Packaged bank accounts was one of the most complained about financial products in the third quarter of this financial year, data published today (23 February) by the Financial Ombudsman Service shows – but of the 1,477 complains received from October to December 2021, only 4% of complaints were upheld in consumers’ favour.

The Financial Ombudsman wants to help consumers understand what it considers a mis-sold packaged bank account to be. Over 90% of the complaints the Financial Ombudsman Service receives about packaged bank accounts are from consumers who believe they were mis-sold the account, however the Financial Ombudsman continues to uphold very few.

It has heard from consumers who feel that they have a complaint simply because they haven’t used the benefits that accompany these types of accounts – such as travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and motor breakdown cover. However, not using the benefits of a packaged bank account alone is unlikely to be a sufficient reason for the Financial Ombudsman Service to conclude that the account was mis-sold.

If a consumer cannot use the account benefits – for example they cannot use the travel or mobile phone insurance or the roadside cover policy – then the Financial Ombudsman Service might conclude that the account was mis-sold and tell the bank to refund the fees.
Kevin Wright, Ombudsman Leader at the Financial Ombudsman Service, said:

We continue to receive thousands of complaints about packaged back accounts, yet our uphold rate is low. People should consider the reasons why they are unhappy with their packaged bank account. Not using the benefits of the account means it’s unlikely we will conclude that it was mis-sold. However, if people feel that they have been mis-sold the account as they cannot use most of the benefits then we are here to help consumers with their complaints.

The data published today

The Financial Ombudsman Service has today published its quarterly data in relation to financial products today – this covers the period October 2021 - December 2021.

The data shows complaints about current accounts, credit cards, car/motorcycle insurance and personal loans continue to feature in the top five most complained about products.

Notes to editors

About the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers on a fair and reasonable basis, as an alternative to the courts. It can look into problems involving most types of money matters from payday loans to pensions, pet insurance to PPI. It is committed to sharing insight and experience to encourage fairness and confidence in financial services.

Find out more about our work and how we help resolve complaints.

Packaged bank accounts

Packaged bank accounts are current accounts that come with a “package” of extra features – from mobile phone and travel insurance, to preferential rates on overdrafts and loans.

Find out more about our our approach to complaints about packaged bank accounts for consumers and for financial businesses.

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