Abbey National Bank Charges

I’m not a customer of the Abbey National Bank. I’ve heard so many bad things about the company that it would just never cross my mind to trust my money with them. In the list of things more preferable to being a customer at that particular banking institution I might include:

  • umbrella up the backside … then opened,
  • an evening with anybody who has ever appeared on Blind Date,
  • employment as Marc Almond’s stomach-scrubber.

Of course, the reason I know that Abbey’s reputation as a business among many customers fluctuates between "Should have borrowed from the Mafia" and "Bless ’em! They employ the mentally crippled!" is because I have access to the internet.

MoneyNow let’s take my father: my father does bank with the Abbey National. Oh noes!!1! He doesn’t have any of the internets! Yes, I’m afraid he trusted his earnings to them. And – just like so many other account holders – he’s probably been overcharged by the bank.

Probably.

We don’t know for sure because – and you’ll like this – it appears the Abbey National Bank are incapable of telling him. They know, of course, one way or the other. They just can’t seem to part with this really quite useful information.

In the U.K. we have something called the Data Protection Act. It’s an act of law designed to protect data. One of the things it does is obligate any holders of data about an individual to divulge that data within 40 days of requesting for a nominal, maximum charge of £10.

If you ask for your data – your charges over the last five years, for example – from your bank then they MUST give you that data within 40 days AND you can’t be charged more than £10 for the privilege.

I thought I’d make that clear. It seems clear to me. Maybe it does to you. To the employees and management at Abbey it would appear that this is too complicated to grasp.

Let’s talk about my father again: he’s ill. Nothing major but – and this is quite important – it’s the sort of illness that is affected by, among other things, stress.

Dealing with a bank – any bank – can be stressful. When it comes to dealing with the Abbey National, though, Mogadon users turn green, rip their shirts off, and smash things into pulpy messes. If only they’d smash the executives into pulpy messes! Wishful thinking.

This post is simply an informative (perhaps) insight into how Abbey operates (if you’re not an Abbey customer then please accept my hearty congratulations and you might want to browse somewhere else; there’s little trademarked neOnbubble humour but dangit to heck! if I can’t get all serious every now and then when riled). Sure, their refusal to cooperate with my dad’s wishes and the fact this is affecting his health is a concern but that’s just a private one. Really, I just thought that it would be useful for customers of Abbey National to have some idea of what to expect should they find themselves in the unfortunate – but possibly inevitable – situation of seeing if they can recover any excessive bank charges. Let’s see how the bank handles its money and its customers.

Step One: Request Banking Data

You’ll take advantage of the provision in the Data Protection Act that allows you to request personal data held about you by an organisation. You’ll send a cheque for £10 made payable to Abbey National along with a letter requesting:

  • a list of all bank charges levied against you over the past – ooh, let’s say – five years.

That’s what you’ll ask for because that’s what you’re entitled to. Notice that you won’t ask for:

  • your bank charges cast in granite and delivered by sea eagles,
  • a personal visit by your bank manager reciting your bank transactions in haiku format,
  • phone numbers and undraped photographs of all female bank clerks aged between 18 and 26.

Why? Because you’re entitled to the data. But that’s it.

Step Two: Wait For Forty Days

Experience shows that you’ll wait for forty days without hearing a thing but it may be different in your case. It might only be thirty nine. Take the time to enrol in yoga or meditation classes. Learn to breathe deeply and picture calm things in your mind. None of this will help during the next steps but it’s apparently very good for you.

Step Three: The Response! The Response!

Abbey National will grudgingly respond eventually. You may have had to chase them up once and will receive an interim apology and some comment about how these things take time but you can ignore that lying waste of paper. Concentrate on the real response!

Here’s what you’ll get: NOT VERY MUCH.

What Abbey will do is send you a small amount of data – copies of your bank statements from the last six months, perhaps – and, in the accompanying letter, they will claim that the rest of the data is stored on the latest, high-tech storage system of the year 3000: THE MIGHTY MICROFICHE.

So what? Indeed. They’ll also mention that the Data Protection Act doesn’t require them to send the microfiche to you but that they can … for an extra fee far in excess of what they owe you, not that they know because computers haven’t been invented yet and they keep their record in drawers in the basement. And it’s all cobwebby down there!

They’re right. They don’t have to send you the microfiche. But …

  • you didn’t ask for microfiche,
  • you didn’t mention microfiche,
  • you don’t want microfiche,
  • you may not even know what microfiche is if you haven’t been in a library in years/ever,
  • you asked for your data.

