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  1. Hello All, I have received a letter from a company called Collect Direct UK with "notice of legal proceedings". until today I had never heard of them nor had any letters or communication with them. Later that evening I received a phone call saying they were calling from CDUK (Had not opened the letter at that point) and needed to go through security to which point I stated I wouldn't just give my details out to a random cold caller and hung up. They then tried to call back seven times which I just rejected each time. I do recognise the alleged debt as a Gym I used to go to and had argued with them about the contract however got no where so just stopped talking to them and now this letter has appeared 2 months later with no letters ever coming from the gym in question. I have done a little research into CDUK and it appears that their FCA registration has lapsed and the right to do any debt collection is inactive which I assume means they are not authorised to chase for debts. Firm Name: Improved Financial Solutions Limited Interim Permissions Reference Number: 559133 Current status: Lapsed Register Status Effective Date: End Date: Firm Reference Number: Principal Place of Business Address: Jason House, 2nd Floor Kerry Hill Horsforth LEEDS LS18 4JR Registered Office Address: Spectrum House Bond Street BRISTOL BS1 3LG Phone: Fax: Website: 0113 259 6900 Contact: Richard Lane Firm name: Improved Financial Solutions Limited Interim Permissions reference number: 559133 Names Registered Name Improved Financial Solutions Limited Previous Registered Names Trading Names Collect Direct (UK), Teleperformance Collections, Tp Collections, Cduk, Imfs Permission Description Status Limitation Against Permission Permission End Date Credit brokerage Credit broking Or Credit broking limited to credit intermediation Inactive 31/12/2014 Debt collecting Debt collecting Inactive 31/12/2014 Debt-Adjusting on a Commercial Basis Debt adjusting on a commercial basis Inactive 31/12/2014 Debt-Counselling on a Non-Commercial Basis Debt counselling on a non-commercial basis only Inactive 31/12/2014 No right to canvass off trade premises They hold an interim permission but the FCA website doesnt really explain what the interim permission means or permits them to do. My question is that if all rights to collect debt are inactive should this company be actively trying to collect on debts? They have no FCA registration details on the letter but state they are authorised and regulated by the FCA for accounts formed under the CCA 1974(amended 2006) I have had no notice of assignment from the original company, nor any letter giving the debt company permission to deal with this debt. Your help would be appreciated Thanks
  2. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) could consider a time limit on Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints as part of a wider review to decide if the scheme has been a success. The FCA said it will use this evidence to assess whether the current approach is securing appropriate protection for consumers and enhancing the integrity of the UK’s financial system. It will look at how banks are handling complaints and how PPI complaints are being made. The regulator will then consider whether further action is needed such as a time limit on complaints or whether to continue the PPI scheme in its current form. The FCA will publish its conclusions in the summer. Since January 2011, firms have handled over 14 million PPI consumer complaints about the sale of PPI, upholding over 70% and paying £17.3 billion compensation. http://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/news/fca-to-review-success-of-ppi-complaints-process/a795761
  3. http://www.fca.org.uk/static/documents/requirement-notices/ahl-vreq.pdf Looks like the FCA are beginning to show their teeth. 3 issues noted with AHL/Cash Genie. (a) a systems weakness and other matters that may have allowed unauthorised charges to be applied to AHL customers' accounts; (b) potential misuse of banking information provided to affiliated websites to repay outstanding debts of existing AHL customers who are in arrears; and © a number of issues in relation to the refinancing (I.e. rolling over) of customers' loans. The regulator has instructed CG to carry out a S166, where they have toa ppoint an independent 3rd party to ensure the remediation work is carried out in a fair manner. CG will undertake (a) an Investigation to Identify whether or not consumers have been affected by any breaches of contractual and/or regulatory obligations applicable at the relevant time as a result of the Issues Identified In paragraph 1.2 and, If so, the extent; and (b) a scheme for assessing the redress that would be appropriate in any Instances of breach
  4. The Financial Conduct Authority are proposing changes to the way finacial firms handle consumer complaints. The main proposals are; * Financial services firms will no longer be able to use premium rate telephone numbers for customers as part of a series of proposals * Is now proposing to extend period during which complaints can be resolved without need for a formal letter * In addition, complainants will be able to refer all cases to ombudsman service immediately after receiving firm's response * Proposes to improve transparency by requiring firms to report all complaints to FCA, not just those where final response letters are issued http://www.fca.org.uk/news/cp1430-improving-complaints-handling They want to know what you think of their proposals and would welcome comments using the online response form by 13 March 2015
