This blog post is an addition to the previous one that I posted about packaged bank accounts being the next hot topic and includes some more up to date information and thoughts on the subject.
Over the last decade there have been two industries that have consistently been the ones which claims management companies and solicitors have focussed a lot of effort into; PPI (payment protection insurance) and personal injury. The PPI sector has been interesting because it has seen a huge marketing push from claims management companies where they have encouraged UK consumers to make repayment compensation claims on financial packages which were apparently miss-old to them by high street banks. In fact, a thriving cottage industry has popped up around these kind of compensation claims with millions of people in the UK managing to get money bank from their bank.
Could Be a New Industry of Claims Coming
Now I think that there’s a new industry set to break here, and that’s the potential mis-selling of packaged bank accounts. The reason I say this is because I have recently seen targeted Facebook adverts appear offering people help with making claims, as well as new websites popping up to capitalise on what is currently a topic a little bit under the radar.
Whilst the banks are hoping that this won’t happen, with websites such as The Money Saving Expert highlighting the issue, it won’t be long I think before we see a deluge of TV ads, SMS messages, and other adverts pushed at the general public, encouraging them to make a reclaim. But what exactly has happened, and what does this mean?
Martin Lewis of the Money Saving Expert Website Has Had His Say
According to Martin Lewis of The Money Saving Expert website, he says that if a person was (or is) paying their bank a monthly fee on their bank account, then it might just be possible for them to reclaim packaged bank account fees up into potentially the thousands of pounds bracket. He says this, and backs it up with examples, because there are signs that bank were mis-selling packaged accounts with ridiculous and worthless add-ons that their customers didn’t actually need. This included items such as travel and car insurance, which in the event of you needing it, would be impossible to actually make a claim on.
Have You Been a Victim of Packaged Accounts?
Here’s an abridged version of Martin’s checklist for consumers to check against to see if they have been the victim of mis-sold packaged bank accounts. Have a read through it and see if you think you have been affected, because if you have then you might be liable to make reclaims on your packaged accounts via a broker such as Kangaroodle (specialist in mis-sold packaged bank accounts). If you answer yes to any of these statements below then you could be in line for some money back.
- You were told that you had to have a packaged bank account in order to qualify for a mortgage acceptance offer.
- You were told that you were too old for standard insurance packages.
- You were mis-led into signing up for the packaged bank account and were told that you had to have it by the bank employee.
- Your bank put the prices up on your packaged bank account without informing you.
- You tried to end the contractual agreement on the account but were unable to.
- Your bank did not tell you that you had to register your car or phone with them in order to use the packaged account insurance.
- You were told that you would see an improvement in your credit score if you signed-up for a packaged bank account.
As you can see there are quite a wide range of qualifiers in there so potentially this could be a massive hit to the banking industry just like the PPI mis-selling scandal was – you can read more about the consequences of that here – it actually affected the UK economy.
More Media Coverage
There was even a recent episode of Watchdog on the BBC TV Channel where the host introduced a new item on the mis-selling of packaged bank accounts followed by a full seven minute report on what they described as a “scandal” – thankfully some bright spark recorded and uploaded the full TV segment from this onto the BBC video channel so you can view that below.
My Conclusion on Packaged Bank Account Reclaims
So in my view I think that there’s a big issue on the horizon for UK banks. All of them have been in the industry of flogging packaged bank accounts and there’s no doubt that most of them probably used the same techniques for sales and sign-ups that have been detailed in the Money Saving Expert checklist that I referenced.
If you have been mis-sold a packaged bank account, or even think you might have, I would get in there early and speak to a claims management company before they get over-whelmed with potentially hundreds of thousands of claimant. My experience tells me that the early birds will typically set the precedent and usually get higher pay outs too at the beginning of any trends like this.