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Found 11 results

  1. Government publishes key licensing changes to further protect tenants READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-publishes-key-licensing-changes-to-further-protect-tenants
  2. Stirling CAB publishes Plain English Guide to help sort out Benefits READ MORE AND DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE HERE: http://stirlingcab.org.uk/
  3. Thanks to caro for providing this. To read the full report : http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select/professional-standards-in-the-banking-industry/news/changing-banking-for-good-report/
  4. The FCA publishes findings of review into interest-only mortgages and reaches agreement with lenders to contact interest-only borrowers The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its research into consumers’ ability to repay their interest-only mortgages when they mature. The findings show that many people should be in a good position to repay their mortgage when it is due for repayment. However many borrowers, particularly those whose mortgage is due to be repaid before 2020, will need to take control of their mortgage repayment planning now. To that end the FCA, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) and the Building Societies Association (BSA) are working together to ensure lenders contact their borrowers in order to prompt them into checking their plan for repayment is on track and considering the options available to them. This type of pre-emptive work is indicative of the way the FCA will act in the future, endeavouring to spot potential problem areas and prevent them from developing into bigger issues. By acting now, together with the mortgage sector, the FCA is aiming to prevent interest only borrowers defaulting on their loans in the future. The FCA believes that with careful planning, consideration and engagement with their lender, many interest only borrowers - even those with loans maturing by 2020 - should be able to find a viable way to pay off their mortgage if they take control now. For those set to repay their loan before 2020, Link: http://www.fca.org.uk/news/interest-only-mortgages
  5. Saw this in the Independent today http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/you-are-not-rumpole-of-the-bailey-as-more-people-represent-themselves-in-court-the-bar-council-has-issued-some-pressing-advice-8555773.html Bar Council link http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/media-centre/news-and-press-releases/2013/april/bar-council-chairman-we-won%27t-stand-by-as-vulnerable-people-suffer-barristers-launch-how-to-guide-for-diy-litigants/
  6. FSA/PN/021/2013 06 Mar 2013 The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published its consultation on how it plans to introduce a strong and flexible regime to regulate consumer credit. The regime is tailored to address the risks that face consumers without putting undue burdens on firms. The Government announced earlier today that it would transfer responsibility for regulating consumer credit from the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by 1 April 2014. The Government has also published a consultation on the legislative changes needed to transfer responsibility to the FCA. The FSA’s consultation sets out the overall approach and framework for the regime that will be administered by its successor body the FCA. The framework will enable the FCA to deliver better outcomes for consumers than the existing regime with the following tools: •Increased flexibility e.g. rule making powers, including product banning; •More resource; •The ability to tac kle problems earlier through access to more information about firms, the scope to take a market-wide approach by requiring action from all firms in a sector and proactive supervision of higher risk firms; •There will be more scrutiny of higher-risk firms before they are allowed to operate in the market and significantly more scrutiny of the integrity and competence of the individuals in key positions in all firms; •The FCA will have the power to require firms to reimburse consumers when they have lost out due to a firm’s actions; and •The FCA will be able to apply its full enforcement powers including banning firms and individuals and imposing fines. Martin Wheatley, FCA CEO designate, said: “Consumer credit inhabits every corner of our day to day financial lives. It is a broad church spanning everything from overdrafts to hire purchase to credit cards to debt advice, provided by tens of thousands of firms of all shapes and sizes. “We will focus our efforts on the areas of highest risk, and ensure we use our resources sensibly and proportionately. The work we have done with consumer groups and trade bodies has helped us reach this point and will continue to help us make the transition as smooth as possible. “This regime is a sensible approach to everyday finances. It will give consumers the protection they expect without placing an undue burden on the firms that service them.” The new regime will be designed to focus resource on higher risk firms, such as pay day lenders, pawnbrokers, credit reference agencies and debt collection. Lower risk firms will not have to meet such onerous standards and will pay lower fees. These firms include not-for-profit debt counselling, businesses providing lending as a side activity (e.g. a sports club that allows its members to pay by instalment). It also includes credit broking, such as where retailers and motor dealers introduce customers to lenders. There is a short timetable to the transfer and the FSA is keen to make the transition as straightforward as possible. This means that there will be a phased approach to the transfer, with an interim period starting in April 2014 and moving to full implementation by April 2016. •From Autumn 2013, existing OFT licence holders can apply for interim permission so that they can continue to operate; •They will have to provide limited information and pay a one off fee; •Existing OFT licences will lapse on 31 March 2014 and FCA interim permissions will begin from 1 April 2014; •The interim permission regime will end in 2016 and firms need to be fully authorised by that time. Notes for editors 1.The Consultation Paper can be found on the FSA website. 2.The FSA regulates the financial services industry and has four objectives under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: maintaining market confidence; securing the appropriate degree of protection for consumers; fighting financial crime; and contributing to the protection and enhancement of the stability of the UK financial system. 3.The FSA will be replaced by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority in 2013 as required by the Financial Services Act 2012. Link: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/library/communication/pr/2013/021.shtml Link to publication: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/static/pubs/cp/cp13-07.pdf