  5. about time too http://www.fca.org.uk/news/fca-proposals-to-tackle-issues-in-gap-insurance-market
  6. There is an opportunity for each and every CaG member to feedback to the FCA on issues that they have faced with Lenders handling of any regulated mortgage here: http://www.fca.org.uk/news/dp14-2-fairness-of-changes-to-mortgage-contracts No feedback = No Voice! The deadline is the 30th September 2014. Apple
  7. http://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurance-age/news/2379614/fca-fines-and-bans-three-former-swinton-senior-executives?utm_term=&utm_content=FCA%20fines%20and%20bans%20three%20former%20Swinton%20senior%20executives&utm_campaign=IA.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=IA.DCM.Editors_Updates "Ban follows enforcement action in 2013 and Halpin, Bowyer and Clare have been barred from senior roles at FCA regulated firms. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined three former senior executives of Swinton Group a combined total of £928,000 and banned them from performing various roles at financial services firms. The FCA's action follows previous enforcement action taken against Swinton in 2013 when the company was fined £7.4m after it adopted an aggressive sales strategy that resulted in mis-sales of monthly add-on insurance policies. A culture of pushing for high sales and increased profit without regard for customers had developed at Swinton according to the regulator. Peter Halpin, former chief executive of Swinton, was fined £412,700 and is banned from acting as chief executive of a financial services firm. Anthony Clare, the former finance director, was fined £208,600 and is banned from performing significant influence functions at financial services firms. And the same ban has also been placed on Nicholas Bowyer, former marketing director, who was fined £306,700. Competence All three have been banned on the basis of showing a lack of competence in their respective former roles. Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: "A culture was allowed to develop within Swinton that pushed for high sales and increased profit without regard to the impact on the firm's customers. "We expect firms to put customers at the heart of their business. These three directors should have recognised the risk to customers and redressed the balance so that the drive to maximise profits did not jeopardise the fair treatment of customers. "Those with significant influence within firms are responsible for setting the tone and the culture; they set the example that others will follow. Action "Today's enforcement action should serve as a timely reminder to those at the very top of firms that the FCA is determined to hold individuals to account where they fall short of the standard we require." A statement from Halpin reads: "I sincerely regret any possible unintended detriment suffered by customers. "I acted in good faith at all times and it is of some significant comfort that the Regulator did not impugn my integrity, nor find that my conduct was improperly motivated by incentive arrangements". Swinton was also fined £770,000 in 2009 for failures in its sales of PPI"
  8. Regulator orders Banks and mutuals to review complaints about not cancelling recurring payments from November 2009. Consumers who have set up a regular payment from their account will now be able to successfully cancel that arrangement by contacting their card provider, the Financial Conduct Authority said. The FCA has been examining how easy it is for customers to cancel Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs) due either to payday lenders or for other regular payments such as subscriptions or gym memberships. CPAs, which are also commonly called recurring transactions or recurring payments, are relatively easy to set up but can be hard to cancel, causing problems for consumers trying to manage their finances,the FCA said. Now, following the FCA review of how the largest high street banks and mutuals process requests to cancel CPAs, they have agreed that they will ensure that when a customer asks for a recurring payment to end, that will be sufficient to cancel the arrangement. They have also confirmed that should a payment go through by mistake following cancellation by a customer the customer will be refunded immediately. In addition to securing this commitment, the largest banks and mutuals have agreed to review every individual complaint they have received about the non-cancellation of a CPA and to pay redress where payments have continued to be made despite the customer cancelling the arrangement. This applies to all complaints since November 2009 when the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor, began regulating banking conduct. Clive Adamson, the FCA’s director of supervision, said: “It’s important that consumers are confident that banks are meeting their everyday banking needs. Today customers can be confident that when they ask for a Continuous Payment Authority to be cancelled – it will be cancelled - and that it can be done easily. “We recognise that historically this is an area where some customers have struggled but the banks and mutuals have responded positively to our work on this issue. From now on we expect them to be getting this right. In addition, they have committed to review past complaints.” http://www.ftadviser.com/2013/06/28/regulation/regulators/fca-banks-have-to-cancel-recurring-payments-if-requested-UxbeHUuYQIy0SEYbGRE4tJ/article.html
