Complaints about "packaged bank accounts" - that charge a monthly fee for “added benefits” such as travel insurance and breakdown cover – have more than doubled in the past year.
Between March 2015 and 2016 the Financial Ombudsman Service looked at over 44,000 new cases. This was more than double the number in the previous year and equated to over 850 complaints a week.
The ombudsman said the majority of problems came from sales where customers felt they were mis-sold the accounts or were signed up without their knowledge or consent.
If someone does have an issue with their packaged account, we’d always encourage consumers to speak to their bank directly to discuss the problem rather than using a third party – and to call us if they’re not sure how to get startedSpokesman, Financial Ombudsman
In some cases, the customers were not made aware of alternative free accounts.
Other cases referred to problems trying to close the incomes or customers who found that they could not use the benefits.
For example, some customers found they were over the age limit for travel insurance.
It is not necessary for banks to make sure the customer will use the extras: but they do need to check if they are eligible.
Complaints and the FCA rule changes: