These case studies have been modified so as not to identify any actual cases at FIDReC. They are provided for purposes of learning and are not necessarily indicative of outcomes at FIDReC.
Lena applied for an education loan from the Bank sometime in 2018. Unfortunately, Lena defaulted on her repayments to the Bank many times in 2021. The Bank then closed Lena’s accounts (including the education loan). The Bank also sent a letter to Lena demanding full payment of the outstanding amount owed to the Bank.
Lena filed a complaint at FIDReC as she felt that it was unfair that the Bank had closed her account without consulting her. Lena wanted the Bank to reinstate her account and waive the outstanding finance charges. She also wanted the Bank to remove the adverse rating on her Credit Bureau Singapore (CBS) records.
At mediation, the Bank shared that when Lena defaulted on her payments, the Bank had made many attempts to contact her, including sending several reminder letters to alert her of the overdue status. The Bank also tried to contact Lena on the phone many times but to no avail. In relation to Lena’s request to amend her CBS records, the Bank explained that it could not do so. It had to upload its customer’s repayment records to CBS, which then generated a rating that reflected the payment history. The Bank also explained that it had the right to close Lena’s account according to the terms and conditions of the account.
Lena said that she did not receive the letters and explained that she was in financial distress. She acknowledged that the Bank was not able to change her CBS records.
The Bank empathised with Lena’s financial situation and made an offer to resolve the matter amicably. The Bank offered to waive the finance charges and allow Lena to pay the outstanding loan in monthly instalments.
Lena felt that the Bank had addressed her concerns and accepted the Bank’s offer. She noted that she would not be able to refer her non-monetary claims to adjudication.
Key Learning Points
- Banks may make a commercial decision to close a customer’s account in the manner set out in the account’s terms and conditions.
- Always repay your loans on time. Otherwise, the Bank will charge interest and late fees.
- If you are not able to pay the amount you owe, avoid defaulting. Check with the bank to see if you can make other payment arrangements. Any other payment arrangements will usually be subject to the bank’s discretion.
- While FIDReC can mediate all types of claims, those that are non-monetary in nature cannot proceed to adjudication. Non-monetary claims include reinstatement of accounts or orders for the Bank to amend CBS records.
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