Are bank customers getting ripped off with enhanced accounts?
There could be another financial mis-selling scandal looming with the Financial Services Authority ready to take a closer look at how banks sell ‘packaged’ accounts to their customers. You know the kind – you fork out about a tenner a month and you get all sorts of ‘benefits’ throw in, like free travel insurance, a drawing of a naked clown climbing up an electricity pylon and free use of a monkey butler for one weekend in six.
Stats suggest that one in five bank customers have one of these accounts but there are increasing concerns that banks aren’t taking into account (geddit?) whether or not customers are eligible for the benefits before persuading them to sign up.
The FSA say that the range of different packages has doubled over the past four years, making it tougher for punters to find the one that’s best for them. Their director of policy, Sheila Nicoll, says: “We are concerned it may be too easy at the moment for firms to sell customers something they do not understand or need. We want to make sure that packaged accounts are only being sold to customers who have actively decided it is the right product for them.”
They are proposing tighter controls on selling and want banks and building societies to check if customers are eligible for bundled insurance offers as well as provide them with an annual eligibility statement to ensure that policies are continuing to meet their needs. That’s going to really piss the banks off isn’t it?
Have any of you lot got one of these packaged accounts? Do you feel as though you’re getting value for money? And what’s the monkey butler like? TELL US.