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I figure that if enough people email their local member of parliament to complain about the OFT test case being used as a means to further confuse and delay, something might give. You never know and this will take two minutes of your time. If you want to complain to your MP, go to the excellent:-

WriteToThem.com - Email or fax your Councillor, MP, MEP, MSP or Welsh, NI, London Assembly Member for free

 

Enter your postcode then C&P the following text into your letter (or do your own, this is offered just for speed)

 

 

Dear WHOEVER - this gets autofilled,

 

As my MP, I wish to register my disgust at the current further complications brought by the OFT and their action against banks over their penalty charging regime.

 

The recent ruling that suggests cases are on hold until the resolution of the OFT test case is misleading and the banks are using this as a further means to confuse and delay the process in which people are only trying to recoup what is rightfully theirs. If all on-going cases were 'stayed' until after the conclusion of the test case (1-2 years) and the banks continued to illegally charge at their current rate, it is estimated that the banks would make a further £4billion in profit from penalty charging.

 

I would ask you to consider whether the OFT could release a statement clarifying the current situation in that consumers still have every legal right to pursue their claims against the banks to the fullest extent of the law. Nothing has changed but as usual, the banks are using something that was supposed to be in support of the consumer as a stick to beat us with.

 

Yours sincerely,

YOUR NAME

____________________________________________

Yorkshire Bank account

21/3/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

3/4/07 YB standard reply - "we're on the case"

30/3/07 YB letter - "we're still on the case but we're really busy - boo hoo - can't do the 40 days but we're trying our best..."

1/5/07 LBA for Data Protection Act breach sent (41 days since S.A.R - (Subject Access Request))

15/5/07 Proceeding started at County Court for Data Protection Act breach (56 days since SAR)

30/5/07 YB filed acknowledgement of service to claim indicating intention to defend.

7/6/07 Statement pack 1 of 2 arrives containing £912 worth of charges - and that's going to be the lighter of the two packs!

 

Old Abbey National Bank account (93-99)

22/5/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

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Someone did something similar it seems yesterday on one of the other banks threads. They produced a better template letter than mine too so respect and all that to destinyofsouls/davebeek...

 

Dear Mr xxxxx,

 

I am one of your constituents in Anytown. I write to you in the hope you can help me in my plight with the bank and in particular the FSA.

 

You may be aware that on 27 July 2007, the OFT commenced litigation proceedings against the big seven banks to try and establish once and for all as to whether these overdraft fees are actually unlawful.

 

Whilst we agree with this course of action, the FSA has waived the regulation that enforces the banks to process claims of this nature until the outcome of this hearing.

This means that any claims going through the banks now for reclaiming charges (sometimes in their thousands) are put on hold and will not be processed for what could take up to two years if any appeals are allowed.

 

The FSA has also allowed the banks to apply for a stay in all court proceedings of this nature until the case has finished. The Banks are now to apply to the Master of Rolls to issue a blanket stay on all court hearings.

 

This is a ridiculous situation for all local people who are in the process of reclaiming charges. And, just to rub salt in the wounds, they have allowed the banks to keep on charging!!!

 

The majority of the people I have spoken to ( including myself) were not able to afford the court fees to take the claim to the next step. They have had to save every spare penny to raise the £120.00 needed so they could take the bank to court. In some cases where the claim was over £5000.00 they have had to stump up £250.00, something which was very, very hard for these people to find, considering it was the high cost of these charges that have put them in this position. Some even took out short term loans so they could take the bank to court to try and recoup some of these charges. They are now left with no claim, no compensation and hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

Although there may be a slim chance of them being able to recoup some of the court costs, the issue is that they should be allowed to continue with this claim and get their charges back, as have thousands of consumers all over the country.

 

To allow the banks to still charge and not allow the consumer the right to reclaim is against everything the FSA and the OFT and the FOS are supposed to stand for.

 

The OFT web site states :

 

The OFT is responsible for making markets work well for consumers. We achieve this by promoting and protecting consumer interests throughout the UK, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive

 

The FSA website states :

 

We have a wide range of rule-making, investigatory and enforcement powers to enable us to meet four statutory objectives summarised as one overall aim: to promote efficient, orderly and fair markets and to help retail consumers achieve a fair deal

 

The FOS Website states;

 

So when we look at a complaint, we give both sides a fair hearing.

