in their literature where they call them "default charges".


Apart from the bank statements I do not have any other information. I did ask in my pre- action letter for " a breakdown and proof of all costs involved in any breach of contract to which these charges relate to yourselves and that these charges reflect your true costs in relation to the said charges and are proportionate to the charges levied on my account."

I also asked in that letter for " a detailed report of which clause in your terms and conditions each charge has been applied against".

Natwest are effectively asking me in the Defence for the very information which I asked them for. Part 18 requests I understand only apply to Fast Track cases. I want to avoid that at all costs because of the costs involved.

I can Reply to say that I have asked for the information which they are now requesting. Is there a spreadsheet that Natwest have which will show the information requested?

I would be grateful for any insights.

I wanted to know if anyone has received such a Defence and what their response was.

The battle rages on....

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Bump for the evening guys and gals to advise but on early reading can you clarify if you have added interest on one of the claims that was settled to the other claim?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies for not repl;ying earlier..Easter etc. I think you are asking me whether both claims include statutory interest. The answer is yes. However in relation to the settled claim Natwest declined to pay me the statutory interest. I claimed £4317.63 and they offered £3232 which I have accepted. It means I will carry the £120 issue fee. Interestingly they have not made an offer on the second claim which is for £3998.19 including statutory interest. Waritay

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