Your bank must provide the data. How they do it is their problem. Whether it costs them more than £10 to do so is their problem. That they must do it within 40 days is the law. They can provide you the data in any way they see fit, including:

  • copies of your statement,
  • a computer printout of charges,
  • forming the charges using dwarfs arranged throughout the countryside and then taking you for a hot air balloon trip overhead to photograph the event,
  • hiring monks (probably the ones with vows of poverty as they’re cheaper) to transcribe from the microfiche into a gold-leaf manuscript and then delivering it via a religiousesque procession.

It may be their problem but, after step three you’ll still find yourself in the unenviable yet all-too-common position of NOT having the data and having a bank who are breaking the law and knowingly lying to you, one of their customers of whom they care so much about. That must mean step four is about to step on stage.

Step Four: Report Abbey National Bank

Bank ManagerYou’ll browse to the Information Commissioner’s Complaints page and report Abbey National for a violation of the Data Protection Act. You won’t be the first. You won’t be the last. Abbey might be being fined huge amounts as a result of all these customer abuses; who knows and who cares! You’ve done your bit in trying to make them change their ways and treat their bank account holders as people rather than shit on the bottom of their shoes that they try to leave on as long as possible only because it makes them taller and more threatening to Tom Cruise. Something like that.

Step Five: The Reasonable Pleading

You’re probably British and complaining is an unseemly act that the colonials do but it does seem that your bank is taking the piss somewhat … perhaps you should write the bank another letter. Mention that you’ve reluctantly reported them to the ICO. Reluctantly point out that you are still entitled to your data and they still haven’t provided it and we’re well past the maximum 40 days allowance period. Pray to whichever religion is favoured by bank managers – one of the ones big on nightly visits from incubi and succubi at a guess – hoping for enlightenment and the formation of the phrase "customer satisfaction" into the head of just one person working at the bank and post it.

Step Six: Delaying Tactics

Abbey National is upset that you have a problem and if you’d like to … waffle, waffle, blah, mumbo-jumbo.

Step Seven: Sue Abbey National Bank

You’re going to have to sue the bank. I know, I know. How terribly unpatriotic of you. You have to try to remember:

  • your bank doesn’t care about you,
  • your manager sits in rooms with his cronies and laughs about you, claiming that you’ll give up because you’re weak and that you have a poor sex life owing to infectious genital warts,
  • your bank breaks into your home and steals the coins down the back of your sofa too.

You’ll probably file a claim in the Small Claims Court – here’s the BBC’s guide and useful links – as long as you’re after less than £5000.

But wait! How do you know how much to claim for? If you remember … the Abbey failed to provide you with the data!

And now you know why.

You’re just going to have to take a guess. Don’t be greedy. And show your working out or you get no marks.

File your claim and wait for step eight …

Step Eight: Money!

Abbey National won’t dispute the claim because they are either:

  • not intelligent enough to recognise a court summons,
  • fully aware they’re about to get torn a new one,
  • evil,
  • still well within the margins whereby it’s worth taking the fines and settling the claims without dispute of those who persevere through their delaying tactics rather than admit to a problem and face a company-closing legal payout en masse.

This means you get paid. This means you might even get paid more than you asked for in an "out of court" settlement. This means there might be some condition that you don’t tell anyone else about it attached. This means you do so anyway. Fuck them.

I hope this guide helps someone. If nothing else it’s helped me to vent a little after hearing all the stress my dad is getting from dealing with the Abbey. It’s my website. About time I used it for my benefit.

Author: Mark

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51 Comments

  1. Spot on, Mark! My wife’s an Abbey customer and has had endless trouble with them wrt cards and stuff. Thanks to their incompetence, she has incurred charges, which we are now going to have to get back!

    BTW, why are you advertising Abbey services on this page???

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    • I had a letter today from Santandair which is part of the Abby group, the letter was about an account I closed over 2yrs ago, I didn’t have a penny in it when I closed it so imagine my surprise to see a statement which stated
      11/6/1015 to 10/12/2015
      Balance £469.85
      I rang to find out what was going on as their was only my name address and balance on there, the guy on phone at 1st couldn’t find my account, so I read it out again he went off for 5 mins came back and told me I was over drawn by £15 over a DD that shouldn’t of come out when account closed, this £15 incurred over £400 worth of charges but has now been written off, I asked then why does it say balance on account? He came out with more mumbojumbo and asked if I wanted to pay the amount? I laughed told him you just told me it was written off, I had no knowledge that I even owed the £15 to start with but I would like a statement for all charges on this account he then said that wasn’t possible because account closed!! If it’s closed and written off why was I asked to pay it and further more why wasn’t I sent a letter to state why 489 quid was in my balance? If it’s not actually there?

