Bank Charge Claimants Urged To Avoid Courts

The Financial Ombudsman is urging financially weary bank charge claimants to avoid taking their cases to court, but to instead contact them instead to reclaim their charges.

3f16742e-47e4-4d87-844c-acb360e1274cMany bank customers who have suffered financial difficulties due to unfair bank charges have since seen their cash refunded through the Financial Ombudsman Service rather than having to go through the county courts.

A waiver introduced by the Financial Services Authority has allowed banks to stall payment of reclaims until the current High Court battle between the FSA and eight High Street banks has concluded.

The only exemption to the FSA waiver are circumstances in which those suffering severe financial hardship due to hefty charges applied to their accounts for going overdrawn can still have their case heard – either through the Financial Ombudsman or via the courts.

Once a claimant has been turned down by the courts they are unable to apply to the FOS, which means that any banking customer in financial difficulty should apply direct to the FOS with their claim and bypass the courts altogether.

Since the waiver was introduced last year the banks have been very compliant in settling some 250 cases, with the FOS not having to force their hand with a formal ruling, according to Emma Parker from the FOS.

She said: ‘So far the process has been very co-operative. We have not had to make a formal ruling. We have talked to the banks and asked them to resolve the situation and they have, so it hasn’t got to that stage.’

The eight High Street banking institutions at the centre of the High Court case are currently appealing a ruling made earlier this year, which allowed the Office of Fair Trading to assess the fairness of bank charges.

The appeal cannot extend beyond the end of 2008 but, if the banks are unsuccessful, the following battle between them and the OFT could extend until the end of 2009 or beyond.

Claim On Mis-sold PPI

Only if the PPI was mis-sold. You can claim back mis-sold PPI costs plus interest. Write directly to the lender you think mis-sold you the PPI and explain your claim. If any of these apply to you, then you probably have a valid claim for a full refund for mis-sold PPI.

If you were mis-sold the insurance policy, then you are entitled to claim back all of the payments that you made for this cover. There are other circumstances, too that you could have been mis-sold PPI. When you claim back PPi or Payment Protection Insurance that may have been mis-sold to you, the lender will pay you back the money they owe in full.

We recommend that you make sure it was mis-sold before proceeding with a claim. If you do decide to investigate your own claim (see How do I reclaim mis-sold PPI for free? I have over 13 years dealing with bank complaints and can help you claim back any PPI you may have been mis-sold.

Tell the lender what product you believe PPI was mis-sold with, when it was purchased and why you think it was mis-sold. Importantly, you have no less chance of reclaiming mis-sold PPI if you do a personal claim than if you were to go through a claims management company. Once this process is complete, we will put everything in writing and will hand over the mis-sold PPI claim to your lender.

The Financial Services Authority has found that PPI insurance has been frequently mis-sold by lenders throughout the UK. If it was mis-sold to you then you can make a claim to get back the proportion of your monthly loan or credit-card payments that represented the PPI payments, plus interest. More than three million people were mis-sold PPI, and the courts have made the banks liable have to compensate people who make valid claims for mis-sold PPI. In some cases, there may be complications due to the lender’s decision to contest the claim and you may have to wait longer for the mis-sold PPI claim to be settled in your favor.

If you think you may have a valid PPI claim – see here – to read our guide to making a PPI claim. Been looking to claim back Mis-Sold Payment Protection Insurance / PPi on credit agreements you may have paid off or still have outstanding? Answer some questions about how you were mis-sold.

For more about PPI and how to make a claim if you’ve been mis-sold a policy, including a sample letter you can use, see Payment protection insurance. If you think you have been mis-sold PPI, yes. There’s no time limit for making a claim, but the claim will be simpler if your claim is within six years of the PPI being sold.

Your policy will be cancelled by the lender when you make a claim so think about whether you may need to make a future claim. To see if you have been mis-sold PPI is easy, just contact us on, making the claim will take up to 12 weeks and we always work with a ‘No Win No Fee’ policy so you won’t lose out if your claim is not successful.

How to Find a Reputable PPI Claims Company

UK financial institutions are estimated to have wrongfully sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) policies to over 3 million people in the last few years. This means many account holders were wrongfully paying 1000s of pounds every year due to the mis-selling. These individuals have recently won a landmark case against these banks which have now set aside some £9 billion to settle the expected avalanche of claims.

If you are planning to launch a PPI claim against a bank, you can do it on your own through a long, winding and time consuming DIY process. Alternatively, you can contract a PPI claims company which will accomplish this task for you for a fee so that you can avoid getting ripped off by the banks.  Before you choose a reputable PPI claims management company that can handle case with the professionalism that it deserves, there are certain factors that you will have to look out for in your search.


Ensure the Company Does Not Charge an Up-front Fee

Never pay an up-front fee to a PPI claims management company. You must give this firm an incentive to work harder and win back your claim. Remember this is a job that you could have done on your own if only you had the time to organize your paperwork and bank statements. Enter into “no win no fee” agreements where the company will get a percentage of your PPI refund only if they win your case.

Determine the amount of Fees Paid In Case the Claim is Successful

PPI Claims management companies have pocketed upwards of £1 billion in helping clients win back their refunds. Before you enter into agreement, determine the company’s charges in case they reclaim your PPI. Some companies charge up to 30% for a PPI reclaim. It is important to compare rates to determine which PPI company will offer you the best rates in the market.

Ensure the Staff of the PPI Claims Management Firm is Professional and Trustworthy

What training does the PPI firm’s employees have that qualifies them to handle your PPI claims? Ensure that the staff of the company that you are working with consists of professional financial experts with experience in the industry. You can always ask for references or do your own research as to the company’s background.

Make Sure the Company Is Regulated by MOJ

You need to ascertain that your potential PPI claims management company is under the regulation of the Ministry of the Justice. Every major financial player in the industry is under the MOJ’s regulation so if your PPI  claims company is not, then you are definitely not dealing with a  reputable financial company with whom you can entrust with your personal and financial data.