Money missing from you bank account, missed mortgage payments and black marks on your credit score… the RBS ‘cashless card machine’ fiasco hurt a lot of people. Here’s a simple guide for claiming at least some of your money back.
Reasons Behind The RBS Implosion
IT was at the heart of the RBS problems. You know: the technologies that are supposted to make our lives simpler?
Apparently, a low grade IT worker in an outsourced Indian technology company released untested code into the banks computer systems. A short while later, everything went horribly wrong.
Needless to say, but I think that RBS may well be reviewing their IT supplier contract.
More importantly, you want to know how to get your money back.
Gather All Relevant Details
Before you start a claim you need to know how much this mess has cost you.
Here are a few of the more obvious things to look for:
- Interest for going overdrawn
- Fines for missed payments – especially on your mortgage as this can affect your credit score
- The cost all telephone calls you’ve made to the bank and other parties involved e.g. many small business owners have spent an awful lot of time on the phone trying calm down irate suppliers who want to be paid
Also make a note of any inconveniences you may have suffered as a result of not being able to access your money. Think about things such as not being able to get to work because you have no money for fuel. Maybe you’ve been unable to pay for your children’s school lunches. Write it all down.
Pick Up A Compensation Form
You have a few options here.
You can visit your local branch and pick up a form… along with the thousands of other disgruntled customers.
You can call one the following three numbers and request a claim form: 08457 77 77 66; 0161 931 9959; or 0800 656 9639. Ironically, the first two numbers are billable so make sure you add in the costs of using them when you complete your claim.
Finally, you can go to the RBS website and download a form. Going on recent events I don’t think anyone can guarantee the site will be working!
If you’re having problems or RBS don’t provide a satisfactory resolution using the means above then pay your local branch a visit and make a complaint. RBS have up to 8 weeks to come up with a resolution.
If you find the above methods don’t work or that RBS is dragging it’s feet then it’s time to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 023 4567
Interest point: currently, there is no legislation in place to cover banks actions in an event such as the one the RBS has experienced. Don’t let that get you down: the banking group will have a dedicated ‘clean up crew’ working hard to make sure they limit the damage and retain as many customers as possible. Keep pushing for compensation.
Has Your House Purchase Fallen Through?
Buying a house is a big deal. Being outbid on your dream home is bad enough but when a banks computer system quite literally ‘says no’ it can be a heart rending experience. In fact, you may not even be a customer of the bank to caught up in this mess. If you’re in a chain of buyers and one of them is an RBS customer and they can’t access their accounts you face the possibility of the chain collapsing.
As yet, the banking group has provided no indication as to whether they will compensate anyone indirectly affected by the failure of their online banking system.
What Compensation Can You Expect?
At the height of the crisis, NatWest, RBS and the Bank of Ulster kept branches open to ensure customers could withdraw money. Each customer could take out a maximum of £300. In addition, holders of one of the groups credit cards are allowed to go over their credit limit by £100 without incurring any interest. Interest payments were also deferred until July 2012.
The bank has promised that it will automatically refund any charges or credit card penalties that customers have received due to the failure of their systems. This is why you need to keep a close on all the charges: if the bank doesn’t know about them they won’t pay up.
Has Your Credit Rating Been Hurt?
If you own a home, have a bank account or any kind of card then you have a credit file. Basically, it’s a way of letting companies and money lenders know how reliable you are at paying for stuff. The credit file is used a basis to decide if you get a loan, mortgage, credit card, etc and also affects the interest rate that lenders will give you.
Thanks to the mess at RBS, many account holders have missed payments on everything from car loans to mortgages. When you miss a payment to a creditor a black mark goes on your credit file and affects you overall credit score.
Ideally, customers caught in this trap should have the mess cleaned up by RBS. To their credit, the bank has said that they are working with credit agencies to ensure that customers who have missed payments will not be penalised.
For you own peace of mind, run a basic credit check on yourself. Using companies such as Experian, Equifax and CallCredit will cost you £2 for a report on the health of your credit file. RBS have said they will refund the cost of all credit checks but, if you run your own check, keep a record of the cost and make sure the bank pays it back.
If you find a mark against your name and RBS haven’t cleaned up the fallout then you’ll need to push hard. Only the company that puts a black mark against your credit file can remove it. This means that you may need to go to them directly and explain why you’re payment was missed. Make sure you take some proof of why your payment was late.
What If My Creditor Refuses To Remove The Black Mark?
Don’t panic! There’s probably not a money lender in the world that doesn’t know about the RBS meltdown. Most, if not all, will be sympathetic but if they will not remove a late payment you have another course of action. It’s called a Notice of Correction.
A NoC is simply a statement that you can add to your credit record that reflects the reasons for the late payment/black mark.
Is It Time To Leave RBS?
The online banking fiasco has left many customers with an understandably bitter taste in their mouth. Spurred on by a slow response and a lack of communication on the banks part, many customers have said they will be closing their RBS accounts.
If you’re one of the many getting ready to move to a safer, more understanding bank you’ll be glad to hear that times have changed. Until recently, moving your account was a painful process. Countless pieces of paperwork needed to filled out and you were obliged to notify all your creditors. On top of this, you then had to move all of your direct debits and standing orders.
Those days are long gone. All you need to do now is choose the bank you want to move to, fill out an application form and let your new account holders know which payments you want moved. They’re even obliged to pay for any charges you incur during the process.