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  2. The advertising’s out of my hands and it’s what Google shows as most relevant to the page. I think it’s quite funny that people could click on adverts for Abbey National thereby eating up some of their advertising budget on a page that slams the bank.

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  3. A refund of over one thousand pounds in overcharging has now been received from Abbey for my dad.

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    • Fantastic well done you! Gonna do the same.

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  4. Before you file a court claim send a final letter to Abbey with a deadline of – say 7 days – in which you state how much you will be claiming back via a court claim unless you get response within the week.

    The key thing here is to overestimate how much your claim will be – i.e. if you think you’re owed £1000 then tell them you’ll be claiming back £1600. You will be paid £1000 quickly as – amazingly and despite having to cough trawl through the microfiche records cough – Abbey will suddenly have calculated the overpayment for you.

    Funny that.

    Stops you having to pay to submit a court claim.

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  5. Hi there. I was charged for going over my £1000 overdraft in the first year of university and subsequently had to pay off the account to prevent it going to debt collectors. This cost me 1654 in total which I didn’t really have being a student. Unfortunately, I closed the account after this and this took place 3 years ago. Do you know if there is anything I can do about this or have I missed the opportunity to claim it back?

    Thanks,

    Kate

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  6. Kate,

    To be honest I’m not sure; on the one hand I would imagine that the bank still has all your details. On the other hand they might actually be protected by the Data Protection Act in this instance which has provisions for not holding irrelevant data. Again, though, they might be required to hold this particular data for accounting purposes.

    I would check out and ask this question here: http://www.penaltycharges.co.uk/forums/

    You’re more likely to find someone with more knowledge on this situation among the people there.

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  7. Hi Mark thanks for your help.

    I believe I still have some of the statements although not all, and I have a pretty good idea of how much I was charged as I paid it off in full so perhaps I could go down the road of ‘estimated charges’ which i saw on the BBC website.

    Hopefully I can! I will post on the forum as you advised.

    Has anyone heard of anyone claiming back charges from a closed account?

    Kate 🙂

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  8. Kate,
    I have started claiming back from Natwest from a closed account and they have been very helpful about the whole procedure. The only problem for me was getting the old bank statements as they had all been shredded along with my bank card, bank account number etc.

    Just phone up the bank on their Customer Service number and each bank should be able to tell you the department that is dealing with it and the procedure to follow!

    Good Luck!
    Ben

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  9. I am so glad that I found this page and all this information. I was seduced by the cute squirrel that was saving all his nuts in a tree. Abbey’s advertisement to…’pump up your ISA savings’… by earning 8% AER tax free. I was gonna open an account before this quarter’s deadline, but thought that I should do a little research on line before I walk into the bank. Thank you. You have saved me from committing myself to years of woe and frustration. I wonder, where do you recommend banking?I know that this sounds silly, but… Which company is the least evil?

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  10. it’s probably not easy to say which bank is the least awful because you can probably hear good and bad stories about all of them and I suppose that all the while you are simply saving money and never going overdrawn then all banks are pretty much the same. I suppose its a case of only really knowing how good or not something is during the bad times. You can only judge these things by how you’re treated when something goes wrong. For me I like NatWest but I could also tell you stories from friends who have had problems with them so it’s difficult to really answer

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  11. Abbey are defending my recent court claim – I have now to send off more money and fill in questionnaire – do I tick that I will take a legal expert with me or go it alone – I want to set good precedant for others if Abbey making a stand. I cant see what their ploy is but am I the only one at this stage.

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  12. Liked your stories about Abbey National. My problems are only just beginning but have a look at my blog for the basis of my probs and my updates on the situation as they arise. Thanks for the further insights.

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  13. The cost that all banks charge quoting penalty charges fees etc is unlawful, It is as simple as that.

    The cost must only reflect the ACTUAL amount it has cost them whch has been estimated by banking professionals and similar people involved with the industry as an ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM of £4.50.

    It becomes unlawful if the banks make ANY kind of profit from transactions relating to penalty charges which they have admitted that they do and a great chunk of their recently advertised 4.5 BILLION profit is made up from peoples penalty charges.

    This is the reason why law firms, solicitors, consumer groups, Internet sites etc everywhere are telling people to claim back their charges.

    This is also one of the reasons why people are doing just that and getting millions of pounds paid back every week at the moment.

    You can claim 6 Years of charges back, THEY ARE DEEMED UNLAWFUL, but you won’t get them if you don’t ask.

