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.
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.
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].