  9. What does this story actually mean for us. Banks to reopen 2.5m PPI claims after FCA inquiry I have a claim against Capital One which they made me a final offer in October 2013. Due to a few personal reasons I did not put it back to the Ombudsman until this month and Capital One have admitted that it was incorrectly calculated but are saying it is time barred so the FOS cannot get them to recalculate. Does this story mean that they will be contacting me and coming clean about the miscalculation (I very much doubt this)? Will they be forced to open all claims where the amount was disputed? I fear that without the teeth behind it then not much will happen and who is going to be able to force the banks into recalculating - is it the FOS or the FCA? How is the FCA involved in all this. Can we complain to the FCA, in one case against Mastercard they have lied to me throughout the whole process so if they receive complaints then I will do this. Don't suppose anyone has an email for Martin Wheatley, chief executive at the FCA?
  10. http://www.fca.org.uk/news/fca-fines-rbs-and-natwest-for-failures-in-mortgage-advice-process
  11. http://www.fca.org.uk/news/fca-proposes-price-cap-for-payday-lenders The FCA’s key proposals are as follows: 1. Initial cost cap of 0.8% per day. For new loans, or loans rolled over, interest and fees must not exceed 0.8% of the amount borrowed. This lowers the costs for those borrowers paying a daily interest rate above the initial cost cap. 2. Fixed default fees capped at £15 – Protects borrowers struggling to repay. If borrowers cannot repay their loans on time, fees must not exceed £15. Interest on unpaid balances and default fees must not exceed 0.8% per day of the outstanding amount. 3. Total cost cap of 100% - Protects borrowers from escalating debts. Borrowers must never have to pay back more in fees and interest than the amount borrowed.
  12. I have been asked to be a witness for FCA at the end of year or early 2015. Even though the prospect terrifies me, I still remember the distress I was caused. Has anyone else been a witness and can advise me please
  13. The regulator appears to be nudging the industry to move away from using some customers to pay for others The City regulator is to investigate overdrafts amid a suggestion that it will no longer accept the convention that high charges and interest from those in the red are needed to pay for free banking for all. A history of the bank charges battle The relationship between banks and customers over overdrafts has long been fractious and ended in the High Court. A decade ago, fees had been ratcheted higher and customers were beginning to notice; anger was rising. By 2006, some banks were charging £40 for each misdemeanour, such as breaching an overdraft limit or a bounced payment. £750 for a £2 overdraft At the time, I encountered some incredible cases. In one instance, a reader went £2 overdrawn, was charged £28 for doing so, £35 for the letter telling them so, and then hit for £5 each day they were in the red. The bill ended up at £750. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/banking/10758760/What-the-FCAs-latest-investigation-means-for-free-banking.html
  14. The FCA sent me this link so I can check on what DCA is what and if they have any complaints and much more hope it is of help to anyone http://fca-consumer-credit-interim.force.com/CS_RegisterSearchPageNew Or this one http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/firmSearchForm.do MM
  15. A crackdown on the use of pre-ticked boxes to sell "add-on" insurance products is planned after it was found that consumers are being overcharged by up to £200 million a year. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has unveiled a package of proposals to shake up the way in which insurance is bolted on to major purchases such as cars, holidays, mobile phones, home insurance and credit cards. The add-on insurance industry is worth around £1 billion, but an investigation by the FCA found many consumers are not shopping around to compare the cost of these insurance products and they are potentially paying up to £200 million annually for products they may never need. The FCA's plans include banning pre-ticked boxes to ensure people have to actively choose to buy an add-on and forcing firms to publish claims ratios, which could spell out more clearly to customers what financial benefit they might expect to gain as a result of buying the product. http://money.uk.msn.com/news/add-on-insurance-crackdown-planned
  16. http://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/news-and-analysis/regulation/fca-hits-insurance-broker-with-30m-fine-over-misselling/2006613.article
  17. Can't the above be excluded from the "new postings" search as wading through several pages of this every day is getting boring!