    One may say ” but I signed a contract agreeing to the charges ”, It makes absolutely no difference because the contract is not worth the paper it is written because the charges are way beyond what they should have been charging you and therefore would not stand up in a court of law.

    This is why the banks will not contest this in court, No bank has done because they know they would lose and they are refunding.

    It may happen that in the future they may decide to defend an action but if they did, then they would have to justify their charges of £35 or more for around 2 or 3 minutes work which obviously they can’t.

    The leaflets they hand out when they open your bank accounts stating their fees and charges would be laughed at if it went to court.

    Look on the net, look in the media, it’s advertised everywhere, the banks have no defence.

    Charges are ok but as stated before, they can not make a profit from the transaction which they have been doing.

    Its the actual amount they have been charging which is unlawful.

    Get your money back, go to either;

    moneysavingexpert.com

    or

    penaltycharges.co.uk

    You will be surprised.

    Somewhere along your time with your bank you will have been charged, you can claim even if your account is now closed.

    ABBEY NATIONAL BANK
    Get Your Money Back

    Telephone Direct and claim your bank charges back

    MR TOM JERRED
    SENIOR CUSTOMER RELATION MANAGER
    0845 600 6014
    Ask to Speak to him direct

    PAM SPEED
    BANKING SERVICING
    08457 654321
    Ask to Speak to her direct

    MR RICHARD JONES
    SENIOR MANAGER
    0870 607 6000
    Ask to speak to him direct

    Telephone Direct and claim your bank charges back

    Other muppets working for this bank accepting your complaints who you can contact are

    Laura Dunraven 08459 724 724
    and guess what, yes,

    The Head of Complaints Dick Harris
    0845 600 6014

    You probably have to mow your way through 45 minutes of blasts from the past, 5 more muppets somewhere in Milton Keynes or Delhi and an automated service before you actually can speak to him but persistance will eventually pay off.

    If not, send them an email to customerservices@abbey.com

    At the moment they are using your money and interest on your money to carry out an 8 week investigation to justify charges in which they pressed a few buttons on their keyboards to inform you that you were overdrawn by anything over 1p, or you didn’t have a direct debit paid because of lack of funds or they had to bounce a cheque because of lack of funds in you account.

    For the buttons pressed and the sheet of A4 paper which was sent out to you which was automated they will be charging you in the region of £35.00 ( But they did have to pay the postage, ) and being generous, that is included in your charge which they will take next month).

    On very rare occasions it may have been passed to a different department downstairs to see if the transaction could be approved.
    This Hard to come by decision with a YES OR No Answer obviously has to be done manually and does takes time, probably including thinking time all of 12 seconds which means that altogether the time involved with pressing the keyboard is around 40 seconds.

    Materials involved, 1 sheet of A4 paper, Ink, Envelope & Stamp plus overheads probably works out at around £4.00 Maximum, which is what the experts say, not me the banking proffesioals and the experts.

    The banks make profits of around 4.5 Billion Per Year
    which you can see whilst they are getting £35 of your hard earned cash each time and a total of ( £29.00 ) profit for an absolute maximum of 3 minutes work, means they love you.

    They don’t want to pay you back and have enough of your money which they have stole from you over the years to carry on fighting and disputing this.

    But unfortunately the law is the law and even though Dick Turpin wore a mask and the bank’s don’t have to, they will be brought to justice eventually.

    Computers play a major part becase they do the work in seconds not like years ago when EVERYTHING was done manually.
    Banks have forgotten this and forgotten the respect for their customers.
    .
    After around 8 weeks you will get a letter saying their charges have been applied correctly and they are not going to refund which is normal.

    So for 8 weeks they have been milling around in their departments taking coffee breaks, playing solitaire, painting their nails, talking about their night out at the weekend, telling each other about their holidays, pressing buttons on their keyboard adding up their charges which they imposed upon you, and then one final press sending a message to the printer and the letter goes out to you and thousands of others stating you ain’t getting anything back.

    What a complete and utter waste of time and resources.

    If you pursue, you will get your money back, why don’t they all just do the right thing and refund straight away.

    They just love spending your money, not their money, your money, wasting their own time, the court’s time and yours, don’t bother take them straight to Court, Its easy and you will win.

    Oh and by the way once again some people are worried saying that they signed a contract with the bank and agreed with the bank’s charges when they opened the account.

    This makes no difference, because what the banks have been doing is unlawful, they are only allowed to charge you the ACTUAL cost involved and it is unlawful to make any profit.

    That is why millions of £s are being refunded every week and obviously you will have seen the law firms willing to take cases up, the consumer watchdog, BBC, the newspapers, solicitors, Internet sites etc.

