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Found 18 results

  1. Start saving your money under the mattress !! Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England says... https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jun/25/booming-stock-markets-distract-from-threat-of-excessive-lending
  2. http://cag.tw/22e4 (link from original article contains banned word)
  3. Christmas advertising Insight comes early The themes and images surrounding and associated with the festive season provide ample opportunity to create memorable and impactful ad campaigns. But some yuletide words of warning, the ad rules are for life, not just for Christmas. For instance, promoting a casual attitude to using a loan to fund Christmas spending is likely to be seen as irresponsible. Be good for goodness sake, read on to find out how. So if we see anything we think could be irresponsible we should report it to the ASA.
  4. Simon Weston has called Jeremy Corbyn's Falklands plan "repugnant surrender" Jeremy Corbyn has been accused by veteran Simon Weston of "repugnant surrender" to Argentina for suggesting it should be given the right to jointly govern the Falklands Mr Corbyn, who opposed the invasion, said that there has to be a move towards "real peace" and that Britain must open a "dialogue" with Argentina over the future of the islands. He said that under the arrangement the Falklands could retain their British nationality while a joint administration is put in place. The comments were severely criticised by Mr Weston, who suffered 46 per cent burns after the RFA Sir Galahad was bombed during the 1982 conflict. Mr Weston said: "It is a repugnant idea. I don't see why it should happen given that the Argentines never had the islands. They have no right to them. "It could cause civil war again by emboldening the Argentinians. It frightens me enormously because he claims to be such a supporter of democratic freedoms while what he is suggesting throwing the Falkland islanders right to democracy out. The Telegraph This man really is showing himself up for the Labour scab that others are warning us about.
  5. Action Fraud has seen an increase in the number of small to medium sized businesses being contacted by fake bailiffs requesting payments for a phantom debt. The [problem] involves the business being cold called from someone purporting they are bailiffs working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The caller will then request payment by means of bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed. A range of different businesses are being targeted; including Nurseries, Manufacturers, Hotels and Taxi Services. http://www.granthammatters.co.uk/action-fraud-warns-of-fake-bailiffs-phantom-debts/
  6. Households are being alerted to a new [problem] that involves fraudsters purporting to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). [problem]mers are reportedly calling households claiming to be from the FOS, which deals with complaints from consumers about the financial services industry, and telling the person on the phone that they need to pay £150 to “release” compensation for which they applied. The FOS said it would never "cold call" households and that the service was completely free, so it would never ask for money. It has said a customer had been in touch to warn of the [problem]. It advised anyone who had received a suspicious phone call to call it directly on 0300 123 9 123. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/11135365/Ombudsman-warns-of-new-150-compensation-fee-[problem].html
  7. Form 4 complaint: Burnley County Court: May 2013. His Honour Judge Butler This particular Judgment is very serious indeed and it being posted as it is in the public interest to do so. Firstly, the contents of the Judgment are vitally important but, as can be seen from the top right hand corner, all 3 pages have been copied from a particular website. It is sadly the case that the website in question have continually claimed that it is a "myth" that Courts have ever ordered claimants to pay costs if a Form 4 Complaint is dismissed. This is all the more serious given that this judgment appeared on that particular website on around 29th May 2013 and the entire thread was removed from public view by the website owner on 3rd June 2013 after a post had been made about the judgment on Consumer Action Group. From reading the final paragraph on Page 2 and the closing statement on Page 3 it is very clear that His Honour Judge Butler is confirming that costs have indeed been ordered and, as an example, he confirms that in one "recent case" at Southampton County Court a cost order of £10,000 had been ordered against the person making the Form 4 complaint. In fact, I referred to this particular Form 4 outcome a few days ago and it is my understanding that “costs” are still being debated and look likely to reach over £20,000 !!! The Form 4 Complaint for Mr Kirk (the complainant) had been drafted by the website in question and this was confirmed on the thread started by Mr Kirk ( before it was removed from public view) and is evident by the PDF of the thread. This Judgment needs to be available to the public and there are many reason for this: Mr Kirk had initially posted a query on Consumer Action Group and he was advised in no uncertain terms by posters on here that he should not consider a Form 4 complaint in particular given......that