Royal Bank of Scotland has issued an apology after admitting it forged a pensioner’s signature to sign her up for payment protection insurance (PPI).
According to reports, Jean Mackay, from Forres in Scotland, became aware she was paying PPI on an RBS credit card she took out in 2008, despite ticking a box saying she did not require it. She contacted the bank, which then showed her a document with her ‘signature’ authorising the product.
Mackay, 82, insisted her signature had been faked. RBS eventually refunded her £1,117.71 plus interest, but refused to admit any wrongdoing.
She subsequently contacted the Financial Ombudsman but was told she may have simply ‘forgotten she had signed it’.
Mackay told the Mail on Sunday: ‘It was a fraud, not my signature. If I had forged my name on something, it would be a police matter. They should not get away with doing things like that to people who are trusting them.
‘Someone had forged my signature. I asked them to accept my name had been forged on an official document. I took it to the local branch, then I went to head office. They insisted I had signed it. I was really annoyed.’
She also wrote back to the Ombudsman in 2013 saying: ‘I am not senile, nor a liar, nor am I intent on defrauding the bank.
‘I have pursued this complaint for over four years expecting, at the very least, an apology, but becoming ever more frustrated by the bank’s refusal to accept my word and denying all responsibility or liability.’
Mackay had to put her campaign on hold in 2014 after being diagnosed with cancer. After whistleblowers forced RBS to admit bank staff had been trained to forge signatures in a report published in the Scottish Mail on Sunday two weeks ago, Mackay revived her campaign.
RBS was confronted by the Mail on Sunday this weekend and conceded the signature on the document was fake after a graphologist confirmed it was ‘no match’ with Mackay’s actual signature.
In its apology the bank suggested this was an ‘isolated incident’, compensating Mackay with £500.
A spokesman for RBS said: ‘The incident took place nearly 10 years ago and so we are unable to look at the case again in detail.
‘However, at the time a full investigation was carried out and it was found to be an isolated incident in that branch. Based on the information we have available today we would like to offer a sincere apology and compensation of £500.’