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House of Commons Whistleblower meeting

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Press Release








Friday 30th March 2007 For immediate release




Banks who charge their customers disproportionate fees for exceeding their overdrafts or writing cheques that bounce are to be targeted by Andrew George MP after a meeting he hosted in Parliament yesterday afternoon with an informant on the BBC ‘Whilstleblower’ programme.


The member for West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives has consistently urged Government Ministers and the Office of Fair Trading to clamp down on banks who he says exploit the very vulnerable position many poor customers find themselves in. He will raise further questions with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) about the former Yorkshire Bank employee’s claims that customers were being charged more than £30 for processes – such as bouncing a cheque – that cost the bank less than £2.


Mr George said: “These penalty charges extort money from those who can least afford it. The law is clear in this area. Penalty charges are permitted for the recovery only of losses caused by a contractual breach. Penalty charges which make profit are unlawful under Common Law and The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.


The Government is pushing and cajoling pensioners and benefits recipients away from the Post Office counter and into the arms of the banks with an appalling track record of exploiting the vulnerable position of their poorest customers.


Mr George met the informant alongside the Consumer Action Group, an organisation established in January 2006 which pursues consumer rights for no profit. Thus far 6,500 members have claimed back unlawful charges worth some £10million from banks.


Mr George is also working with ‘Bob the Bankbuster’, the Cornish bank campaigner Bob Egerton.




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Excellent work BankFodder and Yoda. Another nail in the YB coffin.


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