the amount in dispute was just £20!! The brief background is that the bailiff levied upon a vehicle owned by Mr Kirk's sister and that he charged a fee of £24.50, £18.00 and a "levy fee" of £28.00 There was also a small additional amount of £26.00 which apparently related to a shortfall against a previous account. Mr Kirk complained to Rossendale’s about the levy. Sensibly, they removed the levy fee and visit fee and credited the account with the sum of £50. The debtor was not happy to be told on this forum that he had no grounds in which to file a Form 4. Subsequently, he sought advice from another forum and from reading a copy of the PDF of his thread, it would seem that he was encouraged to file a Form 4 Complaint. The website in question are known to charge a fee of £99 for “drafting” the Form 4 complaint. Before the website had removed the entire thread on 3rd June 2013 a copy of Mr Kirk's Form 4 had been displayed. Sadly, it referred to at lest 14 legal cases most of which were irrelevant "19th century law cases". As a warning to anyone else who may quote such case law in a Form 4 complaint, it is noteworthy that His Honour Judge Butler stated that if he had felt it necessary to list the Form 4 for a hearing that he would have required the complainant to bring to the court copies of the legal cases referred to in the Form 4 and most seriously; he would have requested that the complainant or "his legal adviser" would have been required to attend court explain to the Judge the relevance of such legal cases !! Finally, in paragraph 6 His Honour Judge Butler refers to Mr Kirk's comment that he had "taken legal advice" and he questions whether such "advice" had come from "face to face" advice from a solicitor or CAB or alternatively whether the "legal advice" had originated from "internet research". If so, he stated that "if from the latter he should not assume that this information is correct and nor should he assume that the court is aware of the matters he relies upon” ( in this he refers to the "19th century legal cases") As mentioned above, within hours of brief details of this highly critical Judgment being posted on the CAG forum the judgment and the claimants entire thread were removed from public view. The effect being that any new visitors to the website would be "kept in the dark" about the response to a Form 4 complaint that the website had drafted for him. To this day, that same website continue to advise debtors to file Form 4 complaints and most seriously....to "claim" that costs will not be awarded against the claimant.
  8. Fraudsters are stepping up efforts to trick people into handing over their personal details by bombarding them with fake tax rebate emails. HM Revenue and Customs has warned that almost 80,000 "phishing" emails were reported by taxpayers during 2012. The taxman said activity tends to increase around this time of year because taxpayers have just sent in their self-assessment returns. The emails, which often contain a link to a clone of HMRC's website, typically ask recipients to hand over their card and bank details, date of birth, national insurance number and their mother's maiden name in order to get a rebate. The details are then sold on to organised criminal gangs to commit fraud. Gareth Lloyd, head of HMRC's digital security said: "HMRC does not email customers about tax refunds – we only ever contact customers who are genuinely due tax back in writing, by post. "If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate and claiming to be from HMRC, please send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently." www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9880304/HMRC-warns-of-fake-rebate-emails.html
  9. Large banks risk getting caught in "perpetual" cycle of bankruptcy like aerospace companies and carmakers unless they radically alter the way they do business, according to a leading industry consultant. Alix Partners, one of the most influential advisers to senior banking executives, warns that global investment banks must tackle head-on issues such as bonuses and their addiction to the "steroids" of debt-fuelled growth. "Just look at the auto manufacturing and commercial aviation industries, where over the past two decades, changes in regulatory and operating environments combined to render formerly solid businesses into perpetual wards of the bankruptcy court," said the consultants. According to Alix, investment banks still pay their staff far too much, pointing out that the "overpayment effect" last year was $18bn (£11bn), or close to 30pc of the world's top 15 banks' combined pre-tax profits. Senior bankers agree lenders must change their ways if they are survive. The head of one major British bank said he agreed with the findings and that those businesses, which did not adapt to the new world, would "die". "There was a major change in 2008 and a lot of people seem to be acting like it never happened. The choice is pretty stark; you can either carry on as you are and disappear into irrelevance, or you can change. There is no other option," he said. Link; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9769371/Banks-at-risk-of-perpetual-cycle-of-bankruptcy-warns-Alix.html
