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Secret Deal Btween Banks Nd Ombudsman


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Does anyone know anymore about this article and what it means for everyone?

 

EXCLUSIVE Banks' secret deal with ombudsman to stop probe into their rip-off charges

 

13/09/2007

 

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Banks struck a secret deal to prevent a probe into their rip-off charges by agreeing to repay customers' complaints in full.

The agreement meant that anyone who complained to the independent Financial Ombudsman Service would get all their overdraft charges refunded.

In exchange, the ombudsman agreed not to investigate whether the fees were fair. This prevented it from clashing with an Office of Fair Trading probe.

And it averted the danger that the ombudsman would set a precedent - and force the banks to repay all similar cases.

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An ombudsman spokesman said: "We told the banks we would be forced to investigate if they did not repay the full amount.

"They didn't want to have an investigation. So they agreed to pay up."

The OFT is in the middle of a market study of current accounts and is involved in a joint High Court action to decide whether fees are legal.

It reckons that overdraft penalties raise between £2billion and £3.5bn a year.

For almost two years now a consumer revolt has seen millions of pounds being returned to customers who have complained about the cost of their overdraft penalties, which can be as high as £39 a time.

Initially they took their claim to court, but this year the ombudsman was swamped by a flood of cases - hundreds every day.

The secret deal led to the ombudsman service sending a spreadsheet with the names and claims of any customers that had contacted them.

The bank would then reply, telling the ombudsman that each case would be paid in full.

It has also been revealed that banks have admitted confusing customers with their explanations of current account charges.

A rethink of the Banking Code is expected to clamp down on the way that banks explain their fees, terms and conditions.

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Yes, what I can't decide from this article is whether they mean just the claims that are already lodged with the ombudsman or all claims, mine is lodged with the bank but the test case had started by the time I was ready to take it to FOS and now they arnt taking any new claims so I'm in limbo like alot of others I suspect.

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but since they've put a hold on all claims the banks are obviously not settling yet.

 

the banks don't seem to offer all my claim back, just the charges with no interest. Then the FOS have to go back to them and get the 8%.

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Well no it will obviously take some time because of the bulk, however, if they have agreed to settle some they are admitting guilt and need to settle all, you would think!! I this happens it will still be quicker than awaiting the result of the test case. It doesn't make it clear if this deal was made prior to that starting or if it is jus a recent thing either.

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The Ombudsman has returned all claims that were logged with them, they have not kept them or put them on hold.

 

The Ombudman website used to say "until now every claim has been refunded from the banks and we have not needed to use our powers"

 

They missed out the part because we send a spreadsheet to them on a weekly basis of claims to be refunded in full!!!!!

 

I doubt very much this could ever be proved though any thoughts!!!

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Interestingly.....the FSA wavier is conditional on the FOS stopping their investigation of the complaints........In other words the FOS CHOSE to stop dealing with them. They were not TOLD to do anything.

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

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Interestingly.....the FSA wavier is conditional on the FOS stopping their investigation of the complaints........In other words the FOS CHOSE to stop dealing with them. They were not TOLD to do anything.

 

The boys in the 'club' had to work together.

 

I have not had mine returned it clearly states it has been logged with them.

 

I have had mine returned from the FOS and no letter of stay from the bank as well. So looks like no-one is dealing with my complaint(s) at the moment.

 

After i passed them to the FOS many months ago, the bank has never acknowledged anything.

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This is why they will be keen to reach a settlement soon.....apart from anything else it is much easier and cheaper to resolve everyone's complaint quickly rather than let them fester and annoy customers even more.

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

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Having said that - its the FSA that has the power to remove the wavier......FOS could just start processing complaints again.....but it won't without the blessing from the boys in Canary Wharf. The FOS is just used to provide the ILLUSION of an independent arbitration service. Don't forget that is gets all its funding from the banks.

 

Such a sham system....

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

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Midge: Don't forget that the FOS has 8 weeks to deal with complaints.

 

No, the banks have 8 weeks to resolve a complaint before the FOS will look at it.

 

The FOS can then choose how long to take. At the moment they are saying between 1 - 6 months or more and most of mine have reached 5 months now with no results (they allow the banks too much time to reply as they 'very busy these days').

 

Every time a case is waiting for 'allocation' (4 weeks after you send it to them) it could take between 3 - 8 weeks to get allocated and looked at by an adjudicator. Then the bank has around 8 weeks to reply (should be 2 weeks but they're 'very busy' these days).

 

The bank will make a measly offer which you reject, then they get another 8 weeks to look at it again.

 

By this time some or most of your charges may have gone over the 6 year limit so no court action, you're stuck with the FOS. Or you may get tired of waiting and accept the low offer the bank has made.

 

Just a little longer to wait. The war is won.
Not really yet. It's only won when we get to claim our own charges back, not when the FSA and banks make a deal.
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There is a common misconception about all this, even if the test case goes ahead or not and the time scales slip and your claim in full or part falls over the 6 year limit, the limit or Statute of Limitations is unenforceable because the banks have willfully concealed the true nature of their charges.

Lula

 

Lula v Abbey - Settled

Lula v Abbey (2) - Settled

Lula v Abbey (3) - Stayed

 

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As I understand it the FOS can only deal with claims that have been through the entire complaints procedures of the banks. And as the waiver prevents this process their hands are tied

 

I'm also talking of credit card charges complaints, to which the waiver does not apply and the FOS still look at. All my current claims with FOS are cc as the bank accounts have been put on hold.

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Statute of Limitations is unenforceable because the banks have willfully concealed the true nature of their charges.

 

I understand that this is a hard point to argue in court and the claimant has to be clued up on all the legal arguments, which a lot of people on here are really not (me included, yet). The banks know this.

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