PM breaks silence over bank charges case
(To the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down…) "Martin Lewis is our friend, is our friend, is our friend. Martin Lewis is our friend, he kills coppers. Let him out to kill some more, kill some more, kill some more, let him out to kill some more, Martin Lewis"
That’s all untrue of course. What we’ve done there is take a popular song from the football terraces of the 1970s and adapted it, casting the richer-than-you-are consumer champion Martin Lewis as the folk hero, when in fact the song is about murderer Harry Roberts.
Sorry about that. Martin Lewis is indeed our friend because he’s been able to get some kind of response from the government over the ongoing bank charges debacle. In association with Consumer Action Group and PenaltyCharges, M-Lew’s Money Saving Expert site got together a petition with over 70,000 signatories. It included the following…
“In the UK it’s virtually obligatory to have a bank account, yet there’s no competition over charges, & penalty charges often leave finances irrevocably damaged. The Charter’s key clauses are * £5 is a fair max for bank charges * The stay on reclaiming is anti-consumer & should be stopped * If not, a stay should also be put on banks levying charges & ensuing credit defaults * It should be pre-decided that if the case is successful, banks must be made to pay back past charges plus interest automatically; customers shouldn’t need to complain, and all related credit defaults should be wiped.”
The thing was, that petition was submitted way back in November 2007, and remained the largest petition that the government had failed to respond to. Until today, that is, as Gordon Brown HAS responded.
One of the most significant things the Prime Minister says is:
“As for the charges that are the subject of the test case, I believe that a negotiated solution could be in everyone's best interests, and so we have called on the banks and the regulators to explore a quicker way to resolve this without further delay.”
So it looks as though the banks know they are beaten and that the end is in sight for the thousands of people who have been grotesquely and unlawfully overcharged by their banks. Refund windfalls could be on the way soon, possibly automatically and possibly for millions of customers. Just don’t spend it all on shite folks.