  18. I know it is only once a week the FCA posts the firms to avoid but today this went over 5 pages. While it is vitally important that people are informed of companies to avoid, could this not be done with just one link to the relevant forum?
  19. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23791252
  20. Sixty percent of PPI compensation claims handled by some smaller lenders have been challenged by regulators for being unfair to customers. The Financial Conduct Authority said a survey of medium-sized banks had found problems with the way many of the lenders dealt with PPI complaints. According to the report, the regulator said it “disagreed” with the way two thirds of the 18 banks surveyed had rejected claims for compensation for mis-sold PPI policies. Where these banks had offered redress, the FCA said it had concerns with 43pc of the offers made to victims, adding the firms “did not display a genuinely holistic approach” to dealing with the claims. “We expect firms to deliver fair outcomes to PPI complainants. In our review, we found that some firms are doing this while it is clear others still have some way to go,” said Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA. The firms surveyed account for about 1m complaints, or approximately 16pc of the total brought against the banking industry. According to the FCA these firms have so far paid out £1.1bn in compensation. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10332973/FCA-disagrees-with-60pc-of-smaller-banks-PPI-claims.html
  21. Regulator reminds homeowners of their responsibilities in paying off capital, but wants fair treatment from lenders Homeowners with interest-only mortgages who do not have enough money to pay them off when they mature have been warned it is ultimately their responsibility to find a way to clear their loan. However, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) added that it expected mortgage lenders to treat these customers fairly and not "exploit" those in difficulty by, for example, demanding they pay a higher rate of interest than other customers. Repossession of a property should be "a last resort". With an interest-only mortgage the borrower agrees to pay off the interest each month but makes no capital repayments. Borrowers are typically expected to have an investment plan in place to pay off the debt at the end of the term – but not everyone does. Link: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/aug/29/fca-fair-treatment-interest-only-mortgage-borrowers
  22. Just wondering with the FSA being closed down and restarted as the FCA. How will this affect the way we use BCOBS when dealing with the banks?
  23. The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Sesame £6m for failing to ensure that investment advice given to its customers was suitable and failings in the systems and controls that governed the oversight of its appointed representatives. The penalty is made up of a £245,000 fine for Sesame’s advice failings in relation to Keydata life settlement products, and a £5,786,200 fine for systems and controls weaknesses across its investment advice business. The FCA’s director of enforcement and financial crime Tracey McDermott says the weaknesses in Sesame’s systems and controls show that there was an ongoing risk that unsuitable advice could be given by Sesame’s ARs. She says: “Sesame is one of the largest and most well-known financial services networks in the UK responsible for the oversight of some 1,220 ARs. It describes itself as ‘perfectly placed to deliver expert guidance and services’ but the failings in this case fall far short of that. “By allowing ARs to use their regulatory permission to operate, Principals are effectively vouching for them. Therefore they must keep a close eye on what their ARs do and keep them up to date with the regulator’s expectations. Critically, they must also act decisively when things go wrong. Sesame failed on all of these counts.” Sesame agreed to settle the case at an early stage of the investigation and therefore qualified for a 30 per cent discount. Without the discount the fine would have been £8,616,000. Between July 2005 and June 2009 Sesame advised 426 customers to invest a total of over £6.1m in Keydata life settlement products. However, the regulator says the vast majority of Sesame’s sales were flawed because: · there was a mismatch between customers’ stated investment objectives, attitude to risk and the product sold; · the suitability letters provided to customers stated incorrectly that income or capital growth was guaranteed; and/or · customers were advised incorrectly that the Keydata life settlement products were low risk. This was despite Sesame’s own view that the Keydata life settlement products presented investors with “a considerable amount of risk”. While it issued its ARs with this view, it failed to take any further steps to prevent and/or identify mis-selling. The FCA says Sesame failed to