Letter scandals: an update
My two recent blogs have been about questionable behaviour by money lenders and by the big five banks, and now I find that some utility companies have been exerting the same, possibly unlawful, pressure on those who have no money – i.e. writing letters and pretending that they are from solicitors’ firms.
Meanwhile, HSBC, Barclays, Santander and RBS/NatWest have admitted the deceptions. In the reported words of the RBS chief, “it has become a common industry practice in a sector that had come to put its own interests above those of its customers” (Daily Mail 6 September 2014).
Chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee thought that these letters “seemed to have been designed to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes — many customers will have been misled”. Barclays, HSBC, RBS and Santander have all admitted using the practice for many years, and claim now to have stopped. No apologies appear to have been given, unlike the Student Loans Company, where the boss has apologised. Wonga has been ordered to pay 2.6 million pounds in compensation.
If you require help with such practices please contact Robert Last on 01189 478638.