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The Money Programme- any sggestions for participants?


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Hi guys; I am being interviewed and filmed for the above BBC programme this Friday (28 Sep). The programme makers want to focus on banks maliciously closing accounts following a court action. This has happened to me twice. I am fine to talk about but was wondering if anyone would have any suggestions; powerful sound bites, attention grabbing statistics, facts etc. As you know, for us it's a passion to kick the bankers' butts, but for general public it can be deadly boring. That's why I am looking for "sexy stuff" LOL

Cheers :D


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I speak to a lot of people every day about their bank charges and the one theme I see again and again is ordinary people who are trying to raise a family, pay a mortgage, put food on the table, raise kids etc... they have their efforts completely wiped away by a multitude of charges that end up breaking them each and every time, day after day, month after month.


I see so many families who have slowly sunk further and further into debt trying to keep up with the amount their bank is taking from their account every month.


Its easy for people on CAG to say that you can complain and fight your bank etc..but the vast majority of people just don't have the skills or the energy or the time to do what a lot of regulars on this forum are able to do.


I have seen bank charges lead directly to family breakdown, arguments, stress, depression, divorce, eviction, bankruptcy etc...


Many, many people who are suffering financial hardship are just not represented anywhere. They simply suffer the consequences. The situation is especially hard for people like single mums and pensioners - all of whom are on a fixed income with no room for error. One £35 charge can break them completely. Quite simply........ if you are on benefits you get completey screwed.


This is the real issue and the heartbreaking sadness behind most bank charge stories. If you get a chance to air these issues on TV - this is what you should be communicating. This is the real story.

A £35 pound bank charge is not a charge for a service. Its theft.

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Well said Alec.


I am disabled and on benefits and have been unable to pay for my care due to the banks taking my money. I also know I am not on my own in this. The stress of not knowing how to pay your bills or indeed will you have enough money to get your shopping for the week also adds stress which in turn makes you ill and your disability is made even worse. When approached with these datails the banks are not interested. As you have said you have no choice but to spiral deeper and deeper into debt with no way out as you have no other means of income.


It is time that the general public knew about this senario.........this is government money the banks are taking in charges !


Go get em



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Oh, don't you worry, i will be as frank, as harsh and as disgusted as possible. Will they show it or will they edit it- this is the question. We'll see. I have a feeling though, from what i was told, that they are going to be talking about account closures as consequences of court action rather then about the charges themselves.

Nevertheless, as a person previously in receipt of benefits and still in receipt of disability ben's, I will try to weave it into the conversation, because this is a scandal which has to be aired.


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Hiya, Joa.


Banks closing accounts, huh.


The FOS has fined a couple of times banks who closed accounts following reclaims, but it was amounts like £125, £150. That could be worth mentioning, and mention how ridiculous the amount is, and in no way a deterrent for the banks to stop acting in such a manner.


The inconvenience to consumers having to change banks following this is huge, and on occasions, some banks have not come through with the assistance in changing over that they are supposed to. The customer still has to watch that everything has been done right, as if it doesn't, it will often lead to great disturbances, and can start the new bank relationship to go wrong from the start.


The banks hide behind the absolute right between them and us to close our accounts at 30 days notice, but the fact remains that they only do it when we start making them pay. As long as we don't say a thing and let them charge us over and over again, they are quite happy to keep on milking us, and seldom close accounts in those circumstances. The fact that they invoke that right only when we decide to rebel against the systematic fleecing clearly shows it to be purely a retaliatory measure, bully tactics, acting out of spite, since they stand to gain nothing by it.


To note that some of them have used it as a blackmail measure, eg "if you reclaim your charges, then we will close your account", but not necessarily carried out that threat, clearly showing it for what it is.


How's that? Helpful? Go get 'em! ;-)

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Thank you Bookie. Helpful, indeedo. Especially the bit about the pathetic level of fines. My bank was fined .......wait for it!.....£75. I am sure their shares crashed.

So, I do intend to talk about the "toothless, clawless beast"- FSO. I am crossing my fingers they will air it!


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Alliance and Leicester have been consistently closing accounts if you make a claim against them from the start of this campaign. I was threatened with this by them too, but like many people I'd long since closed my account anyway, which only goes to show how closely they look at each case.


Perhaps the letters were automated to save their costs.;)


Smile were fine with me about reclaiming, but did say that if I claimed again they may consider closing my account. It hasn't stopped them continuing to charge though, but I've simply argued them as I've gone along and so far still have an account.


What's Best for You?



The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.


Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007



Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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