Consumer complains packaged bank account was mis-sold

Packaged Bank Accounts Banking

Adele took out a packaged bank account in 2001, but she later found out that the benefits that came with the account weren't actually of any use to her. She came to us after making a complaint to her bank about the account.

What happened

Adele took out a packaged bank account in 2001. She was told at the time by the bank that the insurance benefits of the account would be useful to her. But it didn't tell her what those benefits were. 

In 2012, Adele received a letter from her bank, setting out the cost of the account and the insurance benefits that came with it. Adele found the main benefits of the account were travel insurance and breakdown cover. But Adele didn't drive and didn't travel abroad when she set up the account. So she decided to downgrade the account to one that didn't have a fee. 

Adele raised a complaint with her bank in 2020 because she felt that she'd been mis-sold the account. But her bank said that she had raised the complaint too late and wouldn't look into it.

So Adele came to us to see if this was fair. 

What we said

When we looked at Adele's complaint, the rules that govern our service say we need to consider if she had made her complaint within 6 years of when the event the complaint was about had happened, or if later, more than 3 years from when Adele knew or ought to have known she had cause to complain. 

After looking at Adele's complaint, we decided that the complaint had been brought more than 6 years from when the account she was complaining about was sold in 2001. We also felt Adele would have known (or at the very least she ought to have known) that she hadn't been told about the benefits of her account when she received the letter in 2012.

There weren't any exceptional circumstances to explain why she hadn't complained in time, so under the rules we have to apply, we decided we couldn't look into Adele's complaint.