  10. Campaigner whose daughter was sucked into cycle of debt urges Lords to vote to cap payday loan costs. A pensioner whose foster daughter got sucked into "an unrelenting cycle of debt" after borrowing money from payday lenders is urging members of the House of Lords to vote to cap the total cost of the loans which he claims exploit the poorest for profit. Arthur Breens has set up an online petition calling on the Lords to amend the Financial Services Bill on 28 November to include a cap on the interest and charges applied by these lenders, who charge up to 16,000% APR. So far, more than 45,000 consumers have signed up. The campaign has been championed by Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow. Justin Welby, due to take over as Archbishop of Canterbury, and Baroness (Tanni) Grey-Thompson, are among high-profile peers who have agreed to back the amendment. In July the Commons voted against a similar amendment to the bill, tabled by Creasy; the Lords amendment has cross-party support. Breens started campaigning on payday lending after his foster daughter Karen (not her real name) borrowed money from up to eight different payday lenders to pay off debts. Karen, aged 32, a cleaner on the minimum wage, initially borrowed just £500, which soon spiralled to £5,000 as a result of the punitive interest rates . She had also borrowed money from friends as her financial position became increasingly precarious. Breens feared the stress could even drive her to take her own life. Breens and his wife, Judy, fostered Karen between the ages of six and 16; he said that despite being in regular work, Karen found it difficult to manage money and, with a range of personal problems, was vulnerable. Her serious debt problems first surfaced two years ago, but it was only in June this year that the Breens became aware that payday lenders were involved. "After leaving our care she slipped into a cycle of debt that she couldn't afford to support," said Breens. "Her current job pays at the minimum wage rate, monthly and not weekly. If you are on low pay and not good at managing, being paid monthly makes things very much more difficult. Add in some depression with her domestic circumstances, a bit of alcohol, some gambling and a social environment where the culture of lending and borrowing and barely coping are the norm, and you have the perfect target for high street and internet loan companies." Breens has been working with community organisers at Movement for Change to highlight the dangers of payday loans. The Office of Fair Trading has extended its investigation into the way payday lenders operate after visits to the lenders' offices revealed that some were failing to adequately check whether loans were affordable for borrowers. The Office of Fair Trading has written to all 240 payday lenders highlighting "emerging concerns" over poor practices in the market, and has opened formal investigations into several payday lenders over how they pursue borrowers who have defaulted on their repayments. Breens said he had seen for himself the devastation payday loans can cause: "My foster daughter was a hard-working young woman but she had some problems. Once she got involved with these companies, the huge interest they charge made it almost impossible to break the unrelenting cycle of debt." He said the Lord amendment was a key opportunity "to stop these predatory companies from exploiting vulnerable people. Myself and more than 40,000 others hope they take it. "I know Karen should never have got into debt and I know that people should take responsibility for their actions. But at a time when it's hard for many of us to make ends meet, these companies are exploiting the very poorest just to make huge profits." Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012/nov/27/pensioner-payday-loan-peril
  11. Press releases 2012 - OFT warns payday lenders 110/12 20 November 2012 The OFT has opened formal investigations into several payday lenders over aggressive debt collection practices. It is also today writing to all 240 payday lenders highlighting its emerging concerns over poor practices in the sector. These actions are set out in a progress report published today as part of the OFT's compliance review of the payday lending sector. It highlights concerns about: the adequacy of checks made by some lenders on whether loans will be affordable for borrowers the proportion of loans that are not repaid on time the frequency with which some lenders roll over or refinance loans the lack of forbearance shown by some lenders when borrowers get into financial difficulty debt collection practices. The OFT is continuing to gather and analyse information about the activities of payday lenders as its compliance review progresses. It also expects to warn the majority of the 50 firms inspected, which account for the majority of loans, that they risk enforcement action if they do not improve specific practices and procedures which came to light when they were inspected. The OFT will require those lenders it warns to provide it with independent audits to verify that they have improved their practices and procedures to comply with legal obligations and expected standards. The emerging findings are based on information from a wide range of sources, including: a 'sweep' of the websites of 50 payday lenders a programme of inspections of over 50 individual lenders 686 consumer complaints a mystery shopper exercise involving 156 online and high street lenders 1,036 responses to a survey of businesses, trade associations and consumer bodies. The OFT will publish a full report in the New