  7. The Office of Fair Trading has published guidance on when and how it intends to use the power to suspend consumer credit licences. The Financial Services Act 2012 grants the OFT the power to stop the licensable activities of businesses with immediate effect. Following a consultation period with the industry and consumer groups, the OFT has confirmed the circumstances under which it will exercise this new power. Business found to have engaged in practices that cause, or have the potential to cause, physical, economic or other harm to consumers will be subject to immediate suspension. Link: http://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/latest-news/oft-publishes-guidance-on-power-to-suspend-credit-licences/1066589.article
  8. Judiciary publishes guide for litigants in person Friday 11 January 2013 by Jonathan Rayner The judicial office has today published a self-help guide for litigants in person presenting cases to the interim applications court. The 16-page guide, penned by High Court judge Mr Justice Foskett, takes litigants through each stage of the process, from giving notice and presenting documents to how to behave in court, apply for costs and seek permission to appeal. The interim applications court deals with short applications of an interim nature within existing or (sometimes) proposed proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court. It does not deal with family or matrimonial cases. The most commonly heard applications include applying for an injunction to prevent a former employee from abusing confidential information, setting up in competition or working for a rival employer; preventing travellers occupying a site in contravention of the planning laws; freezing orders to prevent the sale of property; and applying for the disclosure of specific documents. Queen’s Bench Division president Sir John Thomas says in his foreword to the guide that court procedures may present difficulties to people unfamiliar with them. He said: ‘Our hope is that (the guide) will help smooth the way for cases involving self-represented litigants in the interim application courts to be heard fairly and effectively by the judge in the allotted time. Jonathan Rayner Jonathan Rayner is a Gazette reporter covering employment, human rights, international, immigration, mental health, sole practitioners, money laundering, diversity and local government
  9. Barclays publishes "smoking gun" email that reveals conversation between the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Paul Tucker and Bob Diamond over key bank lending rate. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9371778/Barclays-scandal-Bob-Diamond-resigns-live.html
  10. 55/12 28 June 2012 The OFT today published its Annual Report, including an estimate of the financial benefits of its activities to consumers. The report shows that last year the OFT achieved an estimated benefit to consumers of at least eight times its cost to the taxpayer - £402 million compared to £49 million. This benefit has been achieved with an eight per cent reduction in budget compared to the previous year. In the course of the year, the OFT undertook a large and varied caseload under its competition, consumer and credit enforcement powers. Amongst the cases concluded were 11 investigations under competition law, 19 investigations under consumer law and 106 consumer credit cases. There was also an increase in the number of merger cases examined from the previous year from 77 to 103, with nine referred to the Competition Commission for further investigation. The OFT had two overarching priorities for 2011-12: High-impact enforcement to achieve compliance with competition and consumer law, and influencing and changing the behaviour of business, consumers and government to make markets work well. Achievements included: Action on anti-competitive behaviour including a £10.2 million fine on Reckitt Benckiser for abusing its dominant position by delisting NHS packs of its Gaviscon Original Liquid medicine, the completion of the investigation into the pricing of passenger fuel surcharges for long-haul passenger flights to and from the UK by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic with a final agreed fine of £58.5 million on British Airways following the previous conclusion of an early resolution agreement, and fines totalling £49.51 million on four supermarkets and five dairy processors following a dairy products retail pricing investigation Protecting some of the most vulnerable consumers through credit enforcement cases, including the removal of the consumer credit licence of Yes Loans - one of the UK's largest brokers of unsecured credit - and Log Book Loans, the largest logbook loan business Tackling misleading practices in online markets through obtaining undertakings from MyCityDeal Ltd, trading as Groupon, and taking a successful High Court action on unfair terms contained in gym membership contracts The aggregates, private healthcare and audit markets were referred to the Competition Commission (CC) for further investigation, the highest number of referrals in recent years Studies into off-grid energy, mobility aids, private motor insurance and dentistry, leading to policy recommendations and strategic enforcement action Investigation of super-complaints from consumer groups on subprime credit, card payment surcharges and travel money, securing industry commitments to deliver important improvements for consumers. Philip Collins, OFT Chairman, said: 'This has been a productive year for the OFT during which we've secured significant achievements across all areas of our work. We have increasingly combined the enforcement and influencing tools at our disposal to help ensure effective, well functioning markets and to strengthen protection for consumers. For example, more of our market studies are leading to enforcement action which we often take in conjunction with Trading Standards. 'We are also investing in improving our procedures, in particular on Competition Act cases, and learning lessons where appropriate at the same time as preparing the ground for the transition to new regimes and institutions. 'In the coming year we will continue our focus on protecting vulnerable consumers and securing effective competition in the UK economy.' Link: http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/55-12 Report here: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/annual_report/2012/OFT_Annual_Report_and_Resou1.pdf
  11. How we decide whether to tell a business to pay compensation to a consumer for “loss of use”. In this context, the term “loss of use” refers to circumstances where the consumer has been unable to use their motor vehicle because their insurer: incorrectly refused to settle a claim; “avoided” the policy (treated it as though it never existed) in error; or took too long to settle a claim (for example, the insurer took too long to carry out repairs agreed with the consumer). http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/publications/technical_notes/loss-of-use-mv.html
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