Quick rant

I suppose some justice has been done in the banks paying up for the PPI scandal. Now we have Scottish & Southern being collared for misleading customers (i.e. lying to them) about switching energy suppliers. Quite frankly, consumer protection in this country is a joke. It’s not surprising that no-one trusts the banks or the energy suppliers. They both see customers as a profit opportunity rather than a client with whom they can build a mutually beneficial relationship. What ever happened to honest dealing? I must be getting old.


7 thoughts on “Quick rant”

  1. Unfortunately, do you really think that ultimately the banks will pay for this redress? No, it will be built back into our charges and interest rates and we will end up paying for it anyway.

    Its like insurance and gambling, they dont lose money in the long run


    1. What we need is some people to go to prison for this stuff. We can be a bit sniffy about the Yanks but they do jail some of the fraudsters. These fines are just paid by the company and there’s no personal liability or consequences. It’s a scandal. Hope I don’t sound like Victor Meldrew!!

      1. well if you do, that makes two of us!

        Sick to death of people trying to scam us here there and everywhere: banks, energy companies, insurance companies, the government, internet phishers…..

      2. The US has a much better legal analysis of fraud than we do. The Fraud Act was a step in the right direction but the line between sharp business practice and fraud is blurred to the point of irrelevance. It takes a brave prosecutor to charge a fraud where the prospects for a conviction are only just above the 51% bracket – the CPS is stretched financially and a risky fraud case, where a jury might well conclude it’s not actually fraud at all, is going to be frowned on. We have long been a society that protects industries that have power – politically, recent government have been far more interested in currying favour than protecting citizens and characterising conduct as fraud is not the way to go – putting in place a realistic oversight mechanism is far better and fines should be levied and distributed to assist those affected by sharp practices rather than government coffers.

        None of this will ever happen of course and we have to take individual responsibility for our actions. We are not scammed by force – we are duped by greed very often. Check the small print and make choices – move banks, move suppliers, don’t buy from a company that acts in a way you find objectionable. Ultimately, it is very often your own choice.

      3. While I agree that people need to take responsibility for their actions, it is a reasonable expection that companies that are trying to persuade people to take a course of action do not lie to us, as is the case in S&S. In the case of the banks it is more subtle with extra charges being added or unrealistic promises made. In the case of PPI it was sold to many people for whom it was inappropriate (e.g. self employed). The hook was a lower interest rate if they bought PPI. In effect PPI was an additional interest cost. The total cost was higher than if a conventional loan was used. Having worked 30 years in the fianncial industry, I would alwys be extra careful about any product that is not plain vanilla, and even those you need to go through the fine print. For most people, it is impossible to be a financial expert therefore they rely on the advice they receive. If it is from a bank or an energy company it is reasonable to expect that advice is appropriate and that it is truthful.

  2. What ever happened to honesty? it’s gone and been replaced by society’s self interest in general.

    It used to be that in the worst case someone would lie to you if they thought you wouldn’t realise they were lying, now they only concern is whether you can prove it.

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