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Open Letter To David Cameron - 25 AUG REPONSE NOW IN

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Former_MSE_Wendy
Former_MSE_Wendy Posts: 929 Forumite
I've been Money Tipped! Newshound! PPI Party Pooper Best Buy Bear
edited 25 August 2009 at 11:34AM in Reclaim bank & credit card charges
Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is?

Dear Mr. Cameron,

I was delighted your party's banking white paper published this week, said bank charges were unfair, to quote: "There've been numerous examples of unfair treatment of consumers – the misselling of payment protection insurance and unfair bank charges."

It's the first time I've seen any major party say this. The only shame is it's too late by three years; 593,156 PPI reclaiming & 6,126,175 bank charges reclaiming template letters; and up to £2 billion of payouts.

It was back in the early days when people really needed your help, then bank accounts were being forced shut, and customers who attempted to reclaim were mistreated.

Forgive my slight scepticism that it's not a surprise to see the political elite calling these charges unfair now banks have become bogeymen, and we're near victorious at the final test case stage at the House of Lords.

So I want to ask you to support an act of real political bravery... these unlawful bank charges were taken from people's accounts without asking. No other companies have the power to take our cash in this way; if your energy supplier has a dispute with you, it needs to go to court to get the money.

So surely once it's finally legally decide they’re unfair the only right decision is for everyone who’s had bank charges to automatically be paid back the money without needing to ask for it?

Yes, it will cost. Perhaps £3 billion to £5 billion, but this is about justice, and with the nation’s finances in such a dire state, what better way to immediately stimulate the economy than putting this money back into real people’s hands.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Lewis, www.moneysavingexpert.com

This has been sent to David Cameron's office, I'll happily publish any reply received. Meanwhile, use free template letters in the reclaim bank charges and missold PPI guides.

Please click reply to discuss

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Addenda By Martin - responding to some questions below...

1. Why pick on the Tories, Labour have been in power for 12 years.

On many previous occassions, I have berated Gordon Browns lack of involvement on this issues, both on this site, on TV, in my News of the World column, other newspapers, countless interviews. This is not a party polemic.

Yet wonderfully Mr. Cameron's party now says charges are unfair, and on that I applaud him. You may say they're not in power yet, but it doesn't stop a party from laying out its principles and what it would support if it were in power - what is being said now, could've been said three years ago.

2. Surely to say all charges are unfair is ridiculous - isn't this about people misusing bank accounts.

I'm specifically referring to charges for going beyond authorised overdrafts limits, which the Bank Charges reclaiming campaign has been about. The issue of its just people misusing the banks is one I've written on many time before and is all over the site, so forgive me but with my RSI i am going to not write much here (though if someone wants to post links to my past replies that'd be helpful).

However the following is a brief response given in a NOTW column to someone saying "why help the scrotes who don't look after their own bank accounts..."

In one way you’re right, as I explained about bank charges in that column, “the best way to beat them is avoidance. Keep track of what’s in your account and...“

Otherwise, I think your comment’s a disgusting slur on the millions who’ve had charges. I got involved in the campaign to reclaim bank charges after meeting a single mum, a carer for her autistic son. She NEVER overspent, but a benefits office glitch meant it paid out late, so five direct debits bounced, meaning nearly £200 of charges.

Of course she couldn’t pay. I met her a year later when charges on the charges meant she owed £3,000. A good swathe of the UK are victims of this malicious financial injustice: charges are designed to penalise and entrap. I’m very proud to ‘bang on about em’ and will continue to do so.
*** Get the Martin's Money Tips Free E-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips ***
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Comments

  • Nathan_Spleen
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    A trivial point but if you want to play the 'stimulate the economy' card it would be wise not to under-sell yourselves.

    It will cost considerably more than £3b-£5b. Going by official figures - OFT Market Study - insufficient funds charges for 2006 were £2.6b. Multiply this by the 8 year limitation period and it's more like in excess of £20b without interest.
  • Straykitten
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    Let's hope the politicians start to pay the electorate the attention they deserve - they are after all civil servants!
    Money can't buy you happiness, but it sure helps!
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    CROWN wrote: »
    Too late by 3 years!! c. Stop whining at the Tories and take aim at this useless government in POWER NOW. While you are on your crusade to end free banking for those who stick to their banking agreements, stick your 'people needed your help' line up Gordon Brown's passage as he is the muppet who sat by and watched and did nothing apart from borrow and spend my tax money.

    Thank you for your comment.

    You'll be pleased to hear, on many previous occassions, I have berated Gordon Browns lack of involvement on this issues, both on this site, on TV, in my News of the World column, other newspapers, countless interviews. This is not a party polemic.

    Yet wonderfully Mr. Cameron's party now says charges are unfair, and on that I applaud him. You may say they're not in power yet, but it doesn't stop a party from laying out its principles and what it would support if it were in power - what is being said now, could've been said three years ago.

    Martin
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • KGfromKent
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    I certainly agree, and have thought for years, that banks should not be allowed to help themselves to our money, without at the very least billing us like any normal company has to, and better still going through the courts. Unfortunately other large corporations have found ways to effectively help themselves when we are in dispute - they simply cut off the service - gas, phone, electricity, broadband etc. - it's pay up or else. The only utility not allowed to do this is water, but even they are pressing the government to relax this so that they can reduce the supply to a trickle.
    I have been in dispute with Thames Water for years, they insist my meter is not leaking, and I insist that it is and that it's wasting water for which I am being charged. If they get their way I will be forced to pay up.
  • anewman
    anewman Posts: 9,200 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
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    I'm sorry sir, you do not have enough money to pay your debt. Therefore we'll kindly slap on this £x charge - and it's for your benefit, not ours!
  • Widelats
    Widelats Posts: 3,773 Forumite
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    Hope he replies.
    Owed out = lots. :cool:
  • Brightness
    Brightness Posts: 293 Forumite
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    I wonder if he'll reply. I actually rather like Mr C :) as for Gordon Brown well.....
  • dweir74
    dweir74 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    If he does reply he will probably point out the rather obvious fact that saying 'there have been numerous examples of unfair treatment, some of which involved bank charges' is not the same as saying 'all bank charges are unfair and should be refunded as a matter of course'
  • mandi
    mandi Posts: 11,932 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker Stoptober Survivor
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    CROWN wrote: »
    Too late by 3 years!! If you hadn't noticed the Tories are not in power and cannot do F all about this. Stop whining at the Tories and take aim at this useless government in POWER NOW. While you are on your crusade to end free banking for those who stick to their banking agreements, stick your 'people needed your help' line up Gordon Brown's passage as he is the muppet who sat by and watched and did nothing apart from borrow and spend my tax money.

    Regardless of whos in power now Crown ,the point is that no other party have said that they would do anything about unfair charges.

    Martin , as an oldie in MSE . It would be great if sometimes threads like this could be posted in DT too, because they are of interest, but often missed sadly.
  • El_Rey
    El_Rey Posts: 404 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
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    I hope he replies.

    Well said Martin. :money::money:
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