Keep­ing track of the pa­per trail

Gloucestershire Echo - - CASHING IN -

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.

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