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skippy176

Business Credit Card -v- Business Accounts

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I was wondering if anyone knows the answer to this (probably Martin !! :) )

 

Was there any difference in which the OFT investigated the fairness of credit card charges as against the fairness of personal current accounts charges ?? I've always wondered why the credit card companies agreed to charge £12 after 2006 and to make refunds on earlier charges yet the banks have fought tooth and nail against it all the way to the House of Lords in relation to personal current accounts.

 

The reason I ask is that it's interesting that a default fee on a Lloyds TSB business credit card is set at £12, presumably in line with the OFT recommendation. Why would they charge £12 as a reasonable default fee on a business credit card, but say a reasonable default fee on a business current account is about £30.

 

I was under the impression that the OFT investigation into credit card charges invoked the UTCCR. I must be wrong as the banks then applied it to their business credit cards as well (and we have all heard them bleating on for yonks that the UTCCR only applies to personal). The OFT credit card investigation must have relied upon something else - can anyone shed any light on this ??

 

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I was wondering if anyone knows the answer to this (probably Martin !! :) )

 

Was there any difference in which the OFT investigated the fairness of credit card charges as against the fairness of personal current accounts charges ?? I've always wondered why the credit card companies agreed to charge £12 after 2006 and to make refunds on earlier charges yet the banks have fought tooth and nail against it all the way to the House of Lords in relation to personal current accounts.

 

The reason I ask is that it's interesting that a default fee on a Lloyds TSB business credit card is set at £12, presumably in line with the OFT recommendation. Why would they charge £12 as a reasonable default fee on a business credit card, but say a reasonable default fee on a business current account is about £30.

 

I was under the impression that the OFT investigation into credit card charges invoked the UTCCR. I must be wrong as the banks then applied it to their business credit cards as well (and we have all heard them bleating on for yonks that the UTCCR only applies to personal). The OFT credit card investigation must have relied upon something else - can anyone shed any light on this ??

 

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The credit card investigation didn't go down the route of enforcement action but I would expect them to return to this after the conclusion of the OFT test case issues.

In fact, in OFT842 on point 1.14 it makes a point of stating that only a court can decide on a fair charge.(small print did say that with the funds that they have they didn't see the issue as one requiring litigation) however personal current accounts effects all of us and was humungous so it was required which lead us to the OFT test case.


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FSA Waiver on Bank Charges:http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Doing/Regulated/Notify/Waiver/pdf/dir_quart_0709.pdf

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Thanks for that, YB.

 

I still can't get my head around it as I would have assumed that, as the OFT842 cites UTCCR, the banks would have just yielded to the £12 threshold with regard to personal credit cards. I still can't see why the banks would have also applied it to business credit cards ... after all, they have been screaming to the rooftops that UTCCR does not apply to businesses. So why voluntarily reduce the default charge on a business credit card ??

 

It means that if you have a business bank account and a business credit card with the same bank, a default fee is £12 on the credit card but about £30 on the current account.

 

The banks seem to rely on a "read across" after Smith kicked out the penalties argument by saying that the terms and conditions relating to default fees on business accounts are materially the same as those on personal accounts. Therefore, what Smith said about penalties on personal accounts must apply to business ones as well.

 

However, it seems that the terms and conditions regarding default fees of a business credit card and a business current account are materially the same (well, in my case with Lloyds - almost word for word). How can they then justify that a £12 fee is adequate in one scenario, but charge over £30 in the other ?? Hardly seems fair, eh ??

 

Maybe I am just been thick or something and just not getting it. :D

 

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Smith did not say that Terms and conditions on business accounts are materially the same-this is what the banks themselves are insisting.

Specifically Smith was looking at all the banks terms and conditions individually when he ruled on whether charges could be seen as a penalty under common law.

I studied my own and identified clear distinctions from those of my own to those in which Smith looked at.

This means not only looking at wording in terms and conditions,but also the operation and means in which a breach occurs,whether there is any possibility to rectify it,and what follows.

Business bank charges were due to be investigated after the CC investigation,but it was shelved after it became evident that their would be a need to focus instead on current accounts-as the reclaims snowballed.

 

Not all credit card issuers actually chose to take part in the OFT investigation,and in fact Citicards claimed it cost them even MORE than 12.00.

Personally I dont think there will be any further action on credit cards since they appear to have accepted the 12.00 fee.

There is little evidence to show that CC claims are causing the Courts any problems,with most settling out of court and even before an N1.

As far as I am aware only Citi Cards are still going to Court having had some success with Eversheds on board.

The 12.00 default fee appears to have been adopted right across the board with insurance companies storecards catalogue companies etc all now using this as a ceiling.

But the OFT order to the CC issuers has no statute in law and so anyone ids free to challenge it by asking for evidence of genuine pre estimates.

Last year I did this with Swinton with my car insurance -they were reluctant to refund any.

They were also reluctant to provide any figures-so after exhausting their 8 weeks complaints procedure,which ended up at CEO level,and still no joy-I issued a 7 day LBA.

The charges were refunded in full as was my £1.00 postal order for my CCA request-seeking a statement of account.


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Skippy this is an interesting point you raise-I am curious to read about this and will look more closely into it.


Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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