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The FSA waiver preventing claims in now invalid for the following reasons....

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Here's a copy of the waiver:





Section 7.


The FSA intends to review the continued satisfaction of the criteria for giving this direction in section 148(4) of the act 2 months after the date of the direction with particular regard to whether:


(a) there is a stay of relevant proceedings in the courst of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in materially all cases/





Q: Do you think it is fair that some claims for hardship and others are getting through the courts while yours is stuck with the banks and the FOS refusing to look at them?





Lloyds: No stated policy on hardship claims

Abbey: The bank with the heart of granite. - what do you think their policy is?

HBOS: Call centre 'still waiting to hear from head office'

RBOS: Refusing to deal with hardship claims

Norwich & Pererbrough: Refusing to deal with hardship claims

Barclays: Total silence regarding hardship.







Section 7 ©


The firm is complying with the conditions set out in this direction



Q: Has your bank acknolodged your hardship claim? Have they seperated it from the rest of the claims? If not they are in serious breach of the FSA waiver and the banking code.



"If the FSA is no longer satisfied as to those criteria after 2 months, or at any time while this direction remains in force, the FSA would expect to exercise its power under section 148(9)(a) of the Act to revoke this direction in accordance with the procedure in SUP 8.8 (Revoking Waivers)."



Q: To the FSA: These conditions NO LONGER APPLY - remove the waiver.









(2) The FSA would also expect to revoke this direction at any time if:



(a) without good reason, no material progress is made in the test case;


A: No material progress is being made on the test case when an OFT DIRECTOR says it may never happen




(b) the duration of the test case is likely to cause undue risk to consumers;


A: People are losing their homes because banks are refusing to look at genuine hardship complaints in defience of the waiver and banking code.

Another year of charges like these and defaults accross the country will be MASSIVE.



© a decision is made by the court on an element of the test case and is not subject to specific appeal by any of the relevant parties, where it would be appropriate for complaints of a certain description to proceed in accordance with the normal rules (in this case, the FSA would envisage replacing this direction with an equivalent direction excluding the element subject to the court decision);



(d) the FSA is no longer satisfied that the test case covers all relevant legal issues necessary to enable the fair, consistent and prompt handling of relevant chargesv complaints after resolution of the test case.



A: The test case DOES NOT COME CLOSE to covering all the legal issues invloved. Not to mention SERIOUS BREACHES made by banks in relation to breaking FSA's own regulations, Banking Code regulations and consumer credit regulations (OFT). The waiver is illegal.



(3) If the test case is not finally resolved within one year, and as long as the court stay is still in place, the FSA will extend this direction with the consent of the firm unless, in the light of prevailing circumstances, such an extension would be inappropiate.


A: The waiver is inappropiate now. It always has been. It will still be in a year. Except by then we'll be marching on the streets outside banks if it is not lifted.




To the FSA: Do the right thing. List the waiver immediately.

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

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Complain directly to the FSA here:


To be eligible for consideration under the Complaint Scheme your complaint must relate to dissatisfaction with the actions, or inactions, of the FSA in fulfilling its functions under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. You must also be directly affected by that alleged action or inaction or be representing someone who is so affected.


It takes only 2 minutes.


About the FSA : Complaints about the FSA : Contacting us : Complaints form

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

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Not only can you can complain ABOUT the FSA you can also complain THROUGH the FSA about your bank's behaviour.


Making a complaint : FSA Money made clear guides


Innundate them with complaints and they will have to act.


I have done this as well as writing to my MP. The more we get out there the more likely we will get a result.

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I have had a response to my complaint about the Nationwide Building Society made through the FSA. This is what they say:


Your attention is drawn to the warning notice at the end of this message.


Dear casiemcdw


Thank you for completing our online complaints form on 14 September 2007.


You have complained about the FSA's decision in principle to grant firms, who apply for it, a waiver from the time limits contained in the FSA's complaints-handling rules in relation to unauthorised overdraft charges. We explain the reasons for the FSA making this decision in some detail below.


Your complaint


We are unable to investigate your complaint under our formal complaints scheme. This is because the legislation under which we operate does not require us to investigate complaints about how the FSA carries out its function of granting waivers of rules to individual firms.


If you are dissatisfied with our decision not to investigate your complaint, you can refer it to the Complaints Commissioner, who may decide to carry out his own investigation. To contact him, please write to:


Office of the Complaints Commissioner

8th Floor, City Tower

40 Basinghall Street



Telephone: 020 7562 5530


Email: [email protected]


You should refer your complaint to the Complaints Commissioner within three months of the date of this email, although a referral outside of this three month time limit may, where there are adequate reasons for the delay, still be considered by the Complaints Commissioner.


