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LETTER FROM OFT....Dated 5 Oct 07 to MP


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Hi everyone. Hope you are o.k.

 

This is rather long so bear with me.

 

OFT TEST CASE ON BANK CHARGES

 

THERE HAS BEEN WIDESPREAD CONCERN AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE PERSONAL CURRENT ACCOUNT MARKET IN THE UK IS COMPETITIVE. tHERE HAVE ALSO BEEN CONCERNS ABOUT THE LEGALITY OF CHARGES RELATING TO UNAUTHORISED odS AND RETURNED ITEM FEES. IN APRIL THE OFT LAUNCHED A MARKET STUDY INTO THE PERSONAL CURRENT ACCOUNT MARKET TO FIND OUT HOW WELL THE MARKET WORKS FOR CONSUMERS. THE STUDY IS FOCUSED PARTICULARLY ON TRANSPARENCY OF COSTS , EASE OF SWITCHING AND FAIRNESS OF THE PRICING STRUCTURE. THE STUDY IS DUE TO REPORT IN DECEMBER.

OFT IS EXAMINING THE FAIRNESS UNDER THE UNFAIR TERMS IN CONSUMER CONTRACTS REGS 1999. ONE ASPECT THE OF OFTS WORK UNDER THE UTCCRs IS THE CONSIDERATION OF WHETHER THE UNFAIRNESS TEST CONTAINED IN THESE REGS APPLIES TO THE RELEVANT CHARGES AT ALL. THE OFT CONSIDERS THAT THE TEST APPLIES BUT THE BANKS DISAGREE. WE BELIEVE THAT AN EARLY RULING ON THIS POINT OF PRINCIPLE WILL ASSIST IN SECURING A CLEAR AND ORDERLY RESOLUTION OF THE FAIRNESS OF THE CHARGES.

..........AN EXPEDITED HEARING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED SOMETIME BETWEEN 14 JAN AND 28 FEB 2008. THIS IS THE SCOPE OF THE TEST CASE PROCEEDINGS TO INCLUDE A CLAIM FOR AN INJUNCTION TO STOP CERTAIN AMOUNTS BEING CHARGED , IF...

THE HIGH COURT RULES THAT THE UTCCRs FAIRNESS TEST APPLIES TO THE CHARGES AND ,

IT IS NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE TO DO SO IN LIGHT OF OUR EXAMINATION OF THE CHARGES UNDER THE UTTCRs BECAUSE WE CONSIDER THE CHARGES TO BE UNFAIR AND ARE NOT ABLE TO SECURE THE BANKS VOLUNTARY COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW.

THERE IS CONCERN THAT THE BANKS ARE AT A GREATER ADVANTAGE AS THEY CAN CONTINUE TO LEVY CHARGED UNTIL OUR ACTION IS RESOLVED WHILE CONSUMER ACTIONS TO RECLAIM ARE BEING SUSPENDED. WE ACKNOWWLEDGE THAT OUR ACTION WILL LEAD TO INCONVENIANCE FOR SOME IN PARTICULAR THOSE IN THE ADVANCED STAGES OF MAKING A CLAIM. HOWEVER BY BRINGING THIS THIS ACTION N BEHALF OF CONSUMERS WE WILL GAIN THE LEGAL CLARITY NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE THE FAIR AND CONSISTANT HANDLING OF CONNSUMER COMPLAINTS,

 

THE TEST CASE DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS TOO LATE TO CLAIM OR THAT IT IS TOO LATE TO CONTINUE TO DO SO.

BECAUSE THE LEGAL ISSUES HAVE NOT YET BEEN DETERMINED , THE FSA HAS NOT INTERVENED IN THE LEVYING OF THE CHARGED THEMSELVES. HOWEVER IT HAS SET STRICT CONDITIONS ON THE WAIVER THAT BANS MUST FOLLOW , DESIGNES TO ENSURE THAT CONSUMERS ABILITY TO RECOUP CHARGES LEVIED PRIOR TO OR DURING THE TEST CASE BE UNAFFECTED.

UNDER THE WAIVER THE BANKS MUST NOT

TAKE THE PERIOD DURING WHICH THE WAIVER IS IN PLACE INTO CONSIDERATION IN ANY DECISIONS MADE ABOUT LIMITATION PERIODS OR TIME LIMITS FOR COMPLAINTS.

MAKE MATERIALLY ADVERSE CHANGES TO THE LEVEL OF CHARGES DURING THE WAIVER

DO ALL THEY CAN TO HELP ACOOUNT HOLDERS AVOID INCURRING THESE CHARGES IN THE FIRST PLACE

APPLY THE RELEVANT PRINCIPLES ESTABLISHED IN THE TEST CASE WHEND EALING WITH COMPLAINTS ABOUT CHARGES

CONTINUE TO DEAL WITH GENUINE HARDSHIP CASES DURING THE WAIVER PERIOD.

BLAH....BLAH.......FOR FURTHER INFO PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE AT http://wwwoft.gov.uk/advice and resources/resource base/market-studies/personal.

 

Phew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hi Boston. The link isn't working!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

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Hi Freakyleaky!!!!

Have just copied and pasted the whole address...from http to personal ...and a different oft site comes up. I suppose the info can be found there. Have not had a look yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Will work on it.

 

:?

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