Lloyds Bank should refund overdraft fees of vulnerable bipolar customer in manic episode

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Lloyds Bank, please refund my overdraft fees incurred when I was in a bipolar manic state. I cannot afford to live with these fees.

In 2015 I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder: a serious and lifelong mental illness which has no cure. It involves periods of great instability, including psychotic and manic episodes, and long periods of severe depression.

A common symptom of mania is overspending. As the website bipolarlives.com attests, Bipolar expert, Dr Ronald R. Fieve, describes bipolar excessive spending in his book Moodswing like this: “the lifestyle of the manic-depressive who is in a high tends to be a glorious scattering of money”.

It is extremely difficult to live with, and affects absolutely everything from my relationships to my career. Famous sufferers include Mariah Carey, Stephen Fry and Alastair Campbell. Yet I do not have the financial solvency that these celebrities have: i am dependent on the extortionate fees you have wrongly charged me in order to eat and pay my rent. I have no family home and if I can’t make rent, I shall be on the street and probably dead within a few months to a year.

While I unknowingly racked up overdraft debts during a manic phase in which I thought World War III was approaching, you took over £300 from me in charges and fees. I have complained about this and you refunded a more recent £30. What about the remaining £300?

I see it as the willful exploitation of the vulnerable: to me, it’s no better than your Lloyds Bank salesmen walking into a psychiatric ward and handing out credit cards to people without the capacity to understand the devastating consequences

My illness is now under control thanks to medication and therapy but those historic fees continue to blight me and make me unable to move on with my life.

£300 is nothing to you as a major high street bank but it’s everything to me as a young girl with a severe and terrible illness.

So please reconsider and please share this widely if you chance upon it. I struggle with rent every month and the stress is making me more unwell.

Frances Forbes-Carbines (age 28)

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