    The contract becomes worthless when it is unlawful and this is why the banks are refunding.

    They could put any amount on the leaflets £2000.00 if they wanted to, it does not make it lawful,

    It’s like somebody saying to you that they are going to run you over in their car, and then they do it, it does not mean it’s ok because they told you before they did it.

    The case for the banks is that there is no case, they have admitted to making 4.5 Billion profit and a huge chunk of that being made from penalty charges, which is deemed unlawful..
    That is why they are refunding…
    .

    Get your money back…….
    Go to either

    moneysavingexpert.com
    and
    watch the video on reclaiming bank charges

    or goto
    penaltycharges.co.uk
    Good Luck

    Book yourself a holiday, get your charges back, pay for it and enjoy yourself.

    The chief executives of these banks do it with your money, the income bracket for a bank Top chief exec is around £75,000.00 per week, ( not per year, per week) thats on the low side, just over ten thousand pounds per day, and thats one of the low earners.

    Research yourself, look it up, then claim.

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  14. THE ABBEY NATIONAL IS TAKING THE PISS OUT OF THE COURTS, IT IS A TOYTOWN BANK ONLY SUITABLE FOR NODDY AND POSTMAN PAT.

    IT IS NOW OFFICALLY RATED AS THE WORST BANK IN THE UK.

    GO GET YOUR MONEY BACK

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  15. THERE IS A PICTURE ABOVE WHICH SHOWS THE ABBEY NATIONAL IN DISGUISE, THIS WAS TAKEN OF A LOCAL BRANCH.

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  16. TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE ABBEY ABOUT YOUR BANK CHARGES IS LIKE TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ELVIS PRESLEY.

    FOR A DIRECT LINK AND TO GET ANYWHERE WITH THEM YOU HAVE TO TELEPHONE HEAD OFFICE AND SPEAK TO A HUMAN, WELL SEMI HUMAN ANYWAY…. 020775 64332

    THAT’S 020775 64332

    YOU WILL ACTUALLY SPEAK TO SOMEONE HERE DIRECT INSTEAD OF A BLOODY MACHINE, AND YOU CAN TELL THEM WHAT YOU THINK.

    Owner Edit:

    While your input is appreciated please refrain from ALL CAPITAL posts in the future.

    Also … and I’m not saying that you’re doing this … but I am really … please do not post under multiple names. Awfully bad form old chap.

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  17. David – could you go over that again, it was all a bit brief and I don’t think I got the message? ;o)

    Interestingly, I hear on the financial grapevine (that’s a bit like the normal grapevine – only the gossip is rather less titillating) that some banks are getting rid of customers that threaten them in this way. They are allowed to close your account (rather like a shopkeeper can refuse to sell you his fine wares if he thinks your eyes are too close together), but apparently not if the reason is you’ve complained about charges (I think it’s technically some sort of discrimination or something).

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t complain, but just be aware (under what seem to be fairly rare circumstances) you might have to get another bank account if you do (although it struck me I’d probably want to take my refund and go somewhere else anyway as a matter of principle), or end up complaining to the Financial Services Authority that your bank is run by petty-minded idiots who’ve closed your account because you stood up to them.

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  18. i think abbeys actually quite good

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  19. abbey has a callback service – just type in your numbere and wait for them to ring you and u stay on hold – now if someone entered any of the Abbey numbers (not 0845/0870) what would happen 🙂

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  20. I received a letter from abbey a week ago saying that they had investigated my claim (8 weeks) and although they feel that the charges I incurred were correct that they were prepared to refund me £970 as a gesture of good will. Tje funds were in my bank account 3 days later before I had a chance to reply. My claim was for £3641. What do I do now?

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  21. This is not my case, however i read this on a different site and thought that it might just be appropriate here, since you all seem to love abbey so much!!!!!!

    Subject: Court Case against Abbey

    I have filed yesterday a case against Abbey National for £3115 in bank charges. See attached the content of the filing.

    I went through the whole procedure before this and was treated very badly by them. Loads of conflicting advice. Some things I was told:

    1. we dont have to sent you statements and if you dont have them you cant go to court

    2. we dont have managers here you can speak to but we’ll call you back (never did)

    3. you can go to small claims court unless you first complain to the financial ombudsman

    4. charges "that what you get for taking the banks money"

    When I asked them for £3500 they "offered" me £385 as a "goodwill gesture". I refused it but they insisted on leaving it in my account. They then advised that because they could show I had already received a payment I couldnt got to small claims court.

    From reading your site I had hoped things wouldnt be this difficult but Abbey do seem to be one of the worst banks for claiming refunds.

