A Scottish couple are suing one of the country’s largest banks as they say they were charged £400,000 for an overdraft they could not use.
Andy and Moira Pearson, who run property development firm Tweed Homes, were granted a £2.5m overdraft by Clydesdale Bank in 2007 to build new homes in the Scottish Borders.
But after using around half of their fund the couple claim that they were cut off without any explanation.
The pair say that their seven year battle has caused them “anguish, anxiety and stress” and left them unable to contest the huge charges being made to their account.
The charges were marked on their statements as “arrangement fees”, “exit fees” and “security fees”, and amounted to around £400,000, more than a third of the sum of money they borrowed.
The couple also say that the bank charged them interest on the fees.
If their claims are true, it would make the charges one of the most expensive overdraft facilities to ever be given by a high street bank.
On Friday the couple’s lawyers lodged a legal action against the bank in Edinburgh’s Court of Session.
They have claimed that they bank breached its contract, and will seek £2.3m in damages.
Mr Pearson said: “Tweed Homes has been trying to settle matters amicably with Clydesdale for quite some time. However, our case has been passed from pillar to post for too long.
“We have finally lost patience with the bank and now find it necessary to try to achieve satisfaction through the courts.”
The legal action comes in the midst of a series of claims against high street banks accused of destroying customers’ businesses.
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is currently under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after claims that they bullied and mistreated customers, pushing them towards administration to prevent bank losses.
Cat MacLean, Mr and Mrs Pearson’s lawyer, said: “I am deeply sympathetic to the situation my clients find themselves in: they have been committed to resolving matters with the bank since 2008, and have worked hard to achieve a resolution.
“They have been consistently rebuffed and so it is disappointing, but perhaps not surprising, that things have come to this, and proceedings have now been raised.
“If there is a willingness on the part of the bank to resolve matters through discussion, my clients are still prepared to do so. But equally they are now entirely prepared to see litigation through to conclusion.”
Clydesdale Bank said that they could not comment on specific cases.