 

Protecting consumer interests? - help retail consumers achieve a fair deal? Give BOTH sides a fair hearing? One word that appears in all of their statements is FAIR. How is this fair?

 

How can they be protecting the consumer interest by stopping them reclaiming what is rightfully theirs and still allowing the banks to charge these ridiculously high penalty charges.?

 

I understand that the banks disagree they are unlawful, so why have they kept paying out to consumers at the rate of around £500 million in the last 12 months? This alone should tell the FSA that the consumer has to keep claiming against the banks.

 

This situation alone will save the banks hundreds of millions of pounds, firstly through not paying out claims, not having to pay legal fees and more importantly, due to the Limitation Act 1980, the longer this case goes on the more they will save under the 6 yr rule of the above Act.

 

So, whilst this will save the banks money, the consumer goes further and further into debt by having charges still applied.

 

This is just the tip of the iceberg Mr xxxxx, I am sure there are many more people out there that will be destined for financial hardship as a result of this legislation. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of consumers all over the country who have started their claims and some may also be made bankrupt by allowing the banks to still charge. All this caused by a regulator who is supposed to have the consumer in their best interest.

 

I would like to see how they explain that this benefits them. The problem with all this is, it was all done behind closed doors for months without anyone knowing except the banks, the FSA , the OFT and the FOS, and then, without a care in the world for consumers or anyone else, put into practice. The nice little arrangement that the banks had already sorted with the FSA, the OFT and the FOS, the three regulators set up to protect the public. Mr xxxxxx, someone is having a laugh at your constituents’ expense and it is not the slightest bit funny for us.

 

I also understand that It could also interfere with our rights under the European Convention on Human Rights directly and as enacted in the Human Rights Act 1998.

 

 

Art.6 1. of the Convention provides that “ In the determination of his civil rights … everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.”

 

 

It is unreasonable to allow an indeterminate stay which depends on some litigation unconnected to the instant case, between other parties who have no relation to the parties in the instant case.

 

It is not clear that the matter will be heard as predicted and in the event that it does go to trial, there could then be appeals and subsequent appeals so that the matter might become protracted and even last as long as 3 years or more – from the date of the commencement of trial.

 

I sincerely hope that you can help us in getting the FSA to revoke this unfair and biased legislation and allow the consumer to continue to fight for what is rightfully theirs.

 

I thank you for you time.

____________________________________________

Yorkshire Bank account

21/3/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

3/4/07 YB standard reply - "we're on the case"

30/3/07 YB letter - "we're still on the case but we're really busy - boo hoo - can't do the 40 days but we're trying our best..."

1/5/07 LBA for Data Protection Act breach sent (41 days since S.A.R - (Subject Access Request))

15/5/07 Proceeding started at County Court for Data Protection Act breach (56 days since SAR)

30/5/07 YB filed acknowledgement of service to claim indicating intention to defend.

7/6/07 Statement pack 1 of 2 arrives containing £912 worth of charges - and that's going to be the lighter of the two packs!

 

Old Abbey National Bank account (93-99)

22/5/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

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You can also make an appointment to meet your constituency MP when they have a local surgery.

 

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

:p

 

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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I always find it amusing that Mp's have 'surgeries'...only because given half a chance most will 'stitch you up' at the drop of a hat!

____________________________________________

Yorkshire Bank account

21/3/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

3/4/07 YB standard reply - "we're on the case"

30/3/07 YB letter - "we're still on the case but we're really busy - boo hoo - can't do the 40 days but we're trying our best..."

1/5/07 LBA for Data Protection Act breach sent (41 days since S.A.R - (Subject Access Request))

15/5/07 Proceeding started at County Court for Data Protection Act breach (56 days since SAR)

30/5/07 YB filed acknowledgement of service to claim indicating intention to defend.

7/6/07 Statement pack 1 of 2 arrives containing £912 worth of charges - and that's going to be the lighter of the two packs!

 

Old Abbey National Bank account (93-99)

22/5/07 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent

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Interesting. I think I'll do this as my Westminster MP is Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister :)

 

The court system in Scotland is different so I understand that the test case shouldn't impact on claims in Scottish Courts.

 

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

:p

 

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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going to wedding in a couple of days of my mate who happens to be a PA to quite a few ministers in the house of lords thought i might take a copy of this along who knows!! might help!!

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