Up to one in five account holders “mis-sold” packaged bank accounts

July 24, 2013, 8:54 AM GMT+0

One in five UK consumers with packaged bank accounts were potentially mis-sold them, new research from YouGov SixthSense suggests.

The “Packaged Bank Accounts” report shows that around a fifth (22%) of account holders say they have encountered sales practices or subsequent problems that indicate the accounts they bought were not right for them.

YouGov SixthSense’s research reveals that among those who have experienced potential “mis-selling”, 37% said banks and building societies promised more than they could deliver and 31% said sales staff made account holders feel that they had no other option but to get a fee-paying account.

Yet despite these problems, only one in four (24%) have taken any action. One in eight (12%) took the matter up with their account provider, 7% applied to reclaim the fees from their packaged bank accounts and the same proportion complained to their bank that they were “mis-sold” the package. Only 4% of those who thought they had been potentially “mis-sold” a packaged bank account took the matter up with the Financial Services Ombudsman.

However, the report finds that almost two thirds (64%) of packaged bank account holders have encountered no problems when choosing a packaged account. More than a quarter (26%) of those who have not suffered potential “mis-selling” have used the products and services bundled with their packaged account, and one in five (20%) have claimed on an insurance policy included.

Simon Mottram, Director of Financial and Professional Services at YouGov, says: “The vast majority of people with packaged bank accounts like them and feel they get good value from them. However, there are a sizable minority that believe they have potentially been mis-sold the products. The PPI scandal still casts a shadow over how consumers are sold financial products. Yet despite the fines and multi-million pound pay-outs, consumers do not ask enough questions about the products they are paying for and banks could still do a better job of explaining them to customers.”

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