    Roderick

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  22. I am trying to claim back charges from the Abbey totalling £405 they offered me £40. I refused. I am now taking them to court. They are defending my claim. I seems to me the Abbey are the only bank to do this. Every one else seems to get paid in full upon this threat. What do you think ?

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  23. I have sent abbey a letter that i got from this site about refunding my charges of £350, i have waited 4 weeks, then received a letter telling me that then are still investigating my complaint, and that hey will contact me again by letter in another 4 weeks. i have called them and spoke to lots and lots of people, and keep getting passed from one department to another , and have been told by managers that the charges are not unlawful and that when i signed a document upon opening my account i agreed to the charges, i then told them that as the charges are unlawful and in doing so illegal, that the document i signed was not a legal documet and that the bank has commited fraud in doing this, again i was told this wasnt true, i then asked if the banks laws went abouve the british governments law, with a reply that i would have to speak to the legal department, who conveinently i was not allowed to speak to. i then asked for a transcript of the conversation as all calls are recorded (so they say). and told that i would receive these in 2 weeks, which 4 weeks on i still havent had. i am calling the head office today and i have also called Richard jones office and asked to speak to him directly, he is free after 4 oclock, so i will update you soon.
    ps. i havent told Richard jones secretary what the matter is about yet, and thats the only reaso i got this far, after calling him an hour befor and being told that he was not in the office and they didnt know when he would be as soon as i mentioned bank charges.
    i will update you soon with the resalts.

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  24. I complained to the Abbey asking for an estimated £12k in bank charges. They replied with the usual ex gratia of £900. I rejected this an complained to the Financial Ombudsman’s Service. FOS have now written to me stating that Abbey are prepared to settle at £8,349.00 which is probably my total claim for bank charges.

    I would recomend the Ombudsman route. Its free and beacuse they are a public body, you can demand a copy of all of their papers after the adjudication under the Freedom of Information Act – the banks are terrified of this and so have to date, settled every claim pursued through FOS.

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  25. Regarding Abbey National – I had problems getting my money back so I eventually contacted the Financial Ombudsman who contacted them and Abbey came back with an offer through the Financial Ombudsman which I accepted (in total it took about three weeks to resolve). I had been back and forth with Abbey messing me around for 4 months, I sent so many letters. Now I’m waiting for Abbey to pay me, so far that’s been 2 weeks, they have another 2 weeks left. So for all of you who don’t really want to take the court route, contact the Financial Ombudsman (020 7964 1000)and let them help you deal with it. Remember to take down the date, time, name of the person you are speaking to at Abbey and conversation regarding your account. List all of this chronologically.

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  26. I am 21 and have never had a bank charge in my life.. The secret to my success ? Being smart with my money.. something a lot of people that have posted here do not know how to do. If you have incurred bank charges possibly even higher than £1000 in last 6 years you should not have a bank account as you obviously are doing something wrong (if you authorise a debit on your account you should have the funds there for it). I can understand how some people incur maybe 1 or 2 bank charges in their life.. but £1000 ?!?! And to be honest.. even if you do get these charges back.. i’m sure financially you will be ruined all your life if you cannot even run a normal bank account properly.

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  27. That’s nice Alpha but sometimes people run into problems; a sudden expense following some borderline budgeting, for example. It doesn’t matter what it is because chances are good that if it happens you start to run down a spiral of charges. Direct debits don’t get paid because your funds dip under 0. You add funds but you’re a fraction too late and the bank charges you because you didn’t have funds and charges you to tell you you didn’t have funds. The funds you added are used up by the new charges and what a surprise! More direct debits don’t get paid and so we carry on. In most cases people don’t object to the charges in and of themselves but rather the costs. £10 or £20 for a letter? The cost of postage, materials, and the 0.0001 seconds of automated processing do not warrant £10 and that’s a problem because banks – by law – cannot "punish" with charges and must reflect the actual costs incurred. And that’s what people are recuperating.

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  28. Thanks for this page, it contains some great advice.
    I have sent off my DPA request and am expecting it to take another 35 days to get anything… didn’t expect the microfishe defense(tm) but then on second thoughts – i should have.

    Abbey are most unprofessional, and seem to hire based on the snottiness/arrogance/refusal to see reason of their "customer service" department.

    I wrote in to complain about a £400 VISA dispute which I did not make or recognise (they gaurantee protection against this sort of thing), after 3 months and several phone calls I still have heard nothing about this except excuses (you have to fill in a disclaimer form, oops we sent it to the wrong address – let me send another one, and another, and another). It has gotten to the point that I’ve had to threatan their head office with legal action to get anywhere – and they still do not respond.

