Posts Tagged ‘payout’
If you’re one of the 22 million people in the UK with Premium bonds, prepare to abandon hopes of a windfall – National Savings and Investments are cutting the Premium Bond annual prize fund.
Party pooper Jane Platt from NS&I said that the decision was a tough one, but far below the cuts made by private sector competitors.
‘To ensure we stay within our Net Financing target – and in light of our framework to balance the needs of our savers, taxpayers and the stability of the broader financial services sector – we now need to reduce the Premium Bond prize fund rate.’ She said. ‘We agonized over the decision…it’s not something we undertook lightly.’
So what does this mean for bond holders? Well, the chance of your number winning a prize is now 26000 to 1. The money in the pot will be reduced from £57 million to £49 million and the number of prizes available will fall by 150,000.
It’s part of plan to stop Premium bonds from becoming too attractive and unbalancing the market. With interest rates for savers falling, the prize must fund fall, too.
It’s a blow for savers, but Premium Bonds are still a good bet. They’re tax free and give you better returns than a savings account. But if you’re looking for your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you might as well start doing the lottery. Or go on the game.
Ofgem want E.On to pay out £2.5m to vulnerable households and pay a further £500,000 in fines after they fibbed about how many ‘free’ energy saving bulbs they had sent out to customers.
E.On claimed they had sent out £3.4million free bulbs to households in 2010, to comply with the government’s short-lived Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). Under the scheme all energy companies were told to ship our free bulbs to every customer. But E.On couldn’t actually confirm the exact amount they sent, and nobody seemed to know why the same bulbs were being sold in Ireland, rather than given away.
Tony Cocker, chief executive for E.ON, was contrite. Cockup went onto apologise: “We’re sorry that these mistakes were made in 2010 and Ofgem has received a board-level assurance that the necessary changes have been made. Our controls should have been stronger and our processes more robust.’
The good news is that all that lovely money is going to customers who are currently eligible for a Warm Homes Discount, and they’ll each receive £135 each. Which is a much brighter prospect than a shitty energy bulb.
Humans are usually powerless against the onslaught of nuisance phone calls from their banks, but one woman has beaten them off with a stick and has been awarded £7500 in a landmark High Court ruling against the Halifax/Bank of Scotland.
Harrassed restaurant worker Amanda Roberts took the bank to task after receiving a staggering 547 phone calls in one year when she fell behind with repayments for a £7300 loan. Despite being off work with stress and telling them that she was already discussing the problem with her local branch, their call centre monkeys phoned from 8am to 9pm – and when they started calling her elderly parents instead, she decided to take legal action.
‘They wouldn’t stop ringing and when I asked for a supervisor they hung up on me. I was absolutely devastated and paralysed, I was angry, shaking and tearful. I couldn’t eat or sleep because of the calls.’ she gibbered.
Five years of bullshit later, the payout won’t even begin to cover Amanda’s £10,000 legal bills, but the Court of Appeal ruling is a very satisfying slap on the wrist for HBOS. The volume of calls was described as ‘intimidatory bullying’ and while Amanda probably won’t see a penny of her damages, it’s one in the eye for the big tossers.
HBOS mumbled: “We are confident that our policies and procedures have been updated, addressing the concerns raised.”
Now all stressed out Amanda needs is a few extra quid for therapy and a long soak in a spa for ooh, about five more years. Maybe HBOS could help her out with another loan?
The Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group clearly think that Barclays are a big pile of jessies as they won’t be following their lead on the offer of automatic payment protection insurance payouts.
Barclays announced yesterday that they’re going to pay out some of its customers’ PPI complaints, ‘no questions asked’, after they got stung by the High Court for misselling of PPIs. RBS and Lloyds obviously believe this is wimp-talk.
In fact, they’re going to ask lots and lots of questions, preferring to look at claims on a case-by-case basis.
Kath Allen, spokesperson for RBS, says: “We are taking active steps to process all complaints within the Financial Service Authority’s (FSA) timeframes. We remain focussed on making sure our customers get a fair outcome within those timeframes.” So if you made a claim before 20th April, you should have a decision by 31st August. Anything after that, you should have a response within 16 weeks.
Charlotte Sjoberg, spokesperson for Lloyds Banking Group, says: “We are handling all PPI complaints fairly and consistently regardless of when they were received. We will ensure that we provide a clear response to every customer that has submitted a complaint to us before 6 May by the end of August.
“For customers who have submitted a complaint on or after 6 May, will we provide a full response within 16 weeks of receiving the complaint.”
There you have it. No gestures of goodwill from this particular shower of shits.
Remember us telling you about Barclays getting in a bit of bother over the misselling of PPIs? Well, they’re going to refund them, ‘no questions asked’ (provided you complained before 20 April).
