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In May 2015, I started a thread on this forum regarding a debtor (Mr OR) who had followed advice from the internet and had issued an injunction against a local authority after his vehicle had been clamped by a bailiff. The debtor considered that his vehicle should have been exempt as it was subject to finance. Unfortunately, his injunction failed as the Judge ruled that there could be a ‘beneficial’ interest in the vehicle. Mr OR was ordered to pay the local authorities costs of £3,200. This was in addition to his own costs (the fee for the injunction alone was £395). A link to this popular thread is below. So far, it has received almost 13,000 views. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?445251-Goods-on-HP-a-Judge-says-they-can-be-sold(1-Viewing)-nbsp In Sept 2015, I started a similar thread on here to warn members of the public that if they have a vehicle that is subject to finance, they need to ensure that they provide evidence that there is no ‘beneficial interest' in the vehicle. Even that thread has received almost 6,500 views !! http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?451273-Vehicles-on-HP-can-be-sold-by-a-bailiff.-Evidence-must-be-provided-that-there-is-no-beneficial-interest. Unfortunately, a couple of months ago, another debtor (Mr MH) also issued an injunction to prevent an enforcement company selling his vehicle (a mini cab). This vehicle was also subject to ‘hire purchase’. The difference with this case, was that the ‘value’ of the vehicle was approx £14,500, and the amount required to settle the obligation under the hire purchase contract was just £6,300 (leaving an ‘equitable interest’ of approx £8,200). The debtor lost his case in court on 16th August. He was also ordered to pay the local authorities legal costs of £3,400. He was refused permission to appeal. Neither the debtor or his legal representative have made an application to appeal and accordingly, given the importance of this subject, the enforcement company have given me permission to provide an outline of the case in the hope that it may help other debtors to avoid making the same mistake. PS: I will not be giving the name of the debtor, the local authority or the enforcement company. The facts of the case are all that is important.
Royal Bank of Scotland is to axe 1,400 jobs over the next two years as part of a restructuring of its UK retail banking head office. This will take the total number of staff cut since the bank was bailed out by taxpayers in 2008 at a cost of £45.5bn to 38,900. Ross McEwan, chief executive of UK retail banking at RBS, said the cuts were necessary to improve the lender's service to customers. "We are investing £700m in the next three years in new and improving services. Regrettably, we can only do that by restructuring the way we work in head office so that every effort is concentrated on supporting our customers and the front line staff that serve them," said Mr McEwan. Workers' unions hit out at the cuts, describing the redundancies as "brutal" on top of the 37,800 jobs already lost at the bank. RBS currently employs 123,000 in its offices around the world. The announcement of the cuts followed a warning by the bank's chairman, Sir Philip Hampton, earlier this week of the need for further job losses. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10061850/RBS-axes-1400-in-UK-retail-restructuring.html
More than 90 stores to close – but 171 shops and 1,675 jobs are being saved in pre-pack administration by owners of rival ScS Dreams, Britain's biggest beds retailer, has collapsed into administration with the loss of 400 jobs.More than 90 of its stores will be closed, but the remaining 171 shops, and 1,675 jobs, are being saved due to a £35m pre-pack administration with the owners of the rival bed and sofa company, ScS. The collapse of Dreams brings the total number of job losses in the retail sector to about 6,000 since the start of the year at failed firms including HMV, Jessops, Republic and Blockbuster. Administrators from Ernst & Young have been appointed to oversee the sale of Dreams to the retail turnaround specialists, Sun European Partners, which trumped a rival bid by the Dreams founder, Mike Clare,. Dreams has been the subject of administration rumours for many months following a long-running standoff between former private equity owners Exponent and Royal Bank of Scotland – one of the bed retailer's key lenders. A bidding process started with offers submitted by last Friday. Jordan Wadsworth, vice president at Sun European Partners, said: "Dreams is a well-recognised brand known for its wide product range of beds, headboards, mattresses and associated products. Despite operating with an over-expanded store base and significant debt in the precarious economic climate of recent years, the business remains the market leader and, with our support, is now well positioned to capitalise on future opportunities." Clare, the former chairman and chief executive of Dreams, sold the business for £200m to Exponent in 2008, having set up the company with his wife in Uxbridge, west London in 1986. Despite the recent uncertainty, Dreams has been trading well with sales up 7.2% year-on-year in the four weeks to 7 January, while total sales rose 8%, a record December and new year performance. Last week, accountancy firm PwC and the Local Data Company revealed high street store closures increased tenfold last year, with the number of stores closed by retail chains expected to double from 14 a day to 28. The report found that payday loan stores and pound shops are the fastest-growing retailers on the high street, with card shops, computer game and health food stores the most depleted. Payday loan firms increased their high street presence by 20%, pawnbrokers were up 13%, and nearly two pound shops were opened every week across the country. Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/06/dreams-beds-administration-job-losses
American Express has announced plans to cut 5,400 jobs worldwide from its total workforce of 63,500 by the end of 2013. The credit card provider said it took almost $600m (£370m) in after-tax charges in the fourth quarter of 2012. The company said that these charges would halve its net profit for the quarter from $1.2bn to $637m. It said the majority of the job losses would be in its travel business, which is being "fundamentally reinvented as a result of the digital revolution". American Express said it was having to adapt parts of the business as more customers make payments online or via mobile. It added that the job losses would be spread proportionally between the US and international markets. The charges include restructuring costs of $287m mostly related to redundancy payments, $212m for Membership Rewards expenses and $95m for card member reimbursements In the fourth quarter, spending by card members was 8% higher than a year ago, the company said, "despite a brief dip in late October/early November reflecting the impact of Hurricane Sandy on consumers and businesses in the north-eastern United States". Total revenues rose 5% on the year to $8.1bn. "Against the backdrop of an uneven economic recovery, these restructuring initiatives are designed to make American Express more nimble, more efficient and more effective in using our resources to drive growth," said chief executive Kenneth Chenault. "For the next two years, our aim is to hold annual operating expense increases to less than 3%. The overall restructuring programme will put us in a better position as we seek to deliver strong results for shareholders and to maintain marketing and promotion investments at about 9% of revenues," he said. Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20980486