Monday, March 05, 2007

Legalised Burglars...

I sense, and its only a gut feeling based on nothing sustantial, but I sense that the UK is teetering on the brink of a financial meltdown.

Not from any industrial malaise or recession but from a meltdown of the credit and banking systems.

We already know that the economy of the UK has been supported for many years now by the ease with which its citizens can obtain credit via loans or credit cards - there are not too many people in this country who could not go out this afternoon into any city centre and easily obtain £10,000 worth of credit.

But I sense that the strings are tightening at the Bank of England and henceforth down through all forms of banking and financial outlets, just last week we heard substantiated rumours that the Office of Fair Trading will announce the findings of its enquiry into unfair bank charges in April and it is failry certain that it will rule in favour of consumers who have been charged up to £38 per occurence of unauthorised overdraft or returned cheques and direct debit payments (me too) by banks eager to milk as much profit from its customers as possible - the recommended maximum charge is suggested to be set at £12 leaving all of the UK banks open to massive claims of compensation from its customers, claims which they are currently not defending in court and refunding down to the suggested charge of £5 per occurence.

All of this comes about of course because it is illegal in this country to apply penalty charges to debt unless you are HM Government - a £38 "charge" for going one penny overdrawn at your bank cannot be justified as "admin charges" by any of the banks, they are clearly penalty charges and as such are illegal - the banks are girding their loins for a huge onslaught on their profit margins after the Office of Fair Trade make their announcement - personally I'll be looking for at least £5000 in personal and business bank charges, but more of that later.

On top of this comes the news that credit card companies will soon be able to grant extraordinary powers of access to private property's when recovering debt by using bailiffs. Until now only government debt could be recovered in this way and private bailiffs would need seldom issued court orders to break into someone's house, but now apparently it is proposed that they can open up your doors and windows whenever they feel like it and take away your goods if you fail to keep up with payments - without recourse to the courrts.

That has to be wrong.

The current crap that I am going through with NatWest Bank has yet to be revealed on these pages - it will be soon, when I have entered my claim against them - suffice to say that if any of the credit companies had recourse to this sort of action now then they would be queuing up down my driveway every week to take away my goods and chattels, fortunately by this time next week I will be debt free and probably just in time as the credit industry turns nasty on debts which in all honesty it shares a large proportion of blame for having created in the first place.

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