Bank compensates customers kept in dark over fees

Bank of Scotland customers are to receive compensation payouts after the institution admitted it had failed to inform them of hefty hikes in their monthly charges.

A substantial number of holders of the Ultimate Reward Current Account were not told when the cost of their account rose from £7.50 to £10.

Now, the financial institution, which first spotted the mistake last September, has written to inform those affected that they will receive a total of almost £56 paid into their accounts in compensation – made up of a reimbursal of £52.80, plus £3.17 interest, calculated at 8 per cent over
20 months.

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Packaged accounts, which offer additional services such as insurance products and discounts, have become increasingly popular in recent years, with an estimated one in five adults paying out for their banking services. The Financial Ombudsman Service receives about 60 complaints a week about packaged accounts – with around three-quarters believed to be complaints about the way that the policy was sold to
them.

Laura Willoughby, spokeswoman for the Move Your Money campaign group, said: “This is yet another example of problems with banks not being transparent with what they are charging or what they’re charging for.

“It should not be up to the customers to challenge charges and for the banks to acquiesce somewhere along the line. It is clear that the bank has received complaints and wants to take action before it goes further.”

A spokesman for the Bank of Scotland said: “We do apologise that a small number of customers did not receive prior notice of the change.”