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Waiver Questions


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Now the waiver review should be completed by now, albeit awaiting publication, I've sent off an FoIA request to the FSA asking them to come clean on the number of hardship cases the banks have successfully dealt with before the FSA have a chance to claim the ''safeguards built into the waiver'' have been an unparalleled success.

 

I've also asked the OFT a few questions about the updated 'questions & answers' about the test case.

 

 

----- Original Message ----- From: crfx

To: Freedom of Information Financial Services Authority

Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 11:32 AM

Subject: FOIA Request

 

 

 

Dear Roisin Traynor

 

I wish to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

 

Subject

 

 

My request centres on the FSA's 2 month complaints handling waiver review which according to the FSA has now been completed. I understand that the review largely concentrates on the compliance of firms to the conditions of the waiver and in particular how well firms aredealing with bank charge complaints made by those experiencing financial hardship.

 

 

Request

 

 

My request takes the form of 4 questions:

 

 

1) From the information supplied to you by the banks for consideration in the review, how

many complaints about unauthorised overdraft charges from customers claiming financial

hardship have the banks received?

 

 

2) From the information supplied to you by the banks for consideration in the review, how

many customers making complaints have been identified by the banks as being cases of

financial hardship?

 

 

3) From the information supplied to you by the banks for consideration in the review, how

many identified cases of financial hardship have been offered a partial refund of charges

claimed?

 

 

4) From the information supplied to you by the banks for consideration in the review,How

many identified cases of financial hardship have been offered a full refund of charges

claimed?

 

 

I have considered this request very carefully, checking each question against the exemptions contained in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and I am confident that all the information I seek should be released. I wish to make it clear to the FSA that if any of the information requested is not released I fully intend to publish my request and your response in the national press.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

crfx

 

 

 

 

----- Original Message ----- From: crfx

To: Kate Farrow Office of Fair Trading

Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 10:32 AM

Subject: Questions & Answers

 

 

 

Dear Kate Farrow

 

I would be grateful if you could clarify your answer to a question in your updated ''questions & answers'' about the issues surrounding the OFT test case with the banks, published on 22 October 2007.

 

Question 18 asks ''Why can the banks continue to levy charges until the OFT's action is resolved, while consumer actions to reclaim charges are being suspended?''. The vast bulk of the answer deals with the entirely different question of why are consumer actions are being suspended while the banks can continue to levy charges. Of the appx 350 words that form your answer, only a mere fraction of them are actually devoted to why banks can continue to levy charges; ''As we have not yet completed our investigation into the fairness of the current levels of charges..''. I and many others would attribute this to the OFT's continuing procrastination on the issue. I think it is worth reminding the OFT that it's lengthy review into unauthorised overdraft charges was due for completion on 29 March claiming there was ''no quick fix'' to the problem even though you subsequently claimed ''We are committed to ensuring this process is resolved quickly''. The answer then goes on to reveal that ''..it would not be appropriate for us to ask banks to make changes to their charging structure at the moment''. To simply claim something is ''not appropriate'' is the kind of language one uses when stumped for an honest answer.

 

The answer also claims that prior to the test case announcement, litigation by consumers to reclaim charges was resulting in ''significant costs to individual consumers''. This is astonishing! On what evidence does the OFT base this belief? How many complaints has the OFT received about these costs? Is the OFT not aware that litigation costs are routinely recovered? Does the OFT not know that of the hundreds of thousands of court actions made by claimants, defeats can be counted on the fingers of one hand and therefore actual costs incurred apply to almost nobody. I would also like to know what justification the OFT has for

making regulatory decisions (based on an inaccurate belief) that consumers are spending too much on litigation.

 

It is not within the OFT's remit to decide the level of legal expenditure incurred by consumers especially when these legal actions and costs are a direct result of the OFT's abject failure to resolve the issue to date.

 

The OFT has no business to effectively waive the fundamental human rights of everybody to challenge any charge made to them in a court of law.

 

I have not made this enquiry as a request under the Freedom of Information Act as I simply require clarification of information already given. Therefore I would consider it reasonable to receive your response within this week.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

crfx

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Superb - Black and White!

 

I'd love to see the reply, probably hired the same PR bods as Mr Bliar! :p

srfrench :eek:

 

Fight incompetance, stupidity, greed and unfairness......There's no excuse and no place for it in society, unless they really are! :wink:

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"The answer then goes on to reveal that ''..it would not be appropriate for us to ask banks to make changes to their charging structure at the moment''

 

Read as FSA speak for: We cant have a consumer campaign that results in massive payouts because frankly the very fabric of the free world banking system is in jepordy and we're got much bigger problems on our plate.

 

Of course they cant say this out loud...........I hope this is not the case but you never know. And if it is.............that is exactly this sort of drivle I would use.

 

 

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

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----- Original Message -----

From: Kate Farrow Office of Fair Trading

To: crfx

Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 1:53 PM

Subject: RE: Questions & Answers

 

 

crfx

 

As I'm sure you're aware, we are serving our reply to the banks' defences and counterclaims tomorrow. We are therefore extremely busy working on this and related matters. I think it unlikely that I will be able to respond to your email this week as you requested and it may be early next week. My apologies.

 

Kate

 

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: crfx

To: Kate Farrow Office of Fair Trading

Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2007 2:18 PM

Subject: Re: Questions & Answers

 

 

Kate

 

I'll let you off this time then!

 

I certainly wouldn't want to get in the way of that!

 

Also I managed to get the banks' defences from the court. Can I assume the reply to the defences & counterclaims will go up on the OFT site?

 

Many thanks

 

crfx

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