Packaged bank accounts are those accounts which incur a monthly fee, giving extra benefits to customers such as insurance services and cashback on purchases.
It may be that you have been mis-sold a packaged bank account, in which case you could be entitled to claim back fees paid, plus interest.
1: What does ‘mis-selling’ actually mean?
A bank has a duty to give clear, coherent and unambiguous information about packaged bank accounts so that you can make an informed decision about which account is right for you, and whether the account meets your needs. Mis-selling is when a bank fails to do this.
Just because you decide that a bank account does not meet your needs, or you change your mind about it, does not automatically mean that mis-selling has taken place. If the bank has acted fairly and with your interests in mind, it may be that mis-selling has not occurred.
However, there are a number of different circumstances in which you may have been mis-sold a packaged bank account.
For example, you may have been told that the account would improve your credit score, or that in order to access a loan or mortgage, it was necessary to sign up for the account. You may have been signed up to the account without being told, or when you were ineligible for one of the account’s benefits, such as being too old to use the travel insurance.
All of these, and others, are examples of packaged bank account mis-selling.
2: What should I do if I think I have been mis-sold a packaged bank account?
The first thing to do, as you would with PPI claims, if you think you have been mis-sold a packaged bank account is to contact your bank, and give them an opportunity to put things right.
You will need to explain to the bank how you want them to put things right, such as by refunding your fees or changing your account back to a standard account. If they agree to do so, this will usually be the best resolution. Initially, you can try to resolve the matter by speaking to your bank over the phone or in branch.
However, it is also worth following up any such contact with written correspondence, such as a letter or email; it is always important to have things in writing.
If the bank does not resolve your complaint, you may be entitled to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), who can decide if the bank has acted properly. Complaining to the Ombudsman is free, and most people can do it themselves.
3: What are my other options?
If you follow the above steps, it would be very unusual for the matter not to be resolved in full. However, you may feel compelled to take further action, or need legal advice.