take reasonable care to ensure the advice given by ARs and the decisions they made on behalf of customers were suitable. It adds that in in every case reviewed by the FCA Sesame had failed to explain to customers all of the key risks and had failed to give a balanced view of the advantages and disadvantages of the Keydata life settlement products. The FCA also found, following further supervisory work, between July 2010 and September 2012, that Sesame failed to take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, and had failed to improve its oversight of the ARs. In particular: · Sesame failed to identify and monitor sales of those products and funds which were not suitable for most customers; · both desk-based file reviews and visits by Sesame’s internal compliance team were not always suitably robust; and · problems with record-keeping for ARs continued. Furthermore, in terms of Sesame’s culture, the language used internally within the firm supported an incorrect view that its customers were the ARs rather than the end retail customers. The FCA found that these failings in Sesame’s systems and controls meant that the unsuitable sales that occurred between 2005 and 2009 could have been repeated in relation to other investment products between July 2010 and September 2012. Sesame Bankhall Group’s chief executive officer George Higginson says the network regrets these past issues and has undertaken an immediate past business review to ensure that any customers who received unsuitable advice on Keydata Products have been compensated. He says: “Through our multi-million pound investment in technology and improved systems and control framework, which includes the move to full file checking, we are working hard to ensure lessons are learnt and corrective actions implemented. The launch of our business change programme last September, with technology at its core, is already delivering tangible benefits and demonstrates our determination to continually strengthen our systems and controls. “The executive team and I are fully committed to ensuring our advisers are delivering the right customer outcomes that can be clearly evidenced.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/fca-fines-sesame-6m-over-investment-advice/1072267.article
  24. The Financial Conduct Authority has admitted it does not track whether further regulatory action is taken when whistleblowing reports are handed over to other internal departments. A freedom of information request, submitted by Money Marketing, reveals the FSA’s whistleblowing team received 4,063 tip-offs between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, up 13 per cent from 3,600 the previous year. When asked to provide the number of whistleblowing reports received in 2012/13 that resulted in enforcement action, the regulator was unable to do so. The FoI reveals the FSA did not record what happened in the 15 per cent of the whistleblowing reports it received in 2012/13, which were passed to other FSA departments. The regulator adds the cost of now finding out whether regulatory action was taken in these cases would exceed the £450 limit to comply with an FoI request. The FCA first pledged to strengthen its use of market intelligence from the industry last August. FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley has stressed he wants to work closer with the industry to spot potential problems, saying in March the regulator will be “much more sensitive to information about financial products and the way they are being sold”. The FCA also consulted earlier this year on giving whistleblowers more information and providing the industry with an overview of the type of action taken, as part of plans for greater regulatory transparency. An FCA spokesman says: “Whistleblowing is a valuable source of information and we take each allegation extremely seriously. We are in the process of updating our systems so we can check the final outcome of a whistleblower report quicker than before.” Lansons director of regulatory consulting Richard Hobbs says: “Surely a regulator should have the management information to show how effective whistleblowing is. “The regulator seems to believe whistleblowing is a regulatory tool worth improving. But how does it know if it has not got the data? There is a gap in its logic there.” Apfa policy director Chris Hannant says: “There is nothing worse than trying to encourage people to come forward if the information is just going to disappear into a black hole. It is important for the regulator to demonstrate what it has done with reports to show whistleblowing is worthwhile.” Hudson Green & Associates principal Ian Hudson says: “Treating customers fairly is all about measuring successful outcomes and the same principles should apply to the regulator.” Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/fca-fails-to-track-whistleblowing-reports/1071973.article
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