I’ve been asked by a few people about reclaiming bank charges and how to go about it, so I decided to write up a blog as many people believe that this is no longer possible. It is still possible to claw back bank charges and then some as I have done many times…not just my bank either, also my credit card company. I find the whole charges process to be a bit of a racket given that unauthorised overdrafts cost the bank nothing really.
Before doing this you need to ask yourself if you are willing to just get back a proportion of your charges or if you want that whole lot plus interest…that’s right interest…after all they will charge you interest on money owed so why not turn the tables on them?. If you want the whole amount plus interest then you have to be prepared to take it all the way! That means filing a case with the small claims court, this process is easy and can be done online…there is a charge to do it but you will get that back on top of your charges…to get the banks to properly pay up in full you will almost definitely have to file the case, I will tell you what to write when filing a claim too and you will be surprised how easy it is to do this, you won’t have to actually attend the small claims court. However you can get about half the amount back by just sending the letters I have, as always they can be downloaded from here.
This will cost you £10 plus the price of sending 3 letters…sadly there’s no way of getting around spending the tenner but it’s worth it when you know this process will get you 6 years worth of bank charges refunded plus interest…it can add up to a pretty tidy amount.
THIS PROCESS CAN ALSO BE USED TO RECLAIM CREDIT CARD AND STORE CARD CHARGES, THE STEPS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME.
THIS GUIDE IS AIMED AT RECLAIMING UNAUTHORISED OVERDRAFT FEES AND RETURNED DIRECT DEBIT FEES.
RUNNING FEES FOR A PAID BANK ACCOUNT CANNOT BE RECLAIMED AS YOU AGREED TO THEM WHEN OPENING THE ACCOUNT.
So here is the process I have followed time and time again to get my charges back. Firstly you need to know exactly how much the bank have taken from you over 6 years; you can get the them to tell you because they have to by law…this is where you need to spend the £10. Download the letter from the link below, fill in your details and send it to your bank with the £10 payment…under the data protection act they are required by law to hold all your statements on record for 6 years and you have the legal right to request them although you have to pay “reasonable costs” to the bank…which is £10.
Getting the statements back can take up to 28 days so now just be patient.
When the statements arrive firstly make a note of the date the first ever charge was taken…now the boring bit…go through all the statements and add the charges all up. Totalling up the charges does take ages (or it did for me at least) but think of the money ;-)
Go onto Google and seek out a simple compound interest calculator…if you want to charge them interest that is, enter the total amount of charges and the date of the first ever charge…then bingo! You now have the amount you want to chase them for. If you don’t want to mess around with this then just skip that step as many others do.
Send the second letter that can be downloaded from the link below, fill your details in the blank sections and post it off. You will almost always get some form of reply that is a refusal…chuck it away.
Now download and fill in the 3rd letter from the link below, this letter reminds them that you have a case against them and that you will take it further if they don’t pay up.
Banks operate slightly differently so in some cases you will have received an offer for roughly half of the charges. Here is where you have to make a choice…take the money or take it to the next step? The banks almost always won’t pay the full amount until they receive the paperwork for a small claims court case…but when they do get those they will cave in almost immediately. I have sent 4 of these now and it always happens the same way. You can do it online but it’s going to cost a small fee (which you will also get back on top of all the charges and interest) here is the link
Below is a link to download a document telling you what to put in the claim form
As soon as the paperwork hits the bank they will immediately back down paying the money owed plus the cost of filing the case with the small claims court.
A lot of people are very wary of taking this last step but there really is nothing to worry about, it’s only a civil matter between you and the bank.
It’s very worth taking the time just to get the money
And after all it is your money