With my background in personal injury law, and now working in banking, I always find it quite interesting to see which particular finance and law niches are next on the radar for compensation. Everyone knows about the “ambulance chasers” that work in personal injury encouraging people to claim compensation, and then more recently there were the payment protection insurance avalanche or claims (also known as PPI). So what’s going to be next? Well, I reckon we should be looking towards the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts by the high street banks (which I kind of like because it takes the focus off investment bankers for a change!)
What This Means for the Banks
So what does this mean for the banking industry? Well in simple terms, it’s now becoming apparent that sales managers at banks actively encouraged their staff to sell add-ons for bank accounts that either were not needed or were worthless. The practice has now become known as mis-sold packaged bank accounts, with thousands of people potentially eligible to make packaged bank account claims for money owing to them.
How Does it Work?
In terms of how it works, a glut of claims management companies have now popped offering to take a reclaim job on for members of the public and to fight for compensation for them. With things such as mis-sold packaged bank accounts I think that this is actually a good shout, because the process of dealing with banks and bankers in particular can be very frustrating. Trust me, I am one, so I know how hard it can be to get any money back – blood from a stone springs to mind – here’s an example of a website for mis-sold packaged bank accounts and reclaims.
Packaged Accounts Companies for Reclaims
I am also seeing loads of adverts now appearing on Facebook from companies trying to look like a bank to encourage a click into the whole packaged bank account claims process. This is a bit cheeky to be honest, and I personally would not go with a company that does this. What they do is place a sponsored advert into your Facebook feeds that looks like it’s from Lloyds or Barclays bank for example. It says something like “click here to reclaim money from your packaged bank account”. What you are then prompted to do is enter in your personal details – but from that point onwards you will in their database and will probably be inundated with emails, phones, text messages all from them and their partners to see if they can reclaims packaged bank account charges for you.
My preferred and recommended approach is that you find a reputable claims management company or alternatively try to do it yourself; but only if you have the patience and time.
How Did It Get Into the News?
So how did this become such a hot topic over the last few months in the United Kingdom? Well I can track it back to a televised report on a popular consumer program on the BBC. There was also coverage in newspapers such as the Guardian and Daily Mail which meant the public’s exposure to the idea of being able to make packaged account claims suddenly grew more than ten-fold. I can’t imagine that the banks were very happy about this and probably spat their morning coffee out when they saw the fall-out on social media, television, and the in news – that same website also has a calculator so people can see how much they are owed – view the Kangaroodle Calculator.
With PPI in particular, high street banks had to set up entire new departments just to process claims… and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them have to do this now just to handle the influx of people reclaiming money for packaged bank accounts.
To conclude, if you think that you might have been mis-sold on your account terms, they crack on and see if you can get any money back. It could be worth thousands to you.