However, today, I see another case of mis-wording things to somehow "take the bank out of the loop". This is the same principle as the fraud thing - by making me the one defrauded they sort of take themselves out of responsibility, which is bullshit.
I refer to the Direct Debit Guarantee.
I am trying to claim a refund under the guarantee from Barclays, and for some reason they have taken nearly a week to provide the immediate refund that they guarantee, and at each step they refer to "my indemnity claim".
So, it is worth explaining to people how this works so that you know.
- I authorise the bank to debit my account at the request of someone else (the "originator") - this is the Direct Debit Instruction.
- In return the bank offers me a guarantee that if a mistake is made the bank will give me an immediate refund.
- Quite separately, the originator offers all banks in the scheme an insurance (an "indemnity" agreement) that if the bank loses out because of the DD guarantee, they will pay the bank.
- This means the bank make an "indemnity claim" against the originator after they lose out because they had to refund me.
This means there are two distinct and, in principle, unrelated things that happen here. I claim my refund. The bank make an indemnity claim.
This is quite important as, in theory, things could go wrong with the indemnity claim - e.g. what if the originator no longer existed (e.g. a refund on an old DD after originator has gone bust)? Well, in that case the bank is still obliged to refund me under the Direct Debit Guarantee that they provide to me. However the bank will have nobody to claim from, and so the bank loses out. Not me!
There are other cases. The originator can make a "counter claim", claiming from the bank that the bank should not have made the refund as "there had been no mistake". In that case, the counter claim provides the bank with the evidence necessary to reverse the refund on the basis that they should not have paid out on the DD guarantee, and they refund the originator as part of that counter claim. The bank can then use that evidence to reverse the refund.
So why are the bank messing about calling it "my" indemnity claim? I can only assume they are trying to extricate themselves from the process. I.e. if for some reason the claim does not work, they would try and reclaim the refund, because it is "my" claim and they are just helping me make it. This is, once again, bullshit.
Why does it matter?
In both cases we are seeing more and more people fooled by the wording and really believing that they are making an indemnity claim or they are the victim of fraud. Over time that will be what everyone thinks, even lawyers, judges, and politicians. It is a gradual change of perception, and before long the practical aspects of such things will end up as the bank have changed the rules without actually any change in the law or the guarantee or contracts.
I think banks should not be allowed to bend the truth like this.