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Nick Clegg & David Cameron reply to Bank Charges open letter

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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 26 August 2009 at 9:02AM
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    The following news story has now been added and this discussion joined.

    "Tory leader David Cameron says victims of "unfair" bank charges must be compensated "quickly and fairly". He'll also consider automatic payback of all charges, which could total over £10 billion."

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  • oakhouse13
    oakhouse13 Posts: 767 Forumite
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    From a purely selfish point of view, neither party backing MSE's campaign is considering my interests. I have always managed my bank account within the terms and never paid bank charges. I would guess that given there are 100 million plus current accounts in the UK and according to BBC News 973,000 complaints in your campaign with 27,000 stayed in the UK courts, I am the silent majority.

    Don't think that I object that I will pay more for my bank account. Which? has said banks are planning to end free banking if they loose their landmark battle over charges with the Office of Fair Trading. Having watched Martin Lewis on Channel 4 News strike a bet with Jon Snow (Snow agreed with Which?), that charges would not go up, I think Lewis has lost his bet, and I will pay more. Not that I mind. The fact that the OFT has exposed that banks have subsidised my free banking by very high charges on the few, is clearly wrong.

    What I do object to is the idea that MSE advertises in its email, on TV, in the newspapers, that we should take out credit cards purely for the freebies and once we have our free CD or DVD, or flights or shopping voucher, ditch the card. If 10 million people have followed your advice, which is very possible given the mllions of emails you send promoting credit card deals, and taking into account that APACS estimates that setting up a new customer costs credit card companies £100 per person, MSE has rather selfishly in my view created huge amounts of costs, huge amounts of churning, and contrary to your mantra that this is all free, it will be paid for in higher charges by those same poorer customers in credit card debt that you say you represent in your bank charges campaign.

    I also wondered about this website's motives when I read Martin Lewis' column earlier this year in the Daily Mirror and he recommended bank accounts that were criticised by Treasury Select Committee chairman John McFall for not being transparent over charges. Lewis recommended the Halifax Reward Current Account for its monthly £5 pay-out if customers pay in £1,000 each month. The article had a hyped up headline about beating the banks, but this same account was criticised by consumer groups because if a customer goes overdrawn, even with a prior agreement, it will cost them £5 a day for an unauthorised overdraft, and McFall backed that criticism.

    It seems to me that you create the very thing you are campaigning against and that you don't stand for fairness any more than banks or credit card companies do. I do however support your campaign on bank charges and welcome fairer charging for bank accounts if that is what the OFT achieves through the courts.
  • Nathan_Spleen
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    oakhouse13 wrote: »
    It seems to me that you create the very thing you are campaigning against and that you don't stand for fairness any more than banks or credit card companies do. I do however support your campaign on bank charges and welcome fairer charging for bank accounts if that is what the OFT achieves through the courts.

    I'm not sure how you can support ML's campaign for fairer charging and in the same breath say he doesn't ''stand for fairness any more than the banks''.
  • oakhouse13
    oakhouse13 Posts: 767 Forumite
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    I support fairer charging which is what Lewis says he is for too although I think it is more logical to think Lewis sees this as PR, as does foerm PR man David Cameron who is well connected and my guess is knows the outcome and has therefore spoken publicly.
  • oakhouse13
    oakhouse13 Posts: 767 Forumite
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    Having re-read this, if there are around 1 million claimants and £10 billion is paid out to them, I would not consider that fair.
  • MadMac_2
    MadMac_2 Posts: 1,173 Forumite
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    I deliberately avoid the political profiteering email marketing and was actually quite shocked to open your weekly MSE email this morning and find just that! Ah, call me cynical, but I get the distinct impression DC would say he'll consider anything at the moment if it sounds like the right thing to be saying. The much more measured response from NC seemed more genuine and relevant to me, after all if it was really that achievable, they would all jump on the same bandwagon, wouldn't they!

    Personally I would not benefit from a repayment system, but I don't object to anybody else getting back what is rightfully theirs. Things are never that simple when politicians have to get involved though, are they?

    I won't be drawn into a huge political debate on this issue as I have neither the desire or the inclination... but if your email arrives again with a disguised party political broadcast in it, please put a clear warning at the top so that I can just avoid it completely - after all, isn't that what the delete button is for?!
  • MSE_Martin
    MSE_Martin Posts: 8,272 Money Saving Expert
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Two quick points.

    1. 1 million people getting 10 billion. There's a confusion here, there are 1 million currently on hold - they're the people whod likely get cashback without automatic payback. The £10bn applies to the cost with automatic payback (worked out based on the fact banks make 2-3bn a year profit from charges) as for how many people that'd be - i suspect but can only guess £5-10bn

    2. Political Email.

    I make no apology for this. Two weeks ago we published Nick Cleggs response, now David Camerons and I hope soon Gordon Browns.

    Bank charges is a massive issue impacting millions, its been a huge arm chair revolution but politicians have been suspiciously quiet for years. I think its important that we know where the politicians of all major shades stand.

    As for "warn me when its there" - it was in the subject line, and at the top of the email - it can't be that difficult to find the delete ;)
    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.
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  • SilentMinority
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    David Cameron's "letter" looks like political spam to me as well.
    I am sorry it's taken me a little while to reply while I have been away from London.
    Sounds to me like a line from a 17th century novel. In other words before internet, email, faxes, telephone, mail coaches or a postal service were invented.

    For many people this matter is too serious for politicians to wait until they "come up to London for the season".
  • 456789
    456789 Posts: 2,305 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
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    It is quite good of them to reply - I hope they act on it too!
  • MadMac_2
    MadMac_2 Posts: 1,173 Forumite
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    Ah, looking back at my now deleted box, I see why I didn't spot it! The subject line had been clipped on my little screen. Tut! Note to self - start viewing on larger screen so you can see more! Second note to self - don't post so very early in the morning! Humble apologies Martin and thanks for the explanation.
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