FSA's reasons for granting this waiver


Although we are unable to investigate your letter formally as a complaint under the complaints scheme, we would like to set out some background to the FSA's decision to waive temporarily FSA rules requiring firms to handle customer complaints within particular deadlines. The FSA made this decision in the best interests of all consumers so that all consumer complaints could be dealt with in a fair and consistent way going forward.




For some time some customers of banks and building societies have been complaining about the charges they have paid for going into unauthorised overdrafts. Some institutions have settled with their customers, without admitting liability, and a large number of further complaints are in the pipeline. However, the law in this area is not clear and the current situation provides neither certainty nor consistency for consumers or current account providers.


In these circumstances the Office of Fair Trading and some firms have decided to initiate a test case in the High Court to resolve legal uncertainties on the level, fairness and lawfulness of these charges. In order to facilitate this process the FSA has issued a waiver of its complaints-handling rules as they apply to complaints about unauthorised overdraft charges.


Current system of dealing with complaints


The FSA has also monitored how banks and building societies have been handling complaints about unauthorised overdraft charges. Its aim was to find out whether firms were treating these complaints promptly, fairly and consistently, as required by FSA complaints-handling rules. The FSA saw significant shortcomings in some firms' handling of complaints about unauthorised overdraft charges, which is leading to inconsistent outcomes for complainants.


The FSA is clear that the way in which complaints have been handled in the recent past - against a background of uncertainty about what the legal position is on these charges - is unsatisfactory and not in the interest of all consumers. When the legal position on these charges has been clarified, firms will be required to deal with complaints within the normal timetable in a fair and consistent way. In the meantime, the FSA is requiring firms to acknowledge any further complaints they receive on this issue within five days, to keep records of such complaints, and to be prepared to deal with them once the FSA lifts the waiver.


To protect consumers' interests while the test case proceeds, the waiver contains a number of conditions that firms must adhere to. The FSA will review the waiver at the end of September to ensure, among other things, that firms are complying with its conditions. The FSA can revoke the waiver at any time if it considers that it is no longer appropriate because, for example, the test case is not progressing or if a delay in the resolution of the test case is likely to cause undue risk to consumers.


Special treatment of cases of financial hardship


In making the decision on the waiver, the FSA has particularly considered consumers facing financial difficulty. High street banks and building societies subscribe to the Banking Code that covers how firms deal with cases of financial difficulty; the Ombudsmen also considers the Code when making its decisions. The waiver does not apply to complaints about the way that banks and building societies have dealt with financial difficulty. The waiver requires firms to identify such complaints and to progress them throughout the waiver period. If these complaints cannot be resolved, the Ombudsman will be able to consider them.




The FSA has also imposed a condition in the waiver to preserve consumers' rights so as to prevent complaints becoming time-barred. This means that the clock stopped when the waiver was granted and will start again when the test case is resolved or when the waiver is removed. So, for example, if a consumer was applying to reclaim charges for the last six years and the test case took one year, that year would not count. Similarly, the waiver will not cause you to become time-barred from taking your complaint to the Ombudsman. For customers wishing to bring a complaint to the Scottish courts, the position is slightly different, and the frequently asked questions on our website explain this more fully.


I hope that this is helpful. If you would like more information, you can find answers to frequently asked questions on unauthorised overdraft charges on our website at http://www.moneymadeclear.fsa.gov.uk


We hope that this is helpful.


Yours sincerely

Daniel Lewsey

Complaints Handler

Company Secretariat


I particularly like the Statement that: The FSA made this decision in the best interests of all consumers.... How is it in the best interests of all consumers when people in dire financial difficulties are going to have to wait, possibly for years, before they can have their claims settled?

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"I particularly like the Statement that: The FSA made this decision in the best interests of all consumers.... How is it in the best interests of all consumers when people in dire financial difficulties are going to have to wait, possibly for years, before they can have their claims settled?"


Exactly - ALL banks have been completely ignoring people in financial difficulty - just look at the posts made on Money Saving expert and CAG.


There are so many problems with this waiver its kinda difficult to know where to start:


But here's just one question..........the 'clock may be stopped' so to speak.....but is the data protection subject access request clock stopped as well? What happens to people who start the application process for reclaiming in say - feb 2008? How far back can they go for a list of their charges? No one seems to be able to give a straight answer.


And hardship cases - in direct violation of the waiver - banks seem to have no procedures or processes in place to filter of deal with any of these cases. Its a scandal.

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

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A judicial review now seems to be the only way forward. It is clear as day that this waiver was drwn up in haste - without the OFT asking for it - and to the detriment of consumers everywhere.


This needs to be investigated ASAP.

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

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