admin // Bank Complaints


January 27  

What is a Bank Complaint?


A bank complaint can by any issue, concern or dissatisfaction that a customer raises with their bank/building society/lending institution. 

Most banks will have online bank complaints forms that can be used to fill in and express the complaint to the bank in the appropriate way.

What does a Bank Complaint cover?

Bank complaints can be made by customers on any number of matters. 

They can range from a dissatisfaction with a service, i.e. money running out of a cashpoint machine or the amount of time spent queuing to use services, to the more severe type of complaints of fraud, misrepresentation and mis-sales of financial products.

Below are examples of financial mis-sale complaints that can be, and are often made by dissatisfied customers. 

Mis-Sold Packaged Bank Account (PBA)

A Packaged Bank Account (PBA) is a bank account that you pay a monthly sum of money into, which has additional benefits attached to it for the additional cost. This can include travel insurance, car breakdown & recovery service, mobile phone insurance, gadget repair insurances. 

PBA’s can be mis-sold if you do not need the additional benefits that they offer. For example, if you already have that cover in place elsewhere, then you would not need to pay into a bank account each month to have the same cover. 

If the adviser does not offer or inform you that you are entitled to take a free standard bank account with them, or you are given the impression that you cannot take a free bank account with them, then this can also be a mis-sale. 

Mis-Sold Investments

Mis-sold investments can cover ISA’s, stocks and shares, bonds and gilts.

If you bought an investment from your bank or financial adviser but it was based upon poor financial advice to you then you could have a claim for a mis-sold investment. 

Many investments are mis-sold because the advisers did not fully and properly explain the risks to their customers about these investments. Either they did not ascertain what the customer’s attitude and level of risk was, or they falsely claimed and promised that the investment would do much better than it actually did, without warning of the risks that it could perform poorly.

Mis-Sold Life Insurance

Life insurance can be mis-sold to customers if it was not suitable for the customer’s personal situation and needs. 

An adviser of life insurance would need to ensure that they give accurate and correct advice about the policy, check the customer’s circumstances to make sure that the policy was suitable for them and check that there was not a simpler, less expensive option of life insurance available for that customer. If this was not done, then it is likely that the life insurance was mis-sold.

Refused Home or Life Insurance Claims

It is becoming increasingly common for a home or life insurance claims to be rejected by insurance companies. 

It is possible to go back to the insurance company and argue that you took all reasonable care in completing the forms and providing the information you have requested. However, some insurance companies will argue that if there is information about you that was not asked of you by the insurance company, that they feel you should have made them aware of and you didn’t, that would invalidate a claim. 

However, if they did not ask you a particular question, they cannot then reject a claim if you did take reasonable care and answered all questions they had asked of you honestly and as fully as possible. 

Mis-sold Mortgage

A mortgage can be mis-sold if: –

  • It wasn’t suitable for you;
  • You were not advised of the different types of mortgages available;
  • You were not fully informed about the interest rates or, if you took an interest-only mortgage, the adviser did not establish with you how you would repay it once the interest was repaid at the end of the mortgage term;
  • Your adviser did not fully assess your mortgage borrowing capacity and ability to repay;
  • You were not advised of the risks or exclusions to your mortgage product.

Overcharged BrightHouse Account

There have been many bank complaints made regarding Bright House finance and the overcharging of these accounts.

These accounts have left many people struggling to repay their balances due to unfair costs being added and unfair overcharging on these accounts.

If you have had a Bright House finance account and you believe you have been unfairly charged or lending was made to you incorrectly, then you can write to Bright House asking them to review those costs. 

If you require our assistance with this, we would be very happy to assist you on our no win, no fee basis. In the event we are successful in claiming a refund to you, we will charge 20% plus VAT of any sums recovered on your behalf.

Incorrect Business Lending

Incorrect business lending, such as loans, mortgages and investments is becoming an ever increasing problem for the financial and banking industry.

Many business lending is mis-sold where the bank adviser did not provide clear and concise information, including clearly setting out the potential risks regarding the business lending.

In some circumstances, the banks/building societies have made Directors of a business personally guarantee certain amounts of lending in the event the business is unable to repay the monies borrowed, meaning the Director will bear responsibility for repaying the debt themselves.

In this circumstance, if the adviser of the lending told you that you had to do this and did not advise you of your other options, then the business lending could have been mis-sold to you. If you were not properly advised how the personal guarantee affects you, including the risks to you if the guarantee is enforced, then again, this could have been a mis-sale. 

Traditional Bank Complaints

As with any type of service, the customer may not always feel that things are going well and may feel aggrieved with a bank due to what you perceive to be poor service.

When dealing with a bank or building society, you can expect that they will deal with your matter with due care and skill and act responsibly on your behalf. 

If you do not feel that your bank or building society has done this, then you have a right to make a complaint to the bank. The bank will have a period of up to eight weeks to respond to your complaint and try to resolve this with you.

If the bank does not respond within that time or responds in a way that you are still unhappy with, then you do have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service to review further. 

The decision of the Financial Ombudsman is final and binds you and the bank to whatever their final decision/outcome is.

How do you deal with a bank Complaint?

In the first instance, you should let the bank know about your complaint. You should be clear and concise when setting out your concerns and, if you have it, provide supporting paperwork to back up your complaint (although this is not always necessary).

The bank has a period of up to eight weeks to respond to your bank complaint in full, although this can sometimes take slightly longer. If the bank agrees with your complaint, they will seek to redress this, usually through some form of financial compensation or rectifying the situation for you, depending on what the bank complaint is that you have. 

If the bank does not agree with your complaint, or does not respond to you within the required timescale, you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman to adjudicate on the matter for you. The Financial Ombudsman will then ask for more information and make its final decision. 

Once the Financial Ombudsman has made their decision, neither you, nor the bank, can challenge that decision. The Financial Ombudsman’s decision is final and will bind both you and the bank with whatever the outcome is of their investigations.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to deal with these matters yourselves, you can instruct a bank complaints specialist such as ourselves to chase the bank and seek a resolution to your complaint on your behalf. 

How can we help?

If you do not wish to make the complaint yourself, we would be delighted to contact the bank/building society/lending institution on your behalf and ask your complaint to be reviewed and compensation given to you in the event a mis-sale has been found to have taken place. 

If your bank/lender does not agree to refund you, we can take your complaint further on your behalf through the Financial Ombudsman. 

We can do all of this for you on our no win, no fee scheme. We will only charge you 20% plus VAT in the event compensation is paid to you by the banks. 

If no compensation is recovered for you, then you will not be charged for any work we have done for you.

Are there many bank Complaints?

It is surprising just how many banking complaints are made against banks in general. 

Statistics from the Financial Conduct Authority show that for the second half of 2018, banking complaints received were over 3.9 million. 

Was PPI the only type of Bank Complaint?

PPI was probably the most well-known bank complaint of late, until the date to claim for this type of mis-sale ended in August 2019.

However, prior to PPI, there was the endowment mortgage mis-sale complaints. 

There is bound to be many other types of bank complaints coming to light as banks/lending institutions are well known for mis-sales. The majority of those types of bank complaints are listed above, but that list is not exhaustive. There is likely to be more.

The most common types of bank complaints that customers complain about to us are the mis-sale of packaged bank accounts and investments. These are areas of concern that are becoming increasingly popular with customers seeking compensation for mis-sales of those products. 


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