Year setting out further findings on compliance, including whether wider action is needed to tackle problems in the sector. The OFT has also today published revised Debt Collection Guidance, focusing on continuous payment authority (CPA), a mechanism commonly used by payday lenders to collect repayments. The guidance helps to ensure that traders with a consumer credit licence do not misuse CPA. It makes clear that the OFT expects lenders' use of CPA to be reasonable and proportionate, and to have regard to a borrower's financial position. The guidance sets out the minimum standards expected of traders and includes clear examples of unfair/improper use of CPA including: using CPA without the informed consent of the borrower or in ways that have not been agreed failing to explain adequately how CPA works and how it can be cancelled not taking steps to establish the reasons for the payment failure and whether the borrower may be in financial difficulties trying to take payment where there is reason to believe that there are insufficient funds in the account continuing to use CPA for an unreasonable period after a scheduled payment was due. Breaching OFT guidance can lead to enforcement action. David Fisher, OFT Director of Consumer Credit, said: 'We have uncovered evidence that some payday lenders are acting in ways that are so serious that we have already opened formal investigations against them. It is also clear that, across the sector, lenders need to improve their business practices or risk enforcement action. 'Our report shows that a large number of payday loans are not repaid on time. I would urge anyone thinking about taking out a payday loan to make sure they fully understand the costs involved so they can be sure they can afford to repay it. 'Our revised guidance makes it absolutely clear to lenders what we expect from them when using continuous payment authority to recover debts and that we will not accept its misuse.' NOTES See the payday lending progress report. The Consumer Credit Act 1974 requires most businesses offering credit, lending money or involved in activities relating to credit or hire, such as debt collectors, to be licensed by the OFT. The OFT produces guidance to clarify its expectations of those companies and individuals that hold a consumer credit licence. Failure to have regard to OFT guidance can call into consideration the business' fitness to hold a consumer credit licence. The OFT is not able to name the companies it is investigating because of disclosure restrictions under Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2002. Where the OFT uses its formal powers under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 to refuse or revoke a credit licence, decisions are made public on the Consumer Credit Public Register. The OFT launched its review into the payday lending sector in February 2012. The OFT has issued specific guidance for all businesses engaged in the recovery of consumer credit related debts. The Debt Collection Guidance sets out the standards expected of all business engaging in the activity including creditors, law firms and tracing agents as well as traditional debt collectors. See the OFT's revised Debt Collection Guidance. Link: http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/110-12
  12. Labour MP Stella Creasy has warned that a "debt tsunami" will engulf Britain if the payday loans industry is not regulated. New research has shown that five million Britons are considering taking out a payday loan within the next six months, a 50 per cent rise in a year. The insolvency trade body, R3, also found that one in four 18-24 year olds are likely to seek a payday loan. Ms Creasy criticised the lack of regulation within the payday loans industry. She told Radio 4's Today Programme: "The time for self regulation in this industry is more than over. "The government really needs to get a grip and back all the measures about capping the cost of credit before this debt tsunami engulfs whole sections of Britain." Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/loans/9675159/Payday-loans-will-engulf-Britain-in-a-tsunami-of-debt-warns-MP.html
  13. http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2012/110-12
  14. This is nothing new,Experts have been predicting this for years. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19842401
  15. High street banks have “lost their moral compass” and must “fundamentally change” their practices in order to restore the public’s battered confidence in them, a leading consumer group has warned. Which? has written to the new head of the British Bankers' Association (BBA), which represents the banking industry, urging him to raise levels of customer service in branches and make banks more accountable for bad practices. The group also warned Anthony Browne, who starts as chief executive of the BBA on Monday, not to give in to pressure from powerful banks to “defend the indefensible”. The public’s confidence in banks has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent months. Routine mis-selling of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), the rigging of the Libor rate, IT meltdowns and the prospect of higher fees for current account holders have meant that trust in banks is “at an all-time low”, Which? said. The letter, which was written by Which?’s chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith and was sent yesterday, said: “In the wake of all the recent scandals in the banking industry there is a real crisis in consumer trust and confidence. We found almost three-quarters of people don’t think UK banks have learnt their lesson from the financial crisis – up from six in ten in September 2011. More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9510087/Banks-have-lost-their-moral-compass-consumer-group-warns-new-industry-chief.html
