Nucleus chairman Paul Bradshaw says last week’s ruling on overdraft charges shows that banks are not expected to treat customers fairly.
The Supreme Court overturned earlier court rulings over the fairness of unauthorised ed overdraft charges by seven banks and one building society.
At the PFS conference, Bradshaw said: “It has taken years of legal argument, loads of ripped-off customers and we have just heard the banks are justified in charging the outrageous charges they do for that particular service. The FSA talks to us about embedding treating customers fairly in our businesses and for most of us that has not been a big stretch but how can you conceivably say you have TCF embedded in your business when part of your core business model is that you exploit the poor and the vulnerable who are stupid enough to take unauthorised overdrafts to the benefit of the middle class who get free bank accounts?
“It is unthinkable. The fact the regulator lets them get away with it is pretty much unbelievable. Regulators are, in truth, by their actions, much more concerned with protecting the banks’ balance sheets than they are with customers.”
Association of British Insurers head of distribution policy Peter Jolly told delegates that life companies have failed to engage properly with consumers. He said: “I guess the evidence of that is we need to sell them. If we had products that people really wanted, they would come and buy them and most of the products in our industry are designed to be sold rather than bought.”