Dyslexic man’s appeal over HSBC lending turned down

The man’s uncle, Derbyshire-based Graham Wallace, claimed Fos “failed” his “developmentally slow” nephew earlier this year for rejecting a complaint that HSBC allowed him to roll up a £2700 personal loan taken out in the year 2000 on five separate occasions.

Mr Wallace claimed his nephew was allowed to accumulate debt approaching £16,000 with HSBC, as the bank forced through direct debit payments for its own products, while rejecting other payments - subsequently contributing to a wider debt in excess of £70,000.

The complaint was not upheld by Fos in February 2012, leading to an appeal by Mr Wallace on behalf of his nephew to an independent assessor.

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The assessor subsequently threw out the complaint, despite apologising to him for the Fos’s initial incorrect referral to 2011 HSBC terms and conditions regarding unpaid direct debits, and how they could lead to unauthorised overdrafts.

Mr Wallace said these terms and conditions were not clear in 2005, and claimed: “This would allow the bank to appropriate funds as it wished and make people overdrawn and levy charges.”

The ruling said HSBC was “entitled to take the action it took”.

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Keith Iles, director of Middlesex-based the JHC Partnership, said: “Terms and conditions can be a difficult one, if it wasn’t in the small print you’d have illustrations of 100 pages. A lot of responsibility lies with the bank, but how far do you go? Ideally this man should have been notified of his difficulties earlier.”