Thursday 27 September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012 Posted by Hari No comments Labels:
Posted by Hari on Thursday, September 27, 2012 with No comments | Labels:

The poorest in society pay on average £1,289 a year more than those on average incomes for financial goods and services
The investigation, commissioned by the Labour party, estimated that consumers 'lose £11bn a year' in financial scams and rip-offs.  The most common complaints related to poor quality of service and defective goods. But the three big rip-off areas are banking and utilities, as well as vehicle repairs.  GUARDIAN
("We are ashamed and humbled to discover our members are as thoroughly wicked as that well known bunch of shafters," said the Association of Dodgy Garage Owners)

'I was refused a payout because I was dying too slowly'
Scottish Provident withheld  a total of £240,000 from Mr Onyett (who had terminal motor neurone disease) and his family. The small print in the two policies meant it only paid out to someone with less than 12 months to live. The relevant clauses were buried in two documents: one 25 pages long and the other 24 pages. DAILY MAIL
("Honestly, when they pointed it out in the small print, it was a complete revelation to us," said a roomful of Scottish Provident salesmen)

Pension firms warned to end hidden fees or face sack from industry's regulator

The fees typically wipe more than £100k from the value of a middle-class worker’s pension. Trust in pensions is at an all-time low: only 2.9m private sector workers now save into a workplace pension, the lowest level since 1954. The Pensions Regulator added they ideally prefer the industry to regulate itself. TELEGRAPH

Tax evasion cases investigated by HM Revenue & Customs drops by 25%

This seems to go against promises of clamping down harder on tax evasion. But a much tougher approach is being taken by HMRC... if you are a plumber. Melvyn Careswell, a plumber, was jailed for 12 months for tax evasion after failing to register his earnings for five years. A £50,000 tax evasion case used to be subject to civil prosecution, but now it is criminal. GUARDIAN
(Tax dodging plumbers everywhere are shaking in their boots. The economy is saved!)

Women drivers will soon pay for boy racers, as insurers are banned from discriminating between the sexes
From December insurers are banned from using your sex when deciding how much you should get for a pension or pay for insurance. It also means that men, who tend to die younger, will no longer get a bigger monthly pension payout than women. Other products affected include life cover and income insurance. DAILY MAIL

British Bankers Association agrees to be stripped of $350 trillion Libor regulation role after rigging scandal
Britain will propose that Libor, the interest rate at the centre of a rigging scandal, is anchored to real transactions rather than by "estimates" by the banks overseen by the BBA. The Libor rate prices contracts worth $350 trillion globally, from home loans to credit cards. But traders warned any change should be through "evolution, not revolution." TELEGRAPH
(Last time we looked, evolution's most successful species was the cockroach. So no surprises there.)

Vince Cable reveals plan for £1bn bank to help small businesses
The new funding for manufacturers comes after pleas to high-street lenders fail. But the IPPR think-tank said £40bn was required to boost lending significantly to firms. The new bank's cash will not be channelled directly to companies nor through the big high street banks, but through "challenger" banks such as the Co-operative, Handelsbanken and Aldermore. It will be run at arm's length from the Treasury. INDEPENDENT
(...and at barge-pole's length from the high street banks.)

Hidden catches and 20,000 words of jargon: The savings deals that reduce your rates to virtually zero
Banks such as Halifax, Lloyds and Santander bombard customers with reams of onerous terms and conditions for simple accounts. Halifax savers are given a 52-page booklet 20,000 words long. Those who don’t read these details thoroughly find the top rates on some accounts later reduced to almost zero. DAILY MAIL

New watchdog promises fresh assault on rip-off  Britain investor fees
If you invested £10k in a fund with no charges, growing by 6%/year for 20 years, you would get a return of £32k – just over £22k of growth. But if that charge is 1.67% - the industry average – your return is reduced to £23k, so around £9k disappears in charges. British charges are far higher than those in other major markets, and 79% higher than in the US. DAILY MAIL

Global banking system still just as vulnerable despite blizzard of new regulations, says the IMF
The world's banks are just as big and intertwined and just as reliant on short-term wholesale funding (rather than more solid savers' deposits) as they were prior to the financial crash. The IMF also wants regulators to consider banning banks outright from certain risky activities. GUARDIAN
(Risky activities include allowing bankers to turn up, sit down, switch on their computers and begin a day's work. That's when the trouble really starts.)


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