June 18, 2021

7 Facts You Need to Know About Packaged Bank Accounts (PBA)


Crystal Group

“Many of people have been mis-sold PBA, and might not know!”

This article covers everything about packaged bank accounts, and how you can claim back £1000s.

For many years, aggressive bank sales agents have been pushing packaged bank accounts (PBAs) as a great way to ‘upgrade’ your bank with additional benefits.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, these upgrades turn out to be an expensive waste of money; banks peddle benefits that you are unlikely to use enough to get your money’s worth. Over time, people with PBAs are finding themselves spending an awful lot of money on services that they simply aren’t using. 

Now, we’re not saying that all PBAs are bad, but it’s important to understand what PBAs are, and whether you’ve been mis-sold an account. That’s why our experts at Crystal Group have gathered together our top 7 facts that you need to know about packaged bank accounts.  

What is a packaged bank account?

You might not even realise that you have a packaged bank account, many people don’t! 

Some PBAs can be beneficial. If you’ve carefully considered the costs and benefits, and it’s valuable for you, then that’s great! They can be a fantastic way of saving money by bundling insurance policies. 

The main issue is that lots of PBA holders were pushed into opening an account based on false claims, or were ‘upgraded’ without their consent. If you notice a small ‘charge’ on your bank statement every month for services including (but not limited to):

  • Bundled insurance policies
  • Travel insurance
  • Mobile insurance
  • Car breakdown cover

Then there’s a good chance that you’ve paid a lot of money over the years that you’re entitled to claim back – check your bank statement for the word ‘charge’. If you can’t determine what that charge is for, there’s a good chance you’ve got a PBA.

How do I know if I’ve been mis-sold a PBA?

As there are a whole host of different PBA products, it can be a difficult market to assess. 

A bank shouldn’t recommend that you open a PBA unless they have a full understanding of your personal and financial circumstances. Without this information, they cannot make sound recommendations that actually benefit you. Lots of banks manipulated customers into opening PBAs. If you’ve experienced any of the following, you may have been mis-sold a PBA:

  • If you were pressured into opening a PBA even if you didn’t want to.
  • You were told that you couldn’t get a loan, credit card or overdraft without a PBA.
  • You were given a PBA without your consent.
  • If you can’t use your PBA features (elderly people being exempt from travel insurance, or non-drivers being given breakdown insurance, etc.)
  • If you already had insurance elsewhere, and didn’t need a PBA.

If you’re unsure, we recommend getting advice from claims experts to help understand whether you’re eligible.

What steps should your bank take when selling a PBA?

Your bank must make sure that you understand all of the fees and the costings of your PBA. It’s also their responsibility to ensure that you’re eligible on each of the insurance policies included.

When opening the account, it’s their job to share all the information about the account with you, providing you with an annual eligibility statement that is designed to make sure that the PBA is still working for you. If your bank hasn’t worked through these steps, then there’s a good chance you’ve been mis-sold PBA. 

You can claim even if you’ve already closed your account!

If you’re paying a monthly fee for benefits that you’re not using – close the account! The best idea is to stop wasting money immediately. You can still reclaim the money that you’re owed if the account is closed. Even if you closed a PBA years ago you can still claim – make sure that you’ve got copies of old statements. The bank will provide these if you ask, but only if your account closed within the last six years. 

How much can you recover with a PBA claim?

The amount that you can earn depends on how long you’ve been paying PBA fees. If your package has been mis-sold, then you should get back all of the monthly fees plus 8% interest. This interest is a predicted rate of how much you would have made had you not been paying for the PBA. 

Generally, we see wins ranging from around £500 to 1000s of pounds. 

How long does a PBA claim take?

The answer to this can depend on a variety of factors, but on average you should hear back from your bank within eight weeks of submitting your claim. It can take longer than this; if an account is older then it’ll take the bank more time to sift through old files to find what they need. 

What do I need to do to recover PBA fees?

In order to begin your claim, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve got all of your documentation ready to fight your corner. You’ll need your account number, why you think you were mis-sold, when you opened the account and copies of statements.

While you can pursue your PBA refund on your own, the process can be stressful, and the bank might make things tricky with jargon and technicalities. It’s worth working with a claims management company, as they can run through everything for you; it’s always good to have someone on your side.

Claim back mis-sold PBA fees with Crystal Group

Whether you’re unsure if you’ve been mis-sold a PBA, or if you’re looking for support on your claim, our experts at Crystal Group are here to help. We’ve worked on 275,000+ claims, and have helped people like you recover over £122m in the last 12 years. 

See how Crystal can help you

As trusted experts, we offer clear, straight-forward financial guidance and policies. Get in touch for a free no-obligation consultation.

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