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DBS will count the cost of its hike in charges

I refer to the enormous hike in DBS costs and would like to mention a few facts regarding this matter as opposed to the verbiage emanating from DBS.

First, I understand from a colleague who joined DBS in l988 that his DBS charge was 8 per cent at that time. Since then it has risen to 12.5 per cent.

Second, when I joined in 1995, there were 10 regional meetings each year. After March, when these new charges are proposed, the number of DBS meetings will be four.

Third, members used to be covered on PI for mortgages. Now, members who do mort-gage business have to join the mortgage club, which “includes” PI cover for mortgages.

Fourth, the charges being abolished were for small items occasionally used by members. The new £100-a-month charge is obscenely disproportionate as a replacement.

Fifth, IFA Windows is now being charged for, which is wrong. If people want a more comprehensive site, then charge for that. If they want a bog-standard site, which was trumpeted as being free, then there is a strong moral obligation to continue that arrangement.

Last, Nick Ansell has been quoted as saying: “People who do not want to pay these prices need to consider whether they want to stay in the market.”

If this is so, it says a great deal about the arrogance of Ansell and Misys and the way they think they can treat DBS members with such contempt. What it does not demonstrate are two things – the independent character of DBS members and the many other alternatives open to them.

In my opinion, DBS/Misys have made a dangerously misjudged decision based on the premise that new joiners will replace members who leave. In reality, if DBS does not rescind these charges, many more members will leave than join and they are unlikely to be of the same quality as those leaving, giving rise to greater compliance implications and costs.

What saddens me is that DBS used to be a nice and friendly company to be involved with. Now, members are being treated as a profit centre to squeeze as much as possible and the management have lost the bigger picture which, ultimately, will be to their cost and not to ours, as we will no longer be members.

David Barnett

Principal,DPB Independent Financial Services, Edgware, Middlesex

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