Welcome to the CONSUMERS' FORUM (formerly The Penalty Charges Forum).

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

  • THE CONSUMERS' FORUM NEWS (formerly Penalty Charges) RSS Feed

    by Published on 21-09-2013 02:00 PM  Number of Views: 3697 

    Dear members we apologise for the site being down for the last few days. Sadly some muppet decided to hack the site. We are shocked that someone would hack a site that is setup to help consumers for free. However, we have now restored the site. Please note that due to the hacker any posts after the 16th September will have been lost.
    by Published on 05-02-2012 12:40 AM     Number of Views: 10533 

    Best Advert ever: Strongbow viral attack on bankers accompanies their TV advertising campaign under the slogan 'hard earned'

    source Monday 22 June 2009
    by Published on 13-12-2011 03:29 PM     Number of Views: 11599 
    Article Preview

    Barclays show that the Agreement between BIS (Department for Business, Innovation andSkills) and the BBA (British Bankers Association) is Completely Worthless

    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills reached an agreement with the BBA acting on behalf of the banks, It has been alleged that this discussion was within a restricted circle. The BIS press release attempted to reinsure consumers that BIS agreement with the banks would protect consumers and there was no need for regulation, in a direct response to questions from the Consumer’s Forum the BIS said:

    "Regulating in this area is not the Government’s first instinct. There are better ways to achieve a positive result for consumers that have less impact on business and means that consumers get the protections they need without having to wait months or years for them to come into force.” We have worked with the banks to give consumers the right tools to take better control of their
    account and avoid or minimise unarranged overdraft charges. The measures agreed with the banks...”
    by Published on 08-12-2011 11:38 AM     Number of Views: 10461 

    Josie Lewis a member of the Consumers forum and Stephen Hone the founder, appeared on Rip-Off-Britain today.

    Josie talks about her battle against HSBC Bank and Stephen talks about how complicated it is even to find any of the banks terms and conditions, he also highlights the fact these charges should only reflect the true administrative costs.

    Josie's clip

    Stephen's clip
    by Published on 01-12-2011 06:21 PM     Number of Views: 16686 
    Article Preview

    Outrage at the Coalition’s failed ‘clampdown’ on unfair bank charges.

    (Each party has made an offical response to this article see the full story)

    On the 21st November, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and HM Treasury published their response to the consumer credit elements of the Government’s Review of Consumer Credit and Personal Insolvency. They Claim that the Government has driven forward a voluntary agreement which will apply to all full-facility current accounts offered by the major banks, when they state:

    “Under the new agreement, over 85 per cent of personal current account customers will benefit from measures to make charges for unarranged overdrafts clearer, fairer and more manageable. This includes annual statements so that customers can see how much their account costs over the year. Consumers will have the option to receive alerts when their balance is low so that they can take action to avoid a charge; and they will no longer be charged for going-over their limit by a small amount”.

    They claim that this response builds on a number of Coalition commitments to increase transparency and help consumers make better financial decisions when borrowing money. Whilst this press release is good news on face value, the truth is that this does not build on the Coalition commitments at all. The Coalition gave an undertaking in their program for Government that it would bring in legislation to end unfair bank charges, it said:

    “We will introduce stronger consumer protections, including measures to end (my emphasis added) unfair bank and financial transaction charges.” (Sec 5):

    The truth is, it has failed to deliver. The Coalition government and the OFT has let down the thousands of consumers(including many on benefits) who have for years been ripped off by banks and are still forced to live below the poverty line because of unlawful bank charges. Whilst we accept that the idea of a text message will help some consumers, the truth is it will not help the thousands on low incomes that cannot simply top up their accounts. All it will do for them is give them notice that they are about too ripped off again, it will not stop the spiral of debt these charges can and do cause. ...
    by Published on 08-11-2011 12:41 AM  Number of Views: 11556 

    Graeme Morrice MP has tabled a motion in Parliament calling for the Government to end unfair bank charges and reintroduce a cap on the amount of interest that consumers can be charged. He believes that high bank charges and exorbitant interest are causing huge financial problems for consumers,especially those who are vulnerable or living on low incomes, and these unfair financial charges are playing a big part in pushing more and more households into debt.

    Graeme Morrice MP said:

    “Millions of consumers continue to be hit by a range of high, unfair bank charges, often for situations over which they have had little or no control. There is also increasing evidence thatthese charges impact disproportionately on those least able to cope with them.“It is time for the Government and banks to reach a solution that will put an end to these unfair charges. I am also urging the Government to take action on high cost credit to prevent people from being subjected to legal loansharking.”

    Stephen Hone of the Consumers Forum said:

    “I thank Graeme for taking action on this issue. Every major political party has pledged to stop unfair bank and other financial charges and it is also a commitment in the Government’s coalition agreement. It is now time for action onthis issue to protect consumers and end these unfair charges once and for all.”

    The Livingston MP is also asking people in West Lothian to give their support to these important changes by signing ane-petition to the Government. The petition calls on the Coalition Government to keep its promise to “introduce stronger consumer protections, including measures to end unfair bank and financial transaction charges”.

    The e-petition can be signed at
    The EDM can be found here

    by Published on 01-09-2011 05:50 PM     Number of Views: 12880 
    1. Categories:
    2. Banks

    The Consumers Forum has issued a Call for the government to implement its manifesto promise, to end unfair financial transaction charges and to reintroduce an APR Limit.

    The Consumers forum is asking the government to implement its manifesto promise “we will introduce stronger consumer protections, including measures to end unfair bank and financial transaction charges” this is an issue that is causing thousands of consumers to live in poverty.

    Additionally, is the issue of a Statutory Ceiling for interest rates, since the introduction of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the UK has had no statutory ceiling for interest rates. There use to be an APR cap of 48% but, the 1974 Act abolished it. The removal of the cap has allowed companies to charge horrific interest rates such as companies who have advertised interest rates of up to 4214%, a rate which is repugnant and exorbitant.

    We are requesting that consumer protection should be at the forefront of the government’s agenda and legislation should now be put into place to protect consumers and most importantly to protect the poorest in our society, this includes the immediate reintroduction of an APR limit.

    Please sign the e-petition HERE

    We would be grateful if you could share this link via your Facebook, Twitter and /or on any other website.

Back to Top