    In the new year I’m switching from Abbey and never looking back.
    Anyone up for sending a few letters of complaint to "groupo santander" that have taken over Abbey? I wonder if their parent company know (or care) what a shambles they have decided to buy.

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  29. I recently received a cheque from abbey to the tune of eight grand from a lady I’d never heard of and a letter explaining that her cheque had been returned because it was over the allowable amount for ISAs – I contacted them by telephone and heard nothing i contacted them in writing and heard nothing I contacted the ICO and after about 6 months I got a letter saying thank you for the information very little will happen as a result!!!!!!

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  30. aaaaagh!!! I hate Abbey with such a passion – they have sent two new debit cards to an address I left two and a half years ago despite sending all correspondence including statements etc to my current address.
    Now they cannot send a new debit card to my current address until I register a change of address with them by post.
    By the time I get a new debit card on this account I will have been without one for a whole month…
    … and add insult to injury I have just tried to use online banking and because this account "has no valid cards associated with it" I am unable to access the information I require… Abbey’s incompetence continues to astound me!!!!

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  31. Based on reading the comments above I will speak to the ombudsman and see if I have any luck with them.

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  32. I DO AGREE WITH THE ABOVE AS I DO WORK FOR ABBEY BUT RECENTLY MANY PEOPLE ARE MOVING THERE MONEY OVER TO THE ABBEY AS THEY FEEL ABBEY ARE MORE SECURE THEN ANY OTHER UK BANKS OK SO OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE NEEDS A LITTLE IMPROVING BUT THATS NOT THE STAFFS FAULT ITS THE BLOODY SYSTEMS AS WE HAVE HAD A MAJOR CHANGE, SO ALL WHO HATE ABBEY STAY AWAY BUT WHEN YOUR BANK LOSSES ALL YOUR HARD EARNED LIFE SAVINGS YOU WILL CRY TO COME BACK TO ABBEY..

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  33. AND FOR ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO GET CHARGED FOR GOING OVER DRAWN DUE TO NOT HAVING MONEY IN ACCOUNTS WHEN YOUR DIRECT DEBITS WAS DUE TO BE PAYED SORT YOUR FINANCES OUT I JUST LAFF @ YOU LOT..

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  34. Thankyou ABBEY STAFF for popping by. You’ve left your Caps Lock button on. It’s usually on the left of the keyboard beside the ‘A’. What you need to do is press it once. You might notice that a little light on your keyboard goes off; you might not. It depends on your keyboard. Maybe you can find a friend to help you with this. Now you’ll find that when you type you produce the lowercase letters that the rest of the intelligent world prefers to use when writing. I appreciate that it’s technically more efficient to only type using capital letters as it means you’ll never have to shift up to capitalise words – such as names of people, places, or the first words in sentences – but what you’re doing is generally regarded as shouting.

    And you wouldn’t want to come across as an immature, illiterate, shouting moron, would you?

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  35. I hope ABBEY STAFF is better with money that he is with punctuation. And since I don’t have savings that exceed the limits set out in the UK deposit protection scheme – I’ll never have to go crying to Abbey anyway.

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  36. Hi there.
    Am I entitled money back for charges such as none payments to my
    1. student overdraft account?
    2. Charges for going over drawn due to not having money in accounts when your direct debit was due to be paid?

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  37. I would like to hear from anyone who has been ripped off by Abbey Nationals extortionate charges or for that matter any other banks charges…

    I myself have been charged now around 150 pounds in charges for going over drawn by 5 pounds. I asked specifically not to be able to go overdrawn, but because of a loop in their system certain payments debited out of my account did not show up on the system straight away, which then allows you to make other payments when you do not have funds in your account. So i got overdrawn anyway.

    I actually paid all the charges and left some money on my account. I asked the cashier if i was going to incur any more charges and she told me no. Since then I have been charged two more unauthorized overdraft charges of 50 pounds, which apparently were not taken out of my account previously, which has now put me overdrawn again. So now of course being overdrawn again means i am being charged unauthorized overdraft charges which are 25 pounds per a month plus ‘interest and charges’.

    I thought lots of people have to be in the same situation as me, if not worse. I am an independent documentary maker and decided to make a short documentary about the ridiculousness of these, and similar policies which banks impose on ordinary people to legally steal their money. I would appreciate if you sent me your story’s of similar situations that you have experienced with Abbey National or any other High street bank.

    Please write me on: abbeyripoff@gmail.com

    Thanks.

