The number of complaints made to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) about Packaged Bank Accounts (PBAs) has increased 278% in the past year, illustrating a rising issue in the sector. From March 2014 to March 2015, 21,348 complaints were made about PBAs and many more customers are beginning to question whether they were mis-sold the accounts in the first place. The founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis, stated that PBAs are the, “marmite of banking.” :
“Packaged bank accounts leave a bad taste in the mouth and are rightfully being attacked by the regulator. Many people should cancel immediately.”
PBAs combine current accounts with add-ons such as mobile phone insurance, breakdown cover, travel insurance and card protection. But these extras come at a cost and, at prices from £5 to £25 per month, really do add up over a long period of time. Mr Lewis continued to say that for the majority of people, the “perks” simply were not worth the extra investment. :
“If you don’t have a smartphone, don’t drive a car or don’t go abroad, then with many policies at least one element is irrelevant.”
Usually, the complaints fall into one of three different categories. Firstly, customers who never wanted the accounts discover they had been signed up by their bank without their knowledge. Secondly, the customers that had agreed to their accounts asked for them to be cancelled, to later find that the bank had continued to charge a monthly fee, and finally those that were sold an insurance for which they were not eligible.
The FOS hired an extra 200 case handlers this year in order to deal with not only the ongoing PPI scandal, but also with the rising number of PBA complaints. If you feel that you may have been mis-sold a PBA then get in touch with one of our team and find out for sure whether you could be owed compensation.
The Telegraph “Packaged bank accounts: could you get a £1,500 refund?” 28.05.15
The Telegraph “Martin Lewis: Packaged bank accounts are the Marmite of banking” 22.08.13
Financial Times 19.05.15 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/753e8618-fd83-11e4-9e96-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3g3ppOk9l
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