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Problem with NatWest please help

Problem with NatWest please help

Old Feb 1st 2014, 3:55 pm
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Question Problem with NatWest please help

My husband came to Canada on an IEC visa in March 2012. At the time, he was not sure if he would go back to the UK or not. When he was arranging to transfer funds his natwest branch advised him to leave £100 in his account instead of closing it just incase he wanted to return to the UK.

He has not used the account since and one time about 6ish month ago when he tried accessing it online for the first time since he left, but it wouldn't work.

Fast forward almost 2 years and a debt collector shows up at his parents house saying he owes £600. They call him. It takes him missing two hours of work to phone them due to the time change.

Basically ALL the fees are bank charges. The bank never cancelled his monthly fee as he was advised they would. And that has put him into unarranged overdrawn. And they are continuing to charge him £6 per day to a max of £90 a month until it is paid. Ridiculous!

So after a two hour phone call talking to 4 different people he was basically told too bad. You never gave us your new address so we didn't know you moved?? He couldn't give them an address when he left because he didn't know where he would be living and he told them that!

If it was charges he actually like used (bought stuff etc) then of course we would pay it but it is ALL bank fees that in my opinion are ridiculous and excessive.

He filled out a complaint online so we will have to wait to hear back in the meantime occurring more and more charges.

My questions:

1) can they do this?
2) if they will not reverse any of the charges can he be forced to pay? He is not returning to the UK and has no assets there
3) will this in anyway effect me sponsoring him? Our application was filed in Sept and we are still waiting to hear a decision.

I want to make it clear, we are not trying to avoid paying debt or charges we think are fair. He paid all his debt before leaving the country. If it was a few pounds we'd pay it because it's not worth the hassle but 600 pounds and counting is ALOT especially considering the Canadian dollar sucks right now

Any help, advice, insight would be appreciated
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Becki567 View Post
The bank never cancelled his monthly fee as he was advised they would.

If this was done over the phone, ask for the recording.

Otherwise, this looks like it is all your husband's own fault, for not providing any form of contact address IN TWO YEARS.

Where were the bank statements sent to? Why were they not forwarded?

If the answer to that is the account was paperless, then even more his fault in my opinion.

You will probably disagree.


I check my Barclays account weekly. It only takes one minute and can be done on my phone.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by withabix View Post
If this was done over the phone, ask for the recording.

Otherwise, this looks like it is all your husband's own fault, for not providing any form of contact address IN TWO YEARS.

Where were the bank statements sent to?
There were no statements sent. I have no idea why, the bank says they had no address but they should have still had his parents. And if they didn't have the address then how would the debt collector have gotten it?

It was not done on the phone. He went into the bank before he left to find out how to transfer the money to a Canadian account once he had gotten one set up and to change from a gold account to standard. He remembers who he talked to, his name, but that person doesn't work there anymore.

He didn't really have a reason to check, to his knowledge the bank had his parents address, he received no mail, he left money in the account and was told it would be a standard account with no fees. Perhaps he should have done something's differently.

But if someone could help and answer the questions I actually asked that would be appreciated. Telling me it's his fault, or he deserves it or whatever else doesn't really answer any of my three questions. And sorry for making one mistake on the first time he moved across the world.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

And one more thing, we don't think he should pay nothing. We offered to pay the £12.95 monthly fees for the last 22 months. But they still said no we had to pay the unarranged fees as well. We offered to send £200 since he had left £100 in there so that would be half and in our opinion fair. They still said no.

He did make a mistake by not continuing to check on it. But he trusted the bank and the guy he talked to.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:31 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Becki567 View Post
And one more thing, we don't think he should pay nothing. We offered to pay the £12.95 monthly fees for the last 22 months. But they still said no we had to pay the unarranged fees as well. We offered to send £200 since he had left £100 in there so that would be half and in our opinion fair. They still said no.

He did make a mistake by not continuing to check on it. But he trusted the bank and the guy he talked to.
I don't really understand, did the bank say they were switching his account to a fee free one? If it was the same account, then why would they cancel the charges? Most UK bank accounts are free (it's very rare to pay for banking there), so he could have switched to a free one easily.

I'd definitely ask for a recording of the call, although whether they'll have it after such a long time is questionable. But that's the only way to prove he was told the fees would be cancelled.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Feb 1st 2014 at 4:34 pm.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
I don't really understand, did the bank say they were switching his account to a fee free one? If it was the same account, then why would they cancel the charges? Most UK bank accounts are free (it's very rare to pay for banking there), so he could have switched to a free one easily.

I'd definitely ask for a recording of the call, although whether they'll have it after such a long time is questionable. But that's the only way to prove he was told the fees would be cancelled.
His account was called a gold account? And it had fees and the guy at the bank told him he would switch it to a standard one with no fees. It was in person in March 2012
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

If it is in the terms of the account they can do it. If there were no statements, then they would have been available online.

The collections agency could have done some routing aronud and tracked him down, that's what they do.

They have the option of taking him to court for recovery of the debt. Which it seems he would lose and have a judgement against him if they did this. If he has any blongings in the UK a court baliff could sieze those. The collections agency could hound his parents until they put a stop to it. For a small amount is it worth it? He could also go to the agency and make an offer perhaps of half to settle the debt.They may take soemthing over going to court.

It is unlikley to affect your sponsorhsip, may affect the relationsip with the parents though.

Unless he can prove ther person told him what he claims, he is likley SOL.

If the bank won't take an offer, he always has the option of refusing to pay and telling them to take him to court. Of course if they do he could lose. Collections agents are usually open to offers more than the creditor. Ther is only so much it is worth to them. Of course it would have been prudent to have at least chcked the account once to be sure the mentioned changes had taken place.

