Packaged Bank Accounts

Packaged bank accounts can be good! Better value on a bundled set of services like gadget insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover. They can be bad! If they are not appropriate for your needs in any way like breakdown cover when you do not own a car. They can be ugly like if they are mis sold to you and you would never use them. If you have been mis sold you could be owed over £1,000 from your bank. Lets look in a bit more detail! 

To establish whether a packaged bank account is right for you firstly you need to understand you and your family’s specific requirements. So if you are a family of 4 the chances are (age dependent) you will have lots of gadgets. If you also as a family spend lots of time on the road and take 2 holidays a year you will need protection for you and your family for eventualities like accidents, thefts and losses. 

A packaged bank account can offer you this protection through a bundle of benefits and insurance policies for 1 monthly fee. As this cover is wrapped up in one policy it is often significantly cheaper than buying policies separately.  By having your protection all in one place you may also find it easier to ensure you have the right level of cover and find it easier to claim as you just call the bank. In this case the product is right for you and offers good value for money – hurray! 

Some people however do not know that they are paying for a packaged bank account. They may even feel they were pressured into ‘adding’ the benefit without understanding it. In these cases they are almost certainly not using any of the benefits and are likely to be paying for insurance elsewhere. An example could be that you have your mobile phone insured through your network provider but are also paying to insure it via your bank.  You do not need to insure it twice! 

Step 1. 
Do you have a packaged bank account? This is easy to find out just check your bank statement and see if there a monthly fee charged by your bank between £5 - £20. Alternatively call your bank and ask them ‘Do I have packaged bank account or am I paying for my account and any benefits?’  

Step 2. 
If the answer is ‘no’ the journey ends for you. You may want to consider if you want a packaged account for the benefits outlined above. If it is worth researching the different options on a comparison website like Go Compare to make sure you get the best deal. I

f the answer is ‘yes’ look through your bank statements and work out the monthly cost and for how long you have been paying for it. You may find it easier to call your bank who will help you get this information. If you have not used any of the features of the account. You have no knowledge of agreeing to the purchase the products. You felt you were pressured into buying the product you could be compensated.  

Step 3.
You have found out you do have a packaged bank account. You have found out how much it has cost you. It is time to talk to your bank. You do not need a legal firm or claim management company to do this for you. It is easy and straight forward and you can get the full amount paid for the product returned to your account. If you speak to your bank and are not happy with their response it is best to speak to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the Citizens advice Bureau who can help you. You can of course also speak to a legal firm or a Claims Management Company to help you but be sure to understand the terms and conditions and their charges. 

Remember there is always lots of free advice out there to help you. Spending some time researching the topic and speaking to companies like the Citizens advice bureau, the financial service ombudsman or the Finance Conduct Authority will also be a big help. If you feel you do want to speak to Claims Management Company you may want to consider; 

Claim Your Hidden Commission 
Slate & Gordon 

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