What is a Packaged Bank Account?
A packaged bank account is simply a special kind of current account sold by banks throughout the UK which offers a ‘package’ of extras. The benefits were sold as an added extra to the standard current account and cost anywhere between £3 and £25 a month.
When sold properly they bring extra benefits to the customer like roadside breakdown cover, mobile phone, holiday insurance and others.
They often offered substantial discounts on a range of different stand-alone policies and services, but that was not always the case.
How were they mis-sold?
Like the better known payment protection insurance (PPI), accounts were often mis-sold because the products sold were not suitable for the consumer and/or the deal was not properly explained to them.
Some examples of mis-selling may include:
- Consumers not wanting or realising they actually had a packaged account after the bank upgraded their account without telling them
- Consumers not fully understanding how much the account was costing them per month
- Additional extras not being applicable or useful to the consumer
How much can I get back?
The potential amount recovered will depend on how much the consumer has paid each month and how long they have owned the account, but the average payout for a claim is around £1,300±‡.
How can I make a PBA claim?
If you have a packaged bank account you should closely examine the terms of the deal to see if you are happy with what you signed up to.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK’s financial regulator and they recommend consumers ask themselves the following questions:
- Will you get use out of each of the benefits included, or do you already have them elsewhere?
- Are you actually able to claim on any insurances included in the package? Check with the bank or building society!
- Compare the cost of the package against what it would cost you to buy each item you expect to use separately.
- Check whether or not you need to activate benefits or register your details before you are covered.
- Have your circumstances changed so you may no longer be able to claim on an insurance policy included in the package?
If the answer to any of those is ‘no’ then it is possible that you have been mis-sold and have the right to claim back.