Last edited by Aviator; Feb 1st 2014 at 4:42 pm.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Sorry it was £15 a month fee. Husband just corrected me.

Before he left he went in there and talked to a guy named Miles. The guy explained to him how he could transfer funds once he was in Canada, and that he would change the account to a standard. My husband orginally went in there to withdraw all the funds and close the account.

But this Miles guy convinced him transfer funds would be easy once he had a Canadian bank account and since there would be no fees it would be best to keep the account open with a small amount of funds so that of my husband returned to UK he would still have an account and bank history.

Does that clear it up?
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:44 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Becki567 View Post
Sorry it was £15 a month fee. Husband just corrected me.

Before he left he went in there and talked to a guy named Miles. The guy explained to him how he could transfer funds once he was in Canada, and that he would change the account to a standard. My husband orginally went in there to withdraw all the funds and close the account.

But this Miles guy convinced him transfer funds would be easy once he had a Canadian bank account and since there would be no fees it would be best to keep the account open with a small amount of funds so that of my husband returned to UK he would still have an account and bank history.

Does that clear it up?
Would still make no difference unless this Miles guy confirms this or your OH has witnesses or written proof of the request.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Becki567 View Post
Sorry it was £15 a month fee. Husband just corrected me.

Before he left he went in there and talked to a guy named Miles. The guy explained to him how he could transfer funds once he was in Canada, and that he would change the account to a standard. My husband orginally went in there to withdraw all the funds and close the account.

But this Miles guy convinced him transfer funds would be easy once he had a Canadian bank account and since there would be no fees it would be best to keep the account open with a small amount of funds so that of my husband returned to UK he would still have an account and bank history.

Does that clear it up?
It does, but when you said your husband spoke to someone I assumed it was on a phone call, which would have been recorded. A face to face conversation isn't going to be able to be proved unfortunately.

What did your husband have in writing? If the account was being switched to a new one, then he'd have expected new terms and conditions etc, so did he ever receive those? If so, then he shouldn't have any issue.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Aviator View Post
If it is in the terms of the account they can do it. If there were no statements, then they would have been available online.

The collections agency could have done some routing aronud and tracked him down, that's what they do.

They have the option of taking him to court for recovery of the debt. Which it seems he would lose and have a judgement against him if they did this. If he has any blongings in the UK a court baliff could sieze those. The collections agency could hound his parents until they put a stop to it. For a small amount is it worth it? He could also go to the agency and make an offer perhaps of half to settle the debt.They may take soemthing over going to court.

It is unlikley to affect your sponsorhsip, may affect the relationsip with the parents though.

Unless he can prove ther person told him what he claims, he is likley SOL.

If the bank won't take an offer, he always has the option of refusing to pay and telling them to take him to court. Of course if they do he could lose. Collections agents are usually open to offers more than the creditor. Ther is only so much it is worth to them. Of course it would have been prudent to have at least chcked the account once to be sure the mentioned changes had taken place.
Thank you for your reply. He has no belonging. We haven't tried dealing with the collection people. Gosh that makes more sense. They hopefully won't be as unreasonable as the bank. We have offered his original £100 and to send another £200 but that was denied with no counter. Well I guess they countered but saying no all of it.

We asked if they could stop charging the £6 a day while we send some money to the UK for a family member to deposit and was told no.

They have been completely unbendable or compromising.

Would he have to return on the UK for the court date?

I know to come people £600 might not seem like much but I am in school and he is working a crap job on his second IEC visa. So it would be financially difficult
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
It does, but when you said your husband spoke to someone I assumed it was on a phone call, which would have been recorded. A face to face conversation isn't going to be able to be proved unfortunately.

What did your husband have in writing? If the account was being switched to a new one, then he'd have expected new terms and conditions etc, so did he ever receive those? If so, then he shouldn't have any issue.
He remembers signing papers but doesn't remember if it was about transferring money or new account. He remembers being told account number wouldn't change just the type of account, because the guy said he did not need a new card. But he has no idea what he did with those papers or if they were even about the account type change.

If they would stop the £6 a day and allow a payment plan then we could in maybe 6 months pay it off. But to continue incurring those daily debts is making it more difficult if not impossible.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by Becki567 View Post
He remembers signing papers but doesn't remember if it was about transferring money or new account. He remembers being told account number wouldn't change just the type of account, because the guy said he did not need a new card.
But he still would have needed new terms and conditions, normally they'd be sent via post after signing up to the account. If he didn't receive them and then didn't chase them up, then really I don't think there's a lot you can do tbh.

I'm still bamboozled as to why he wouldn't have checked his account regularly (or at least in the first month or so to make sure he wasn't being charged a fee still), so I'm not sure it's the banks fault tbh. Unless he's got any proof of the conversation he had, then I don't think you'll have a lot of option but to pay, but do negotiate a payment plan as that should be easily achievable.

Best of luck.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
But he still would have needed new terms and conditions, normally they'd be sent via post after signing up to the account. If he didn't receive them and then didn't chase them up, then really I don't think there's a lot you can do tbh.

I'm still bamboozled as to why he wouldn't have checked his account regularly (or at least in the first month or so to make sure he wasn't being charged a fee still), so I'm not sure it's the banks fault tbh. Unless he's got any proof of the conversation he had, then I don't think you'll have a lot of option but to pay, but do negotiate a payment plan as that should be easily achievable.

Best of luck.
Thank you, he is going to contact the collections people on Monday and see if they would be more open to a deal or payment arrangement.
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Old Feb 1st 2014, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: Problem with NatWest please help

How can they take him to court and issue a CCJ if he has no address in the UK ? I don't think it is possible for them to persue a CCJ or collect on the debt as he is now living abroad.
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