  16. Regulator chairman says he understands that George Osborne will accept proposal in report on what went wrong at RBS. The government will ban the bosses of failed banks from working in the financial industry, the chairman of the City regulator has said. Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), who has been calling for tougher regulation in the City, said he understood that George Osborne would accept his proposal that the directors of failed banks be automatically banned or stripped of their pay. This was one of Turner's recommendations in the FSA's report into what went wrong at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Osborne has said he will respond to the report this week. He told MPs the government "will be publishing a consultation in response to the report on the failure of RBS and will consider the possibility of criminal sanctions for directors of failed banks where there is proven criminal negligence". Over the weekend, the prime minister ordered an investigation into the way the key interest rates are set which led to the record £290m fine being levelled on Barclays last week. Turner said regulation in the City needed to be tightened considerably. He rejected suggestions that the last Labour government had done nothing to toughen the regulatory regime in the City, but said there was a need to go much further. "If you go back over 20 years, we started with, in these sort of areas, a very light touch, self-regulatory approach. And slowly over the last 15 years or so we have toughened our approach," Turner said on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show. Under Labour the FSA was given the power to bring criminal charges in relation to certain areas of market abuse, he said. But these did not cover the interest rate market which Barclays attempted to manipulate, according to regulators who handed the bank a record £290m fine last week. Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, is expected to step down on Monday after the fine – the FSA portion of which was £59.5m, the rest being levied by US regulators, the Department of Justice and Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Turner said: "I think we now have to look further and see whether we should strengthen these powers considerably on top of what we have now got at the moment." The calls for a criminal investigation – most likely led by the Serious Fraud Office – continued unabated when Vince Cable, the business secretary, urged a criminal investigation into the Barclays traders involved in the interest-rate setting scandal. The 14 traders were found to have attempted to manipulate two key benchmark interest rates – the London interbank offered rate (Libor) and Euribor, its European equivalent – which are used to help set the prices at which households and businesses borrow. Cable said the public would not understand why people were jailed for petty theft while bankers were getting off "having perpetrated what looks like conspiracy". And he said he agreed with Lord Blair, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, who said there appeared to be evidence that Barclays employees were engaged in conspiracy to defraud. In an interview with Sky's Dermot Murnaghan, Blair said: "There have to be police inquiries into this. Anybody, the youngest detective, would say this is conspiracy to defraud. It can mean nothing else. And therefore someone has to launch a criminal inquiry into this behaviour." Cable said "his instincts" were to agree with Blair. The SFO repeated earlier statements that it was "aware of the matters under investigation and there are ongoing discussions between the FSA and the SFO about the evidence as it develops". As many as 20 other banks are thought to be under investigation. RBS, for instance, sacked four traders last year in connection to the ongoing regulatory action. But Labour said that, for all the coalition's talk of cracking down on the City, recent experience suggested that minsters did not have the will to face down bankers on issues of key importance. In a speech at the weekend, Ed Miliband said this was illustrated by the government's announcement last month that it was not going to implement in full the recommendations of the Vickers report on the need to separate investment banking from retail banking. Miliband said Vickers wanted the sale of interest rate insurance – which was at the heart of a mis-selling scandal exposed by the FSA last week – to be classified as an investment banking activity, not a high street banking one. But the government rejected this recommendation after the banks lobbied against it, Miliband said. "What greater evidence could there be that this government has neither the inclination nor the capacity to bring the change that Britain needs?" Miliband told the Fabian summer conference. More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/01/banks-ban-fsa-chairman-report-osborne
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