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Online comments from last week

Online comments relating to article: Over half of PPI claims firms could leave industry

This is pretty amusing. Finally, the Ministry of Justice is delivering some justice. It is just morally wrong what claims management companies have been doing. The general public have been stung once by financial institutions misselling PPI and stung twice by claims management companies charging over £1,000 for basically posting an application an individual filled in themselves. What goes around comes around.

Gareth Maunder

Good news – that is the first step. Now start putting fraudulent members of the public in the dock when it becomes obvious that their claim is frivolous, vexatious or downright dishonest. Only then will we get back to some sort of normality.

Bill Wells

Now all we need is a properly balanced FOS and we can rid the financial services world of fraudsters, opportunists, conmen and chancers.

Alan Lakey

It occurs to me that there has to be mileage in handing out template complaint letters for consumers to send to the ambulance chasers and legal ombudsman. At least there will be a chance to hit back.

Peter Turner

Online comments relating to article: Nic Cicutti: Which? ignores banking cross-subsidy dangers

As others have already pointed out and as Nic admits, there never has been “free’ banking. For those in credit, the interest rate paid has (if at all) been derisory. Therefore, the banks use our money while paying around Zero to 0.2 per cent interest.

That those in debt with loans and overdrafts pay for this facility seems perfectly reasonable. Consider that without the savers (who generally outnumber borrowers 3:1) the indebted would not be able to avail themselves of the facility.

If the clearing banks fondly imagine they can start charging the prudent for handling their money they may well be in for a shock. Unless we are going to have a command economy, there will be a new entity (Metro Bank – or some such) who will offer“‘free“ banking for those in credit. The problem is that no one bank can go it alone and if they act in concert they may well come up against the Competition Laws.

As it is, with the advent of internet banking, most high-street current accounts are merely for petty cash while the “meaty” amounts get transferred to higher interest paying accounts elsewhere. Nowadays, interest rates of 3.2 per cent, although still poor by historic standards and compared to inflation, are not uncommon. Moreover, for the assiduous, there will always be free banking. Payments could be made by credit card – for those of us who settle in full, there is no charge. Receipts can go straight into a high-interest account – again for which there is no charge. Cash will become more popular for smaller transactions and will no doubt enhance the black economy – no doubt much to the joy of Mr Osborne. As far as the banks are concerned, they are in danger of losing their solvent customers and I cannot see them standing still if this happens.

The other danger, of course, is that the fee for the account will include all sorts of extraneous benefits which are not asked for or required and which may well at some future time be categorised as a missale.

Nic, you and the others need to accept that you cannot put the Genie back in the bottle. We live in a very competitive world and there will always be ways for the solvent to take advantage – maybe even at the expense of the insolvent. Such is life.

Harry Katz

Online comments reating to article: New FSA RDR consumer guide amends indy/restricted wording

Good leaflet, as far as it goes. I do like the fact that it stresses that advice has never been free, as clients of most advisers who have followed disclosure rules will be aware. Might come as a bit of a shock to Bank customers though.

Neil Duthie

January 2013 will bring a modicum of clarity, along with additional confusions. But I suspect that the one thing that it will not bring is any sense of ethics to the regulator. They will continue to analyse the market in terms of their own fairy tales. And one of those fairy tales is that advice was never free. Sorry, but the FSA are absolutely wrong on that. There was a time when consumers never paid for the advice provided, merely for the product bought.

Glen McKeown

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