Yorkshire Building Society fined for misselling
The building society has been slapped with a £4.1 million fine, for being shits to customers facing financial difficulties.
The findings were found after a City regulator noticed that call handlers at Yorkshire had failed to implement the right payment solutions, making it even worse for customers having a struggle.
The building society has agreed to refund all mortgage arrears fees, plus associated interest, charged to customers since January 2009.
This redress scheme, announced in February, is currently under way and about 33,900 customers will be repaid a total of £8.4m.
Those customers with an existing mortgage will have their loan credited, while former customers will be sent a cheque. Cor! A cheque. How modern. A Yorkshire spokesman named anonymous, reckons that all affected customers will be refunded by the end of 2014.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had said that while Yorkshire viewed repossession as a last resort, it failed to recognise that delays in reaching long-term payment solutions meant that some customers incurred increased fees and interest.
These failures happened between October 2011 and July 2012 as is the company's second fine for being devious arses.
The regulator noticed that in 64 out of 87 cases reviewed, showed that the consumer was treated shoddily.
Tracey McDermott, director of enforcement and financial crime at the FCA, said: “Customers in financial difficulty need to be treated fairly and sensitively. Firms must ensure that they are taking into account the particular circumstances affecting customers who find themselves in difficulty. Firms need to be dealing with these customers proactively, without delays, in order to ensure they are not losing out.
“By allowing cases to drift without agreement, Yorkshire’s actions meant that customers in vulnerable circumstances risked falling into further financial difficulty.”
Chris Pilling, chief executive of Yorkshire Building Society, apologised to customers using the 'inflatable school' joke as an apology. “We are very sorry for letting them down," he said.
This is Yorkshire's second fine in 2014. In June the FCA issued a £1.4m fine for exaggerating the returns that investors could expect from stock-market-linked bonds.