Independent Banking Advisory Service 

Established in 1992

IBAS is now in it's 25th year helping/guiding those with UK Business Banking disputes and Director's Personal Guarantee business debt claims - IBAS is the only UK non profit organization which provides business banking customers with specialist business banking assistance and specialist business banking guidance and also IBAS specialist business banking investigations.

 

 

 

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Banking News & UK Comment 2007

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is planning to take a majority stake in Northern Rock, so the BBC has learned. Virgin Money has for some time been interested in banking and mortgages. Is Northern Rock going to be the foundation on which Virgin Money builds? Is Northern Rock's mortgage portfolio Virgin's entry point into creating a bank of it's own - or is this another PR exercise whilst the Government continues to 'shore' Northern Rock up until the most palatable solution is found? As they say - you couldn't make it up, could you? - 12.10.07

If the recent Northern Rock issue has done anything it has shown up deficiencies in our regulatory system. Whether Northern Rock can now survive without being 'broken up' will become evident in the short term. Northern Rock's exposure brought about by events starting in the USA shows how swiftly financial 'jitters' create waves which drown those who are most at risk.  Whether the FSA, Bank of England or indeed the Government ever thought they would witness a run on a bank in 2007 is not the point. The point is whether they have learnt anything from this event. We can only hope.  

Judges appear to have lost patience and banks are looking under pressure from consumers with more than 600 cases heard in Leeds alone. This represents a massive consumer revolt against bank profiteering from bank consumers sick of excuses and promises from regulators. Whilst regulators have been reluctant to enforce regulation, (despite having the ability to do so), consumers have shown that they do have the ability to hit banks where it hurts - 'in their pocket' - provided those consumers are 'shaped' into a large enough force and have a justified, legitimate and common aim.

Banks have enjoyed too much protection from Government. This has encouraged banks to continue their financial plundering of all banking consumers. We know how ruthless banks are when consumers are forced to face them alone. Consumers need to be equally as ruthless and keep asking for bank penalty fees back. The banks do not deserve sympathy for their ruthless profiteering or for building profits out of misery.

IBAS has stated clearly for more than fourteen years that there is no excuse for bank 'profiteering' - the penalty fees debate has shown that the banks are not confident that the law is on their side in this area. If the banks were confident of their position on 'penalty fees' they would have sought an early 'landmark' case to set a legal precedent in their favour. The fact that they have not been confident on that route demonstrates their growing problem in dealing with this specific issue.

This is just one of many such areas where profiteering by banks has been allowed for too long and IBAS has repeatedly requested Government to windfall tax banking because of that profiteering. However, Government has refused that option.

Consumers have now taken the opportunity presented to them and are reclaiming 'unfair' penalties in volume. Those penalties were in our opinion 'inflicted' on bank consumers by lenders purely for profit they would generate and for no other reason.

Fair, decent profit should be applauded by us all - equally unfair or indecent profit which is created by intentional and targeted profiteering should be abhor
rant to us all. - Eddy Weatherill, Chief executive,  Independent Banking Advisory Service.

As the consumer penalty charge 'fight back' intensifies several new issues arise. 'Ambulance chasing' - 'no win, no fee' operators have moved in on what they see as a lucrative area for their plundering and the bank's are threatening to delay information which is required under the Data Protection Act - because they say they are unable to process the volume of applications now being received.

Bank Customers wanting to 'kick-start' their finances have never had a better opportunity by reclaiming penalty charges levied by their banks during the last 6 years - it's certainly easy enough to do. We do not recommend that anyone use the the newly emerging 'ambulance chasers' who are offering to reclaim penalty fees for 'a percentage'.

Many of these operations are very new and previously 'unknown' in this industry - providing any personal financial information to unknown and opportunistic trading entities (who may claim they have been in existence for a number of years and with great success) - should be avoided. It is too easy to lose your financial identity and far more costly in the long term.

With regard to the data information being requested from banks - there is existing and current law which covers this and the Information Commissioner should not allow any leeway for banks to delay this process. Banks have all made substantial profits again this year - let them use some of that profit in providing more people to do the work necessary to correct their profiteering from penalty charges - 03/05/07 

Banks are again declaring massive profits - but bank customers can now see a way of getting some of their money back. Not before time either! Regulators and Government take note - the consumers are now getting 'active' and the consumer 'revolution' has started - bank consumers want fair treatment not banks employing rip-off tactics and pure profiteering.

If the banks do not want your personal account business - see the item below for another option which may be open to you as an alternative - we will be looking further into Credit Unions and will post links when available:

The monopoly of banks and building societies on current accounts has been broken - Credit Unions have started offering fully functioning current accounts to their members after one successful pilot attracted 1000 customers - unhappy bank customers now have another option open to them to 'vote with their feet' - 23.3.07

Compensation issues are touched on but "Former customers will have to be pro-active about this," said Robin Gordon-Walker of the FSA.

Even more media attention on the banking industry and it's tactics, which makes it appear even more greedy and profiteering. As IBAS has been saying for many years this industry does need regulators to properly 'clean it up' and only then can we all be proud of it and not disgusted by it.

What a good start to 2007 - Up to 10 banks and lenders are expected to be fined by the FSA for mis-selling payment protection insurance (PPI) in coming weeks. IBAS have had so many complaints about PPI being sold by lenders and being added to loans and overdrafts over the last decade that it has become a National scandal. Financial providers have 'ripped off' personal and business consumers to enlarge profits whilst providing little or nothing in return. Now we wait to see which banks will be named and shamed by the FSA!  22.01.07

Independent Banking Advisory Service (IBAS) National, independent, unique, experienced, specialist, non-profit, banking customer membership organization which investigates and resolves business banking disputes & has since 1992 campaigned on UK Banking issues - providing business banking editorial for BBC TV News, ITV News, Sky News, Radio and all national newspapers.