Between March 2015 and 2016, more than 44,000 complaints were made to the Financial Ombudsman about Packaged Bank Accounts. We also submitted over 30,000 claims from people who believed they’d been mis-sold a Packaged Bank Account in just six months—that’s a lot of people!
But, given that millions of British people have a Packaged Bank Account, it’s likely that more claims are going to be made from people who feel they’ve been mis-sold an account with benefits they don’t need, can’t use or weren’t aware they had.
Mis-selling can happen in a number of ways. Whether that’s a sales advisor failing to ask whether you have medical conditions that would make your insurance void or if you weren’t told how to register for the benefits included in your account, you could have a claim. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key aspects.
How you were sold your Packaged Bank Account
If you were sold the Packaged Bank Account in a meeting or over the phone, you’re more likely to have been mis-sold to. This is because it has been offered to you, rather than actively sought out, which you would have done if you applied for a Packaged Bank account on the internet or by post.
If you actively applied for a Packaged Bank Account, you would make sure that you had the right information and that the product was suitable to your needs. However, in a meeting or over the phone you might not have the finer details at hand, making you more likely to commit to something without fully understanding its benefits.
To determine if you’ve been mis-sold to over the phone or in a meeting, we can either request the recording of the call from the bank, or ask to see all the documentation that was supplied in the meeting. Just because you were sold something over the phone doesn’t mean you have been mis-sold to, it just increases the chances of your case being a success.
Were the right questions asked when the bank signed you up to the Packaged Bank Account?
It’s rude to ask someone’s age, we’ve been brought up that way, but one of the main insurance policies included in a Packaged Bank Account is travel insurance. As it’s designed to save you money, often this insurance is with companies that have a slightly lower maximum age, meaning that you could find yourself ineligible to claim from the age of 70.
Before signing you up to a Packaged Bank Account you should have been asked how old you were and told if you were close to the limit as it could be an issue in the near future. Similarly, insurance often doesn’t apply if you have a pre-existing medical condition, so this should have been one of the questions asked when you were sold your Packaged Bank Account.
Even if you were eligible to claim on the insurance, if you weren’t told that you needed to register for each individual policy and how to do this, then you could have grounds for being mis-sold a Packaged Bank Account.
Did they know enough about you before the bank signed you up to a Packaged Bank Account?
A Packaged Bank Account includes travel insurance, mobile phone insurance, breakdown cover and other benefits. To make sure that the bank account would actually benefit you, the person recommending the Packaged Bank Account needed to make sure that all the benefits were right for your circumstances.
Travel insurance is only useful if you go on holiday a few times a year, if you rarely travel then it seems a waste of money paying for unused insurance. The biggest issue that arises is when someone has already got travel insurance, but also pays for it with the monthly fee on their Packaged Bank Account.
This can be the case with car breakdown cover, where a lot of people already have an annual membership with another firm and pay for it twice with their Packaged Bank Account. Similarly, the bank should ask whether you actually have a car to make sure that this benefit is relevant for your circumstances.
You can be mis-sold to in a number of ways, but equally just because you meet one or more of these criteria, doesn’t mean you’ve definitely been wronged by the bank. To know for definite, you should investigate and see if you are owed compensation for sure.