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Mis-sold Packaged Bank Accounts: The New PPI?

By now, we’re all more than aware of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). There have been advertising campaigns on television and the papers hoping to alert the public of the underhand tactics employed by banks that left thousands of people out of pocket, and by and large we have seen a returning of these mis-sold sums to account holders – whether for £50 or for £5000.

While many of us remained hopeful that the PPI scandal would be the last of these instances we’d encounter as members of the public for a long time, it has – perhaps predictably – not proved to be the case. Unfortunately, it seems that it is very much ‘out with the old, in with the new’ when it comes to banking crises, and the latest one is in similar vein to the last.

Mis-sold packaged bank accounts are now the scourge of the British public, and there are many industry insiders that think this may be a scandal that eclipses the last. If you currently pay (or have paid in the past) a monthly fee for your bank account, there are suggestions that you may be able to claim back money into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

With the amount of evidence that has been correlated in recent weeks, it appears that – much like PPI – these accounts have been mis-sold and as a result left large numbers of people with insurance that is essentially worthless. If you feel you may fall into the ever-expanding bracket of people that are beginning to claim back their hard-earned wages, it’s important you approach the process in the right way in order to ensure everything owed is returned. Here at Council Tax Advisors, our close knowledge of commercial and domestic financial regulations, we’re perfectly placed to help you do just that.

There are a number of tell-tale signs when it comes to the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts. Think back to the point of purchase and ask yourself a few questions, and your answers will tell you if you’re eligible for any reclaim.

Was I told it was a mandatory purchase?

The most common instance in these cases is that customers were told that the purchase was a compulsory one in order to receive a loan, product, benefit or mortgage from the bank. For people keen to secure these things, the threat of their application being declined on the basis of not having a policy such as this would have been too great a risk to ignore – instead, the purchase is made. Alternatively, this could have been added on without explaining that there are other, free alternatives that would have saved you the investment. This is also an instance of mis-selling.

Do the T’s & C’s state I’m too old for the account?

As with many other insurance policies, there are upper age limits that come into effect on packaged bank accounts, too. All staff who were charged with selling the policies will have been aware of this, but may have continued with the sale anyway. If you weren’t told of these age limit exclusions, it’s highly likely that you’ll be able to reclaim the money you will have paid into the scheme. This is also the case if you have an existing medical condition that may have jeopardised your eligibility. If this wasn’t checked, or even mentioned, you will have a case against the provider.

Was I pressured into purchase?

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that bank bosses have put their staff under immense pressure in order to secure sales of packaged bank accounts – something that again draws parallels with the PPI scandal. You could have had the wishes of the banks imposed on you in a passive aggressive manner, forcing you to buy the account. Think back, and if you felt these high-pressure tactics were implemented you will have an extremely strong case; in March 2013, this approach was actually made illegal by the government, meaning there is effectively a zero tolerance policy now in effect.

Was it added on without me knowing?

The easiest way to do this is simple – trawl through your old bank statements, and see if there are inconspicuous outgoings that you may have missed in the past. Amounts could range from £10 a month up to around £25, and could have been deceitfully added on by a salesperson desperate to increase their commission or through a bank error. Either way, you’ve got a case.

If any of the above apply to you, it’s more than likely that you’ve been mis-sold a packaged bank account. In order to ensure you are reimbursed properly, contact one of our experienced advisors for impartial and informative guidance to help you take the next step towards a successful reclaim.

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