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Banks mis-selling to small firms

Canary Wharf
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Saturday, 30th June 2012 at 1204 BST On Radio 4 and Online

FSA finds banks guilty of mis-selling to small firms

The Financial Services Authority has announced it's found "serious failings" in the way banks sold complex interest rate products to some small and medium-sized businesses.

They were supposed to protect them in case interest rates went up. But in reality, some increased their borrowing costs.

Money Box hears from Anne who runs a small business. She took out a mortgage with one of the banks, but it was conditional on a complicated "interest rate swap", which she really didn't understand but felt obliged to sign up to. She's struggling to cover the monthly payments.

Paul Lewis also talks to Martin Berkeley, Senior Consultant, from Vedanta Hedging, an independent hedging company that advises business on hedging.

FSA


Compensation for RBS customers?

11 days after Natwest, RBS and Ulster bank first experienced a technical fault that left thousands of customers unable to see or access their money, we ask what the bank is doing to compensate all those who have been affected.

We also explore how the bank can guarantee customers credit ratings will not be affected by missed payments caused by the glitch.

Meanwhile up to 1.9 million customers of Ulster Bank are still unable to access their accounts. We hear from one customer who had to fly out to Portugal after his 18 year old brother and his friends got stuck out there with no money.

Paul speaks to Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.

Paul also puts your credit reference concerns to Tom Ilube, from the credit reference agency Callcredit.

Ulster Bank helpline: 0800 231232

RBS helpline: 0161 931 9959 or 0800 656 9639.

For RBS customers overseas: +44 (0) 131 549 8888

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Closed Accounts

The chairman of a key consumer body has called for major changes in the way banks deal with customers where there is an allegation of fraudulent activity on an account.

Adam Phillips, who chairs the FSA's Consumer Panel says current practices are "Kafkaesque."

Money Box first highlighted this issue in November, when we reported how NatWest had closed an account of six month old girl. Bob Howard reports.

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Problems with prepaid currency cards

Prepaid currency cards are becoming an increasingly popular way to take cash abroad. But some Money Box listeners have fallen foul of the small print.

Money Box hears from one Cash Passport customer who found the money she'd loaded on to the card had been eaten up by fees, because she hadn't used the card often enough. Another, with an STA cashcard found she couldn't access her money until she'd upgraded her card.

Paul Lewis talks to Amit Sharma, CEO of prepaid365.com, a comparison website for prepaid cards.

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BBC Radio 4's Money Box is broadcast on Saturday at 1204 BST.



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