On Friday, following the OFT’s decision to launch a test case to resolve the unfair bank charges issue, the Financial Services Authority issued a 'waiver' so that banks and building societies do not have to deal with any complaints surrounding their issue until a decision made on the application of the law to these charges.
But personal finance website Fool.co.uk say they are not happy and are petitioning the FSA to reverse its decision.
“Customers who have been stung by unfair bank charges should ignore the FSA’s decision to grant waiver to firms on complaint handling. In fact, they should proceed with reclaiming penal bank fees without delay,” said David Kuo, Head of Personal Finance at Fool.co.uk.
“The FSA’s decision plays directly into the hands of banks, which stand to benefit from any hold-up because we can reclaim unfair fees as far back as six years only. And since it could take forever before the Office of Fair Trading’s super-claim in the High Court is settled, any delay is beneficial to banks.
“In order to stop the clock, customers must issue their claims even if the small claims courts refuse to deal with them immediately. The clock stops from the time you make your court claim, regardless of when it is finally settled. Customers can then ask for the claim to be “stayed” (put on hold) pending the result of the High Court case.
“Fool.co.uk is asking consumers to sign a petition to call on the FSA to re-consider the impact of its decision on bank charges claimants, and to rescind its waiver to UK banks at the first opportunity. We are also calling on the county courts and the Financial Services Ombudsman Service to continue to handle these claims.
“The waiver to firms on complaint handling is completely unnecessary, and is a kick in the teeth of bank customers who have already been badly knee-capped by penal charges.”
Find out more about reclaiming bank charges