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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Office of Fair Trading

Banker Robbers Still On The Loose

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If I considered it as the plot for my next novel, I would discard it immediately as being completely unbelieveable.  It is outrageous.  The story of the way the banks have wriggled and wormed away from their responsibilities is the biggest scandal the world has ever seen.

The Very Worst

Today the shameful figures are revealed of the number of complaints that our high street banks receive.  See here.  It is an appalling litany of failure and disrespect of customers.  Complaints are at the very bottom of their priorities.  They are inefficent.   They have bonus systems that discourage staff from accepting complaints.  Santander, which so many used to know as the Abbey or Alliance & Leicester,  cannot manage to answer even half of its complaints within two months!  It is shocking.  It hasn’t got better since we all bailed them out.  It’s got worse.  Oh, except for the bonuses.  They just get bigger and bigger all the time.

These problems,  affecting the modest balances of ordinary people, may seem trivial in the context of the billions that the banks have already cost us but they are not.   They are crucial.   This is real money belonging to real people and needed to pay real bills.  It’s not the cocaine, champagne, Ferrari fantasy of some City boy ponce.   These figures indicate precisely the contempt, the utter disregard which bankers have for us even though it is we, ordinary people, who have been called on to rescue them from their catastrophic mistakes.

Actions Not Words!

Where is Vince Cable now?  He is the biggest disappointment of the coalition government.  His brave words as recently as the LibDem conference are all hot air.  He has let us all down.  His promises were empty.

We want the banks split up so that they are no longer too big to fail.  Only today, in Ireland they are realising that their nation is still held to ransom by its bankers.  So is ours.

We want retail and transaction banking separated entirely from casino investment banking so that there can be no more threat to our economy from the spivs and gamblers.  We don’t want any of these sharks anywhere near our  money.   John Diamond, the putative new head of Barclays has made a £100 milion fortune on the back of the taxpayer and the banking crisis.  He is not a fit and proper person to be in charge of a British bank.  The government should ban him immediately.

Wide Boy Spiv

Late last year the Office of Fair Trading let the banks off a £40 billion hook.  These were the extortionate charges illegally debited from customers’ accounts over the previous six years.  See here. This was in addition to the £850 billion cost of the original bailout.  See here.

How much more are they going to get away with?

When will David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Vince Cable stop dithering?

Stop the banker robbers now!

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Who Is The Unfairest Of Them All?

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Amidst the roar of gunfire from the deliberate, calculated massacre by evil Israeli stormtroopers and the tragedy of a crazed lunatic in Cumbria, there is yet another political scandal that cannot be allowed to pass.

Overpaid, Incompetent And Unfair

John Fingleton, Chief Executive of the Office Of Fair Trading, the man who let the British banks off the £40 billion they stole from British consumers, turns out to be the highest paid civil servant in the country.  See here.  This is the most unfair trading of all and makes a mockery of any concept of “fairness”.

He is responsible for the disastrous failure to protect British consumers from the greedy banker robbers who plundered their accounts with outrageous and illegal charges.  He led the badly organised legal challenge to the banks thievery which the Supreme Court turned away as misdirected.  The Supreme Court then invited the OFT to revert to them on a different basis but for reasons that have never been properly explained, Fingleton just gave up.  See here for the full story.

This man is not only unfair but incompetent.  No one is responsible for more unfair treatment of British consumers than he.  It is a scandal that he is even still in his job let alone paid at such an exorbitant rate.

OFT – Incompetence, Conspiracy, Paper Tiger Or All Three?

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I’m one of the lucky ones.  I recovered over £2000 of illegal penalty charges from the Nationwide and HSBC a couple of years back before the High Court stayed all the claims.  I had the great pleasure of walking into HSBC’s Kilburn branch with a judgment stamped by the Bow County Court (local to its Canary Wharf headquarters).  I demanded my money there and then and created a right hiatus in the branch!  I didn’t get it then but I did the following day in crisp £50 notes.

Den Of Thieves

It goes without saying that the banks are all, without exception, cheats, thieves, liars and lowlife scoundrels.  That’s why millions of people were relying on the Office Of Fair Trading to stand up for them.  The OFT’s decision now to drop their action against the banks is a national disgrace of monstrous proportions.  Although we cannot be sure of exactly who is behind this scandal, the fact that dishonesty, corruption and theft are at the root of it is manifest and crystal clear.

The banks were making around £7 billion a year in charges, most of which were for unauthorised overdrafts.  Claimants would have been able to claim for six years of charges so the banks have been let off a £40 billion hook.  Never have the British people been so let down by those who are supposed to protect them.

The High Court first made the extraordinary decision that these charges were not penalty charges.  This is nonsense.  HSBC actually described many of their charges to me as “card misuse” – so is that a penalty or not?.  Of course they were and as such were illegal and unenforceable at law.  When the banks debited your account like this they were committing theft and they’ve got away with it scot free.

It has now been well established that the actual cost to the banks of these transactions were less than £2 each when they were charging their customers up to £40 a time.

It must be truly astonishing to any right minded person that the OFT has backed down.  Even in the last Supreme Court judgement the OFT was given a clear hint, more like an invitation, that it should revert to the Court on a different basis.  So what possible reason can there be for abandoning the claim?

There can be no doubt that this decision is improper.  I wonder why it was announced on 22nd December when the entire country was at the peak of its pre-Christmas mass hysteria?

Two Faced Coward

John Fingleton, the OFT’s chief executive, should resign immediately.  He is either corrupt or weak.  He certainly has no integrity because whatever pressure or bribery has been put upon him he should have fought to his last breath to stop this massive crime by the banker robbers.

We cannot rely on these paper tigers of consumer protection.  We certainly cannot rely on government.  It is doubtful that our self-serving, whipped and bullied MPs will do anything meaningful.   It seems the only option now may be molotov cocktails through the door of every bank premises throughout the country.   How else are we supposed to protect ourselves when we are so badly let down?

We live in an entirely monetised society.  It is impossible to function without a bank account.  Therefore, the banker robbers must be regulated virtually to death.  Their policies and profits must be ruthlessly controlled.  Their crimes must not be overlooked but punished severely with massive multi-billion pound fines for the institutions and long prison sentences for the responsible executives.