Debt Questions forum. General questions on debt issues.

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#218649 Hi all

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!

#218659 Welcome to the forum Paul4040 - You'll find much helpful advice on here I'm sure.

This is a very complicated matter and very frustrating for you. My only thought is that, your very first action should be to write to NatWest and clearly state your complaint. I'm sure will find it necessary to send more than one letter as you will need to respond to their initial reply. Just make sure that each letter you write clearly has the word 'Complaint' at the top of the page. Send letters by Recorded Delivery so that you can prove that they have been received. Keep all correspondence that you receive from NatWest in regard to this matter.

It's important that you do this as just phoning and talking to one of their representatives isn't sufficient, you need information in writing. They can tell you what they like on the phone but you won't have any proof of what was said.

If you feel dissatisfied with the outcome of correspondence you receive from them you will then be in a position to write to them again and state that you feel strongly enough to complain to The Financial Ombudsman. If they then send you a 'final response' letter you can then move forward with a complaint against NatWest.

When you send your complaint the The Financial Ombudsman Service you will also need to enclose copies of any NatWest correspondence received as well as copies of letters you have sent to NatWest.

This is only my opinion. You will receive posts from other forum members, but please be patient as weekends are usually quiet.
#218666 I agree with Royston, you have to complain to the Financial Ombudsman.

Is there any way you can get a loan elsewhere, or even get a Virgin Card who will give you 5.94% for the life of the balance, there is a 3% charge up front but it still works out much cheaper than an overdraft. There are other ways, try Moneysavingexpert forum.
#218672 ... counts.htm

You may be interested in the above from the Ombudsman;s website.

Unfortunately, they can close your account provided tehy give proper notice. It seems ludicrous since you aren't over your overdraft limits and are proposing a sensible route to reducing the debt but ultimately they have the right to close an account.

Still worth complaining to the Ombudsman though - their communication is lamentable and they are possibly failing in their duty to treat indebted customers sympathetically and positively.
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