Building society customers to get fees refunded even though they were correctly charged
Fancy getting charges refunded even if you were correctly charged? That’s exactly what’s happening to some Yorkshire Building Society group customers.
Investigations by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) prompted the regulator to question Yorkshire over the robustness of its procedures. Yorkshire then found issues within its administrative systems for charging administration fees when mortgages went into arrears.
Almost 34,000 borrowers will each get an average payout of £247, giving a total payout of £8.4m. Some of the customers affected have mortgages with Chelsea and Barnsley building societies or Accord Mortgages, which are all part of the Yorkshire group.
Yorkshire said in a statement: "We can charge an arrears administration fee when a mortgage account falls into arrears by two months or more. The fee covers the administrative costs in dealing with the arrears. We found that, in the period since January 2009, some of our customers who were in arrears may have been incorrectly charged arrears administration fees.”
However, while those incorrectly charged fees might quite rightly expect a refund, plus interest, the mutual group have decided to save everyone time and effort by just refunding all arrears administration fees charged (plus interest) since 2009. This means that many customers who were charged correctly will get a £250 windfall. Result.
The first letters explaining the situation will be sent on February 25 and existing customers will have their mortgage account credited with the refund amount on that day. Former customers who no longer have a mortgage with the Yorkshire or its subsidiaries will receive a cheque for the refund unless there is still a balance outstanding on a former mortgage.
Anyone who thinks they might be up for some free cash can call 0800 9230045 or 01242 874998 for more information.