step 3 - raise a small claim action in Scotland

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Pro forma statement of claim updated to incorporate OFT guidance on 26 July 2005.

If your bank refuses to refund charges you can raise a small claim action in the Sheriff Court.  However, it is important to note that if you do this you must proceed with the action to its conclusion in order to enjoy protection from an award of court expenses in the event of losing.  Hopefully you'll be successful, but there are no guarantees.  The more people challenge charges the less viable it will be for banks to defend claims.

Subject to the above caveat, if you raise a small claim with a value below £200 there is no award of expenses, and for claims over this sum the max award is £75.  This means so long as you act in good faith and pursue a claim for under £200 the bank can't recover any expenses if you lose.  If the bank wants to defend your claim it will cost them considerably more than refunding charges. What if the bank doesn't bother to defend my claim?

You need to pay court lodging dues of £7 for claims worth up to £50, and £39 for £50 to £750 (the max limit) claims.  If you're only pursuing a couple of charges (eg. £60) you may wish to sue for £49.99, as it will only cost £7.  You need to complete small claims Form 1 and 1B.  Below is a pro forma statement of claim which you can use for an action of payment.  Guidance using the small claims procedure is available here (Scottish Courts Administration website - PDF format).

If you do raise court proceeedings you must be prepared to undertake all of the work necessary to present your case - up to and including a full evidential hearing.  The responsibility for litigation will rest with you alone. 

Alternatively, if you do not feel confident raising a small claims action, or you claim is over the small claims limit (£750 in Scotland - see also 'Sheriff Principal rejects bank's defence of res judicata' news link opposite) you can lodge a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  The Ombudsman can require your bank to refund your charges.

Please note we do not have the resources to advise on individual cases online.

If you are successful in getting charges refunded, let us know at: [email protected].

example of bank charge letter

example of bank charge letter


Sheriff Principal rejects bank's defence of res judicata (which sought to stop customers in Scotland pursuing subsequent £750 small claims for bank charges) (18 July 2007)

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