Do YOU think that Abbey National practices 'Fair Banking? Help us complain! : LUSENET : Repossession : One Thread

Did you see, as I did, Abbey National's advert in The Guardian this morning (p 2, 14.10.00)? It carried the slogan 'Fair Banking'. If you don't think that Abbey National *is* a fair bank, you can complain about the advert to the Advertising Standards Authority. If you think that Abbey has treated you badly, failed to abide by the Mortgage Code, bullied you, misled you, failed to provide documents you have asked to see, been negligent or guilty of maladministration, etc etc, then tell the ASA about it. They can be contacted at: or by writing to: ASA, 2 Torrington Place, London CW1E 7HW. I have already sent them a copy of the advert from the Guardian. Don't forget, every member of a household can complain separately. We don't have to take it. Thanks, E.

-- Eleanor Scott (, October 14, 2000


I will definitely be Emailing the ASA to complain about this advert. I believe that they have misled the public with their "50% off" PR stunt which is definitely not what I would term as being a part of "Fair" banking. I would dread to think that other lenders who may be monitoring the results of this PR job might think it a no-outlay success and hence copy it.

I would suggest that anyone that believes the use of the word "Fair" in their advertising is not correct should also complain.

-- Tony Hayter (, October 14, 2000.

The same advert appeared today in the Observer (main section p 16) and the Mail on Sunday (p 6). Same line - Abbey National: 'Fair Banking'. Hmm.

-- Eleanor Scott (, October 15, 2000.

Abbey National has recently had a number of complaints against it upheld by the ASA.

See, adjudication dated 9th May 2001:

"Complaint: Objection to a national press advertisement, for a bank, that was headlined "Leave him. He's not worth it." The advertisement stated "No bank manager will match our free overdraft. Switch your bank account to Abbey National, the only bank to give you an interest-free overdraft* for your first year. What's more, if you still want an overdraft after a year, the authorised overdraft APR is currently 9.9%. And whoever your present bank manager is, he or she won't offer free everyday banking when you stay in credit, as Abbey National do ... To switch to fair banking call into your nearest branch, visit our website or call us." The footnote stated "*Comparison based on interest-bearing current accounts." The complainant challenged the claims:

1. "No bank manager will match our free overdraft";

2. "the only bank to give you an interest-free overdraft* for your first year"; and

3. "whoever your present bank manager is, he or she won't offer free everyday banking when you stay in credit, as Abbey National do."

Codes Section: 3.1, 7.1, 19.2 (Ed 10)


1. Complaint upheld The advertisers sent the conditions of their overdraft offer. They explained that they offered to match consumers' existing overdraft and agreed to charge no interest for 12 months if consumers switched their bank account via the Abbey National Switcher Service. The advertisers said they offered a maximum of £5,000, ten times more than that offered by their nearest rival. They said the overdraft was free as long as consumers did not exceed their overdraft limit. The advertisers said consumers had to demonstrate only that they had maintained their account within the limit agreed with their present bank; they asked for three months of bank statements as proof. The advertisers provided Moneyfacts information that showed the overdrafts offered by other banks. They believed they were justified in using the claim. The Authority acknowledged that the advertisers were the only bank to offer to match consumers' overdrafts of up to £5,000 interest-free. It was concerned, however, that the advertisers could not match the interest-free overdrafts that were offered by some banks that were not restricted to 12 months. Because the advertisers matched the free overdrafts of those banks for only one year, the Authority concluded that the claim was misleading. It asked the advertisers to remove the claim.

2. Complaint upheld The advertisers pointed out that no other bank provided an interest-free overdraft for the first year, although they conceded that some banks offered a buffer zone, which meant that consumers would not pay interest on an overdraft in the agreed buffer zone. The advertisers said the buffer zones on offer ranged from £10 to £500. The Authority acknowledged that all consumers, if their overdraft was no more than £5000, could transfer their account to the advertisers and have an interest-free overdraft for a year. It noted, however, that some banks offered consumers an up-to-£500 interest-free overdraft or buffer zone and that that offer was not restricted to 12 months. Because other banks offered an interest-free overdraft or buffer zone in the first year, the Authority considered that the claim was misleading. It asked the advertisers to remove the claim.

3. Complaint upheld The advertisers asserted that they did not charge for merely having a bank account or for everyday transactions, which most other banks charged for. They cited as examples use of cash machines, getting photocopies of cheques, special presentation of cheques, getting a banker's draft and copy statements and stopping cheques. The advertisers argued that most competitors charged for some or all of those transactions. The advertisers said they charged for some transactions that were carried out on an exceptional basis. The advertisers sent Moneyfacts information that detailed the advertisers' charges and their competitors' charges. Although it noted the advertisers levied fewer charges than did their competitors, the Authority considered that most consumers would not regard transactions such as special presentation of cheques and obtaining photocopies of cheques as everyday banking. Because many other banks did not charge for occurrences that most consumers would regard as everyday banking, such as direct debit, cheques and ATM withdrawal, the Authority considered that the claim was unacceptable and asked the advertisers to withdraw it. "

-- Eleanor Scott (, June 07, 2001.

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