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Package accounts see complaints shoot up


New figures from the financial ombudsman have revealed that the number of complaints about “package” bank accounts has increased dramatically.

In 2015 so far, banks have received 25,000 complaints about the accounts. This is more than the whole of 2014 combined. The Ombudsman is currently receiving an average of about 1,000 complaints about packaged accounts every week.

Package accounts are current accounts that come with additional benefits such as insurance or cheaper overdrafts, for a monthly fee of between £5 and £25. Most banks and building societies offer these accounts, which are often called “gold” or “premium” accounts.

Many customers believe they have been sold these accounts unwittingly and never wanted the accounts in the first place. Others found once they had the accounts, the benefits did not apply to them and could no be claimed. People also complained when they asked for the accounts to be cancelled but the bank failed to do so.

Barclays bank has already put aside £250 million to compensate customers who were mis-sold the accounts.

The Financial Ombudsman has claimed that it is only upholding about 10% of cases that have come through so far. They also advise that if you feel like you have been mis-sold an account, you should make a complaint to your bank, and then to the ombudsman yourself, rather than go through a claims management company.

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