A consumer complains that his bank upgraded his account without his permission

Packaged Bank Accounts Banking

Willis opened a bank account, but later his bank upgraded it to a packaged bank account. Willis said they hadn't told him they were doing this or asked his permission, so he came to us for help.

What happened

Willis took out a packaged bank account in 2004. But in December 2019, complaint to his bank that they had upgraded him to a packaged bank account without his permission.

His bank said they hadn't done anything wrong, and wrote to Willis at the end of January 2020 to let him know their response. 

Willis didn't think this was fair, so he got in touch to see if we could help. 

What we said

Willis brought his complaint to us at the start of September 2020, but when we spoke to the bank they didn't think we could look at his complaint. That was because he'd contacted us more than six months after the bank sent its final response to him. The bank said this meant Willis was too late to complain to us based on the rules we have to apply. 

When we spoke to Willis he told us he would have contacted us earlier, but he'd been in a serious accident at the beginning of July 2020, and had been in hospital and then a rehabilitation facility for nearly two months after this. He explained that he's contacted us as soon as he could after his circumstances got better. 

Whilst it was true that Willis had contacted us too late, the rules allow us to still look at complaints where there are exceptional circumstances for missing the deadline. That's what we thought had happened here based on the evidence Willis had given us. So we decided we were able to look into Willis' complaint.