Keeping track of the paper trail
QI HAVE had a personal account with Royal Bank of Scotland for over 35 years. I have always received monthly statements, which I file to help with completing tax forms and to show what I have paid for.
Last summer, the bank wrote to say paperless was the future. They promised paperless was not compulsory and if a customer wanted to continue receiving printed statements, they should contact the bank.
I went to the nearest bank branch and handed in a letter requesting the continuation of paper statements.
But in early January, I had to do a self-assessment tax form. Some of the details needed were easiest to find on bank statements. It was only then I realised that I had not received a statement since June 2018.
I started complaining to the bank a month ago by email, requesting not just restoration of the written accounts but copies of all those which were missing. I get lots of replies, many automated, but the problem remains.
Can you help?
AYOUR first meaningful – as opposed to automated – reply to your email totally ignored the request for the missing statements but offered you £20 compensation. It did not explain why the problem occurred, although it apologised for the inconvenience. It promised to restart paper statements but so far you are still waiting.
You tried again – this time asking a call centre worker for the missing statements. They listened, but stated duplicate statements cost £6 each, although this is not applicable here due to RBS’S failure. RBS said it would waive this charge, which it should never have mentioned, and increase the compensation to £40.
It also promised to post the missing statements, although it was vague about timing. So far, they have not arrived. Maybe they will, but if not, your next stage is to write to RBS and threaten to bring in the Financial Ombudsman.
Besides your filing needs, printed statements can prove identity as many refuse online versions. Paperless can be hopeless if you live somewhere with slow or non-existent broadband.
Last year, RBS, which owns Natwest, was forced by regulators to display leaflets in branches showing it was bottom of 15 banks in a customer service survey.