View more on these topics

FOS warns over unauthorised UK mortgage lender


The Financial Ombudsman Service has had dozens of complaints about an unauthorised bank that falsely claims to pay off mortgages for a £10 monthly fee.

The Daily Mail reports that customers of WeRe Bank, based in Manchester, face reposession, late payment fees or wrecked credit records by dealing with the bank.

The firm told customers for a small monthly payment and the pledge of £150,000 over 10 years they would get a chequebook in the made-up currency ‘Re’.

WeRe claims lenders are obliged to write off debt when they get one of the cheques, under the Bills of Exchange Act 1882.

But lenders are refusing to accept the cheques. The FOS has warned consumers of the dangers of dealing with the firm.

The newspaper reports one man faces having his home repossessed after attempting to pay off a £67,000 mortgage with The Mortgage Works with a WeRe cheque.

The Mortgage Works refused and the borrower turned to the FOS, but the ombudsman ruled the cheque was not worth the paper it was written on.

WeRe could not be reached for comment and its website appears to have been taken down.

In September last year the FCA issued a warning about the bank.

It said: “Although WeRe Bank refers to itself as a bank, based on the information currently available to us, it does not appear to be carrying on any activities that would require it to be authorised by the FCA. Regulated activities carried out by authorised firms include accepting deposits or providing advice on regulated investments.

“We are concerned that vulnerable consumers may be attracted to WeRe Bank’s claim that they will be able to pay off their debts ‘for free’ using Re cheques, even though they have not had to pay any money into an account.”


FOS reveals £1.2m levy increase; case fees frozen

The Financial Ombudsman Service industry levy will increase of £1.2m for 2016/17, while case fees remain frozen at £550 for the fourth year in a row. The FOS levy will climb from £23.3m to £24.5m, while its planned operating budget will also increase from £223.2m to £226.5m The FOS linked the increase levy to the […]


FOS pension freedom complaints on the rise

The number of customers approaching the Financial Ombudsman Service with complaints over pension freedoms is rising, Money Marketing can reveal. A Freedom of Information request submitted by Money Marketing shows between July 2015 and February 2016 there were 848 new enquiries to the FOS relating to the freedoms. These include complaints where customers claim they […]


Consumers warned over FOS imposters

The Financial Ombudsman Service has issued a new warning over imposters using its name to trick consumers into revealing information. In a note issued today, the FOS says consumers have been receiving fraudulent emails and phone calls from scammers, claiming to represent the ombudsman. The note warns conmen may use the FOS name to obtain […]


Ex-sub-prime mortgage boss jailed over £130k tax fraud

Former Clayton Euro Risk and Edeus chief executive Michael Bolton has been jailed for two years for VAT evasion of £130,000. Bolton did not appear for sentencing or his earlier trial, and the court heard he may have fled the country. Bolton was found guilty of one count of fraudulent evasion of VAT and was […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Another example of where the term ‘vulnerable’ is used as a substitute for ‘hopelessly stupid’.

  2. There is an operational website – I accessed it via FaceBook on a very old browser (I’m no IT expert so I don’t know if that makes any difference).

    Having read through the absolute garbage on the site, I struggle to understand how anyone, even desperate clients, could be fooled into engaging with this mob.

    It makes the arguments associated with Scientology seem cogent, intelligent and well thought through.

    However, if there are clients being scammed by this, it is high time that someone (not neccesarily FCA) to get this shower shut down.

  3. Thanks for pointing this out Ian – I see the website is working now. I’ll give them a call.

  4. @ Sam Barker – would you mind letting me know how the call goes, please.

  5. Neil Liversidge 30th March 2016 at 5:17 pm

    So these people think they can clear a debt they knowingly incurred with a worthless cheque? I don’t have any sympathy. They are in the same league as those who get conned trying to help supposed Nigerian government officials and Gadaffi’s supposed heirs launder money on the backs of emails promising a half share in a billion dollars. I have the perfect solution for the FOS: Buy a We Re chequebook for £10 and use it to compensate the complainants. As these idiots think the bak should accept a We Re cheque I don’t see why they should object if somebody gives them one. Maybe the FOS can buy a second We Re chequebook for Mark Neale at the FSCS while they’re at it.

  6. Ah! But don’t forget these are exactly the sort of brainless numpties that form the client template of the Regulator and for whom they and the bleeding heart brigade formulate policy. And you wonder why you are overburdened with regulation.

  7. If it sounds too good to be true………………………stupidity is not something we can regulate against!

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm