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Abbey, HSBC and Halifax stand firm over dual pricing

Abbey National, Halifax and HSBC are refusing to follow Nationwide&#39s lead to compensate all borrowers affected by dual pricing on variable mortgages following the financial ombudsman&#39s ruling.

Nationwide is calling on the ombudsman to take complaints further by involving the FSA where it feels individual cases may have wider implications.

It believes there are another three million borrowers being unfairly treated.

But the banks say they will stick to their guns by only paying out to individual cases, unlike Nationwide, which last week said it would be handing out £90m in redress to 400,000 customers.

Abbey says it will proceed with its appeal against the initial ombudsman ruling in favour of a customer who complained about being linked to its standard variable rate and not one of its lower tracker rates.

A Halifax spokesman says the company&#39s strategy remains unchanged despite Nationwide&#39s move and it will look at further cases in isolation.

HSBC says it believes it has met all its obligations to consumers by bringing down the cost of borrowing.

The Building Societies&#39 Association is looking at whether there are grounds for a legal challenge if the ombudsman can be seen to be violating human rights legislation.

The BSA is seeking opinion from a QC this week and will discuss the outcome at its next council meeting before deciding on its next step.

Nationwide chief executive Philip Williamson says: “The ombudsman should decide on individual cases but if there is a distinct possibility there will be wider implications, there should be a second stage.”

•Nationwide, p9

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