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The case of Tom Brennan and bank charges leaves me in two minds. Blog Discussion
in Martin's blogs & appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the news
25 replies 9.9K views
MSE_Jenny MSE StaffMSE Staff
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's "The case of Tom Brennan and bank charges leaves me in two minds." blog. Please read the blog first, as the discussion follows it.
Read Martin's "The case of Tom Brennan and bank charges leaves me in two minds." Blog
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Pls be nice to all MSer's
There's no such thing as a stupid question, and even if you disagree courtesy helps.
Tomorrow never come's as today is yesterday and tomorrow is today
MERRY CHRISTMAS FELLOW MSer's:xmastree:
1 It is accepted that what the Banks and others have been doing is illegal. It really is not sufficient just for them to pay back what they have taken from customers' accounts. If anyone else were caught breaking the law or directing a company that broke the law, they should expect prosecution and punishment.
Why should banks or their directors be any different?
2 They have profited by lending our money that they stole (stealing is defined as taking something to which they have no right with the intent of permanently depriving the rightful owner) to the tune of 18%. I can see no reason why they should be allowed to profit from their illegal activities. A drug dealer would forfeit the profits from his/her illegal activities.
Why should banks be any different?
Much good has been done regardless of the outcome.
He is a barrister, not without brains, his choice.
Not all have his brains, Martin steps in there...if you ask me...
Publicity - he wants to make a name for himself, which will lead to a partnership in a big firm.
Where does your 18% figure come from?
The 18% comes from Martin's Blog but in reality the actual rate would depend on what is charged by the illegal charge taker. In any event, whatever the rate of interest, it belongs to the rightful owner of the money.
You are correct to point out that it is the amount of the charge that is illegal not the fact that there is a charge. However that does not remove the illegality.
You are also correct to point out that the law governing the level of the charges is in the Civil part of our code but, the taking of another person's property with intent to permanently deprive without that person's freely-given consent, is stealing. So far as I can see these illegal charges fit that description.
Also the Banks etc have been at pains to deceive us about the legal status of their charges and that deception has two effects. It removes the 6 year limit (see Limitations Act for timings) and turns the theft into fraud.
Which bit of illegal would you prefer?
There are any number of examples of large organisations getting away with acting illegally despite the "authorities" knowledge of their actions. The fact that no prosecuting agency has acted on the basis of theft or fraud or any other criminal charge does not change the situation.
The charges haven't been legally challenged in court as yet so it's all subjecture as to their legallity. As none of the banks are going to come out and tell us how they arrive at the charge levied, we don't know if they are legal. Remember, it's all to do with how much it costs the bank to pay the cheque or direct debit and send the letter. The banks say the charges are legal, others say they're not.
Whilst I agree that the charges are excessive, you could also argue that you are stealling the banks other customers money by exceeding your overdraft limit. I think Tom Brennan is either very brave or very foolish. The bank has made several offers (I don't believe it has paid him any money as he has refused them) to settle, the last offer was more than he was charged originally plus interest and I think that the courts will side with the bank. According to the report I saw, this will make Tom bankrupt which will prevent him from practicing law. Even if he wins, a lot of banks will not be willing to deal with him in future.