    Jonathan

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  38. I have a (or had a) abbey student account whilst at university, and after graduating, it had turned into a graduate account. Now i made good use of my overdraft, just like students do. my limit was £1100 and i was OD by around 900. All of a sudden, abbey cut my overdraft to just £500 and leave me with an available balance of -£400. This meant that the £200 i thought i had, they took back without notifying me, hence leaving me in a difficult position.

    I rang them and they agreed to put my £1100 overdraft back on, and minus £50 each month off my overdraft limit so i can start to pay it back.

    3 days later and my available balance is still -£400 and i dont have a penny. i have to end up using my credit card, and just hope to get this sorted. I have 2 direct debits that have bounced, one that was just £1.22 and im going to have to pay abbey a £30 fee just for that!

    bottom line is: abbey = W@nkerz!!!

    im going to leave abbey as soon as i can. – Stay away from them.

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  39. if anyone has any new information how to claim bank charges – please post them. desperate situation here. Abbey has charged me: manual fee £10 unpaid direct debit £35.00 instant overdraft request fee £35.00 unathorised overdraft £25.00 plus a general £70.97 for ‘interest and charges’ ! What IS going on?

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  40. mark is a ledgend absoloutley right abbey are a load of toss pots, keep up the good work the bastards still owe me 1,700.

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  41. i was overdrawn by 75p and abbey charged me £35 i now owe them £110 on the 2nd of december they neva mentioned nuthing abt charges when i signed the paperwork at the start of the yr i think abbey is a joke

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  42. Abbey National promised me a reduced mortgage rate if I opened my bank account with them so I did they then proceeded to screw up my mortgage twice with wrong details, on the third meeting with the advisor they finally got the mortgage details correct only by then the ‘offer’ of a reduced rate for being an account holder had finished so I ended up paying a higher rate because of their screw up!

    My direct debits were to be changed to the new Abbey Account I had just opened but they screwed this up by not moving them all across from my previous bank. I finally resolved this issue myself as ‘they couldn’t help’.

    I receieved an online banking logon which did not work and being an IT Technician i think I’m competent enough to understand how it should work.

    I took out my house and contents insurance with them as it was a bit cheaper only to find they had been charging me two lots of house and contents insurance which I then had to ‘re-claim’.

    I eventually got fed up and asked my previous bank to transfer all of my direct debits back to them (LloydsTSB). Lloyds did this without fault and requested my account with Abbey to be closed (it was a free service they do).

    Abbey spent forever holding on to my direct debits causing my account to go into the overdraft. I did not know I was in my overdraft at this point (thinking the account had been closed) until I receieved a paper statement telling me I had incurred interest charges because they are so slow!

    I tried paying the amount I owe on my Abbey account but their online banking is not working and their telephone banking is down, not even their advisor could help me as their security question was "please state a transaction on the account within the last 10 days" and there had not been any transactions on my account for months as it was meant to have been closed! They would not accept the answer "there has not been any transaction the account should have been closed".

    I now have to try and get into an Abbey branch to pay this ‘interest charge’ by midday on a Saturday as they close at 5pm weekdays and I will never get there in time from work!

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  43. i have massage that My Email get FIFA LOTTERY BOARD 2010 and I get certified international bank draf from Abbey National Bank plc with Payment Release Order Code : ANB XX IMF XX XX IV CO XX Is that true or false

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  44. I’m afraid it’s false now as I’ve used that payment release order code and received a certified international bank draft just this moment. Sadly, I was hoping for a draught instead – it’s mighty hot – and reluctantly gave away my amazing windfall (no, no wind there either, dagnabbit) to a Nigerian prince.

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  45. Congratulations on emerging as one of our award winners of the British Telecom Promo. Contact the Abbey National Bank. For your £1,000,000.00.

    Bank Name: Abbey National Bank
    Contact Person: MR. DAVID MORGAN
    Direct Tel: 44 703 598 1115
    Email : abbeylondon2010@hotmail.co.uk

    Full Name:
    Mobile Phone:
    Address:
    Country:
    Sex:
    Occupation

    Thank you and once again, Congratulations!!!

    Mr. Marcus Steve.
    Customer Care Officer

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  46. Thank you for posting this. I have not been scammed, but out of curiosity I searched info about Abbey national, after my friend had received an email telling her that she had won $1 000 000 000 and just needed to provide her personal details, and came across your site. I quite enjoyed the reading and the reference to featuring a pic of faeces in the same sentence as bank managers. Thanks for making me laugh. You have a great way of phrasing things.

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  47. I’d like to see a law requiring all businesses to post their customer satisfaction ratings on their website in an easily visible corner at all times. That would be awesome.

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