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Low-value civil court cases in England and Wales could be dealt with by an online disputes system similar to that used by eBay, a report recommends. A Civil Justice Council report says settling non-criminal cases of less than £25,000 online would reduce the expenses generated by a court. Principal author Prof Richard Susskind said eBay disputes were "minor", like many civil court cases. Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service says it welcomes the report. The proposed online dispute resolution scheme would be similar to the one used by online marketplace eBay to diagnose and resolve disputes. Online facilitators would be used to help parties reach an agreement, and if that failed, online judges would rule on cases without the need for courts to be booked or for the parties involved to appear in person to give evidence. The report, from the council's online dispute resolution advisory group, suggests conducting a pilot, ahead of an anticipated full roll-out in 2017. The BBC's legal affairs correspondent Clive Coleman says the report is calling for a radical and fundamental change to the way courts deal with smaller claims. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31483099
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
Online sales are also up by 20% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18420380