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Benefits - A & L refusing to give back


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Dear All

I am well along the path of claiming back my bank charges, have been offered a measly settlement, refused and reported my complaint to the FOS.

I have since had a direct debit refused, which has escalated into my account being £200 overdrawn.

Each Thursday I have WFTC paid into my account and every four weeks I have my child benefit paid in. Last week, I faxed the bank and sent recorded delivery two right of appropriation letters stating the law that stops banks from being able to take benefit money. Told them that I would be drawing the money on Thursday and Monday respectfully and surprise surprise the money is not available to withdraw. I have phoned the bank and after being put on hold for a total of 45 minutes throughout the duration of the conversation, was told by someone in the legal department that the only way I could get this money today £170 for the two benefits they have unlawfully denied me access to, is to close my account!!! I have told them that under no circumstances whatsoever are they to close my account and if they do not arrange for me to have the funds today, then I will go back over my account and claim back all benefits that their unlawful charges have interfered with, and report them to FOS, BBC and National Newspapers as well as my MP. I was informed that I would have to wait for a call back from the girls manager who was just going into a meeting. This was over an hour ago - as of yet no call back. I have called the FOS, who incidentally have informed me that my claim for charges is just about to be looked at by an adjudicator, and informed them of the new developments. Although they are not allowed to give legal advice, they did state that they believe it to be true that to take the benefits is against the law. Will keep you posted. Will also update my bank charges thread with more info obtained from FOS regarding duration of bank charges claims etc.

I cannot believe that the banks continually break the law and nothing is done about it. Seriously considering going to a solicitor now for damages claim.

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An update. Have just had a call from the bank - 3 hours after I phoned them!!! The woman I spoke to was a manager from the legal department - very rude lady. Would not let me complete a sentence without interupting me. Told me that if they let me have the monies then my account would be overdrawn and they would like to know how i was going to pay this money back. I stated that this was not what I had called for. I had called to make arrangements to make my WFTC and Child benefit funds available to me. She said that if I refused to tell her how I was going to pay this money back then she would close my account right now. I warned her that this was not ok and that if she did this I would create merry hell. She said I had refused to make an arrangement to pay monies back - this was of course not true. At this point I told her I was taping the conversation and that I would go to the BBC, solicitor and FOS if she did not tell me how this money was going to be made available to me today. She said she would not discuss this until I had made an arrangement to pay the monies owed. I again reminded her that I was taping the conversation and that if they refused me access to the monies then it was breaking the law under Social Security ACt 1992 and Tax Credit act 2006. She did get really shirty, but in the end I got what I wanted. A warning to anyone - it would appear that once you begin to claim back what is rightfully yours, the banks will use any excuse to close your account. The rudeness of the staff is amazing - I made it clear to this woman that I was appalled by her tone, attitude and negativity towards the situation. You would think it was her money that she had to give me. I have to go to the bank after work and collect monies. Apparently she was going to make all necessary arrangements. Lets see.

It will hit the fan if I get there and its not sorted, but to be honest, with the treatment I received on that phonecall, nothing would surprise me anymore.

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Alliance and leicester fined by FOS for retaliatory account closure



they are naughty arent they - you think they wuld have learnt thier lesson.The above may be of interest. You seem to have the matter in hand - but make sure you follow up everything with an official complaint in writing.good luck with your claim:)



Is the bank taking your Benefits ?

Affect of charges refunds on benefit claims.

Please note I am not an expert - I am not offering opinions or legal help - Please use all the information provided on the site in FAQ- step by step instructions and library- thanks Jansus:)


offer from A&L 24/8/07 - after case stayed


"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." - Antione de Saint Exupery




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Hi Jan

Thanks for your comments. You are quite right. I will draft a letter of complaint to the banks director shortly. Think I might actually give them the option of settling now, informing them that if they decline to settle I will report the threat to close my account if I insisted on being allowed to collect MY MONEY!!!!! The new complaint would cost the bank a further £350!!!!!

Incidentally, when I went to collect my money yesterday, the phonecall hadnt been made and that had to phone up her while I waited!!!

I cannot believe how difficult the banks are being and how they continually refuse to abide by the law. I did read somewhere yesterday that as the FOS got involved in this last year, they should no longer be charging how they are anyway and therefore they are in the wrong for this. Am thinking about writing to the FOS with a schedule of charges made since I submitted my original claim - under seperate cover of course - as a seperate issue, questioning if they should still be doing this even when the FOS have deemed the charges unfair and I have already submitted a complaint for charges prior to these. The bank would have to pay another £350!!!! Worth it for that alone.

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Hi , i would certainly start to pay something back for your overdraft as if you dont you may end up getting it put onto your credit report , may just cause you more probs in the future.

Good luck

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im really angry at the way they talk to customers i really cant put down the words here what i think about banks, have you tried getting another seperate bank account so you only have your tax credit paid into that account only, the post office do a basic account im told which is supposed to be quite good, i think all the time you owe money to the bank and they can see that money is paid into your account they will take it regardless of however you may try to stop them, try to come up with some arrangement to pay back some of what you owe, are they hammering you with OD charges? because if you dont get into some arrangement they will hit you for everything they can. i had a similar problem of not being able to cover the OD charges and it worked out about £200 a month i was getting done for as well as failed DDs Ect.

which really adds up over a few months


good luck

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  • 1 year later...



I wrote to A&L about four weeks ago regarding claiming back my bank charges as I am on benefits. A&L have so far not responded. However seeing how they have disgracefully treated other people in this thread I am seriously thinking of getting a basic bank account before proceeding further. One reason for me taking this route is my chronic heallth - in a word its dire! I tire easily due to my pain and also the meds I take. I would appreciate any input from some wonderful and kind souls in this very supportive forum.One final question - is there a decent basic bank that anyone would recommend?!?!


Thanks in advance.



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Natwest seems to be popular, although the Co-op seems to be the most ethical bank, if that's not a contradiction in terms

All advice offered here is my opinion only based on what I would do in a given situation. If you wish to act on it you do so at your own discretion


I have no legal expertise or qualification, and give advice on the basis of my own experience and nothing else.

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bit off topic for your bank charges claim but I was very annoyed to get a text from a company I had never heard of, aegis, I ignored it because I did not know who they were, had a letter waiting for me from the same company and it turns out they are a debt collection agency based in Mumbia working for A and L. I had inadvertantly missed a payment on my credit card and they had passed my details onto this company straight away. I always make pyments on time these days, I told the woman my sister had just died and I had had other things on my mind. I am going to claim the charges back and also write to their cheif excutive to complain, I cannot believe they did not have the courtesy to ring me to find out why I had not paid them

Edited by hilaryfrances
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