These payments are a “gesture of goodwill” from the bank and will be made up of all premiums paid plus interest.
With tens of thousands believed to be in line for big payouts, Barclays could be looking at forking out around £1bn.
If you’re one of those that complained, you’ll have to wait around 16 weeks before this all gets resolved. A pain in the rear perhaps, but at least you’ll be getting your money back.
In a statement about its decision to compensate existing claimants, Barclays said: “We have said before that when we get things wrong, we apologise and work hard and work fast to put them right as quickly as possible.
“Working in close co-operation with the FSA and the Financial Ombudsman Service, and in recognition of the delay customers have experienced whilst awaiting the outcome of the high court judgement, we can confirm that we are contacting customers whose complaint was put on hold on or before 20 April with an offer to settle their complaint in full as a gesture of goodwill.”
If you think you might have been mis-sold a PPI policy, then you need to complain directly to your bank. If you don’t know how, the Guardian have a nice template letter you can use.
The bank has ringfenced £1 billion as potential compensation and has said that it won’t be appealing against a court ruling decreeing that banks must redress customer complaints about PPI. Last week, Lloyds set aside £3.2 billion for the same reason.
You might have been mis-sold PPI if you have it but didn’t realise you were buying it, if you were told you had to buy it (you didn’t), or if you were sold it and it doesn’t even cover you (if you’re self-employed for example).
The British Bankers’ Association has also said that it won’t be appealing against the court ruling, meaning that more banks will be setting aside more money and compensating customers in what is quickly becoming the biggest banking scandal in recent memory.
The swines that run the UK’s banks won’t be happy this morning after they collectively lost a judicial review which could see them hit with a £4.5 billion fine after claims that they mis-sold loan insurance.
Banks are now going to have to look back on past sales of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), taking into consideration every policy, including those taken out by people who haven’t complained.
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) are said to be “disappointed” by the ruling and has 21 days to appeal. There’ll be a lot of teeth gnashing and clenching of fists going on, that’s for sure.
Already, thousands have already received compensation on PPI policies, which were supposed to repay one’s loans if income dropped thanks to illness or loss of employment. The banks challenged the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over guidelines published last year which said that banks needed to contact all past PPI customers and ask them to complain if they were under the impression that they’d been mis-sold of policy. However, High Court judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, rejected the challenge.
Natalie Ceeney, the chief financial ombudsman, said: “This judgment is very clear-cut – and it confirms that the ombudsman’s approach to PPI complaints is right. People have been waiting a long time while the banks’ legal action has been ongoing. I would now like to see financial businesses showing real commitment to sorting out their customers’ complaints efficiently and promptly.”
Of course, there have been many PPI sales sold which were appropriate, however, largely, it has been suggested that our beloved banks have been mis-selling them and raking in millions of pounds from selling insurance that people just didn’t need, couldn’t claim on or, indeed, weren’t even aware they had.
If the banks appeal is unsuccessful, customers will be repaid their PPI premiums plus interest. Thus far, there’s been more than 200,000 cases referred to the ombudsman with around three in four complaints being upheld.
If you’re a Halifax mortgage customer, you could be in for a small windfall in the near future – that’s because the bank are making a ‘goodwill’ payment to 300,000 of you. It’s because Halifax is “committed to running its business with the highest levels of integrity and treating its customers fairly” – oh, and because it agreed a deal with the Financial Services Authority.
The announcement of the payments comes after it was discovered that Halifax had been, let’s say ‘vague’ over its right to charge customers more for standard variable rate mortgages and will total about £500 million altogether.
The Halifax raised the ceiling on its standard variable rate from bank rate plus 2% to bank rate plus 3% in January 2009, citing “extenuating economic conditions” but adding on extra charges to customers who hadn’t been pre-warned that this could be the case when they first took out their mortgages.
Affected customers will receive appropriate credits into their mortgage accounts in April. Meanwhile, a Halifax spokesperson is quoted as having said: “”We have had very few complaints – in the tens, fewer then 50.” So that’s alright then. They almost got away with it.
The Home Retail Group (parent of Argos) and Walmsleys are among companies who have been ordered by a stern-wigged judge to pay as much as £20 million to 2,000 people who were burned by anti-fungal agents in the Chinese-made sofas. Further compensation could be on its way as another 2,500 cases will be heard next month.
As many as 100,000 ‘toxic sofas’ had sachets of “highly sensitising” fungicidal chemical dimethyl fumarate (DMF) inside them, in an attempt to stop them from going mouldy while in storage. But the sachets turned into a gas that burned through clothes and on to skin. Horrific stuff when all you want to do is sit down, relax and watch Come Dine With Me.
DMF has now been banned in the EU, although the companies that have been fined are expected to appeal.