Not sure if anyone has experience of this:
I have two overdrawn accounts with NatWest, one of £3000 and one of £2000 both running pretty much at their limits, and have done so for some time. I’m employed fulltime and bring home about £1400 a month (paid to Barclays which is always in credit). I have tried for a couple of months to sort something out with my branch but to no avail. Eventually on 20th October I spoke to NatWest’s Lending department who put through a successful application to consolidate my existing borrowing on the overdraft – magic! They had an agreement in principle for a loan of £5200 for me, over 60 months at £118.20 a month. Dead happy – I can pay back my debt at a rate I can afford.
I signed the loan eventually on the morning of 27th October, having provided proof of my income and employment, and was told categorically by a pleasant woman in the branch (with whom I signed the loan agreement face to face) that “your loan will be paid and the overdrafts will drop off in the next 24 to 48 hours”. Thursday comes and I am concerned my overdrafts STILL haven’t been paid off by the agreed loan. I phone lending who apologise and say my loan was declined by the underwriters because whoever put the application through didn’t say I wanted to pay off my overdrafts with it – rather it looked like I wanted to borrow MORE from NatWest. The chap was very apologetic and offered to call be back on Friday 30th to re-run the application and do it properly.
No such callback materialises. I ring lending who say I am no longer being dealt with by them and I must speak to “Account Closures”. I’m transferred through and the woman says the bank has made a decision to close all of my accounts. I ask why and she says she cannot state but that the decision was made on 27th October in the afternoon (after I’d signed my loan!!) and she could say no more about it. I explain my predicament and the bungled loan application but she says she will not discuss it and a letter was issued to me on 27th. I haven’t got this due to the postal strike. I assume NatWest want to now put me onto a debt recovery plan which I doubt will be reasonable! She says the only way I can complain is in writing to “Customer Support Operations” in Farnborough.
1) Why can I only complain in writing? This is against the bank’s terms and conditions, and the Banking Code. I have the right to complain by phone, email, at the branch or in writing. My complaint was refused over the telephone.
2) Who can actually do something about this **** up at NatWest?
3) I had an agreement in principle with the bank. I know this is not legally binding but it is dreadfully unfair for the bank to close my account (and I assume place me into Debt Management) when I have made provision with them, based on my circumstances and affordability, to repay the debt before they made their decision!
4) I am sure the Bank has acted unfairly. How would the Financial Ombudsman view my case? I have had several complaints not logged or recognised before, all regarding the changing of charge and debit interest dates. They sent out letters informing customers of this, but I never got mine because of my local branch’s incompetence and they never changed my address! Failed to update and maintain a customer’s records accordingly – this is why I have had charges for a few months.
5) I never signed an agreement for my £3000 overdraft. The bank raised it automatically without notifying me. Is this a fair credit agreement? I never received terms and conditions and did not sign to accept any terms and conditions.
6) I am now in total limbo due to the bank’s refusal to communicate with me. Advice please!