Saturday, 24 February 2007

Complaints about Default Charges Soar

The BBC reports that complaints concerning bank default charges are soaring, with over 1,000 people calling the Financial Services Ombudsman on this issue every day.

The Ombudsman is taking on about 150 penalty charge cases a week, but the number of phone calls it receives from consumers looking to find out how to get penalty charges refunded is far greater. On Wednesday, following coverage of the issue by BBC's Wathchdog programme, over 3,000 calls were made to the Ombudsman.

The level of complaints being made is being compared to the endowment mis-selling scandal and is now the single biggest area of consumer complaints.

"Previously the largest number of complaints we received related to endowments," a spokeswoman said.

"However, we are getting at least three penalty charge calls for each one about endowments at present."

Unlike the endowment mis-selling scandal, however, the regulators and Government continue to fail to force the industry to take pro-active steps to provide consumers with redress, leaving all of the onus for action on the individual. Perhaps that is the greatest scandal of all...

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