OFT – Incompetence, Conspiracy, Paper Tiger Or All Three?
I’m one of the lucky ones. I recovered over £2000 of illegal penalty charges from the Nationwide and HSBC a couple of years back before the High Court stayed all the claims. I had the great pleasure of walking into HSBC’s Kilburn branch with a judgment stamped by the Bow County Court (local to its Canary Wharf headquarters). I demanded my money there and then and created a right hiatus in the branch! I didn’t get it then but I did the following day in crisp £50 notes.
It goes without saying that the banks are all, without exception, cheats, thieves, liars and lowlife scoundrels. That’s why millions of people were relying on the Office Of Fair Trading to stand up for them. The OFT’s decision now to drop their action against the banks is a national disgrace of monstrous proportions. Although we cannot be sure of exactly who is behind this scandal, the fact that dishonesty, corruption and theft are at the root of it is manifest and crystal clear.
The banks were making around £7 billion a year in charges, most of which were for unauthorised overdrafts. Claimants would have been able to claim for six years of charges so the banks have been let off a £40 billion hook. Never have the British people been so let down by those who are supposed to protect them.
The High Court first made the extraordinary decision that these charges were not penalty charges. This is nonsense. HSBC actually described many of their charges to me as “card misuse” – so is that a penalty or not?. Of course they were and as such were illegal and unenforceable at law. When the banks debited your account like this they were committing theft and they’ve got away with it scot free.
It has now been well established that the actual cost to the banks of these transactions were less than £2 each when they were charging their customers up to £40 a time.
It must be truly astonishing to any right minded person that the OFT has backed down. Even in the last Supreme Court judgement the OFT was given a clear hint, more like an invitation, that it should revert to the Court on a different basis. So what possible reason can there be for abandoning the claim?
There can be no doubt that this decision is improper. I wonder why it was announced on 22nd December when the entire country was at the peak of its pre-Christmas mass hysteria?
John Fingleton, the OFT’s chief executive, should resign immediately. He is either corrupt or weak. He certainly has no integrity because whatever pressure or bribery has been put upon him he should have fought to his last breath to stop this massive crime by the banker robbers.
We cannot rely on these paper tigers of consumer protection. We certainly cannot rely on government. It is doubtful that our self-serving, whipped and bullied MPs will do anything meaningful. It seems the only option now may be molotov cocktails through the door of every bank premises throughout the country. How else are we supposed to protect ourselves when we are so badly let down?
We live in an entirely monetised society. It is impossible to function without a bank account. Therefore, the banker robbers must be regulated virtually to death. Their policies and profits must be ruthlessly controlled. Their crimes must not be overlooked but punished severely with massive multi-billion pound fines for the institutions and long prison sentences for the responsible executives.