Investors have become increasingly upset over the compensation packages given to banking executives. Barclays shareholders expressed their rage during a meeting last week. City Bank customers have voiced a number of new frustrations as well.
In response to the outrage, FairPensions has created a new website that allows customers to vent their outrage against payment for City executives. Many investors are taking advantage of the new setup, as they seek to put an end to high pay for executives of companies that are failing to meet their growth and profit projections.
The new website is http://yourpayonsay.org.uk. This site has gained a number of powerful supporters, including the managing directors of some prominent UK businesses. One advocate said that it is imperative that investors nip the situation in the bud and ensure executives are paid what they are actually worth. He said that executives in UK companies have been allowed to receive enormous salaries and ever greater bonuses, even as performance reports shows the company is failing to meet performance goals.
Supporters of the new company said that any investor or customer who is outraged by the excessive compensation given to executives of any UK company should take action. Joining this website could help them make sure their voice is heard and action is taken.
One of the examples that have outraged investors the most is the case of Central Rand Gold. Investors at this firm rejected a new move to increase compensation to executives. Investors were not impressed with the direction the company has been headed. The company’s value has dropped by more than 95% in the past five years. However, executives tried to give themselves salary increases. Investors are finally starting to say that enough is enough.
Investors have been given the option to vote on compensation for the past 10 years. However, they have rarely decided to take the steps to limit or clawback on executive pay. That attitude seems to be changing, as investors become increasingly irate over the stagnant performance of many of the companies they are shareholders in and what they consider to be executive “sense of entitlement for high compensation.”
Pay day loans have become one of the most controversial lending services offered by financial institutions. Although they can provide financing to firms who may not be able to receive it any other way, the interest is exceedingly high. Wonga.com is the newest example of the burden businesses face when they use a pay day service provider. Businesses taking out loans with Wonga end up getting charged 4200% interest.
According to a number of financial experts, this is an indication that small businesses are being highly prejudiced against. Many of the larger banks will not working with small businesses. As a result, they have nowhere to turn except to payday loan providers.
Many businesses that really need money are drawn to lenders that promise them money in as little as 15 minutes. However, a business borrowing £10,000 in cash could end up paying more than £20,000 in interest within the next year.
While many businesses are tempted to take on these debts so that they can stimulate growth, the long-term benefit of these loans is not usually worth the cost. Most businesses struggle to meet the monthly payments, which forces them to borrow even more money down the road. Chuka Umunna is the Undersecretary of Business. Umunna said that banks are failing local businesses by depriving them of the loans they need to grow their firms.
According to a recent study, over 50 businesses are forced to file bankruptcy every day due to lack of funding. While many critics are attacking Wonga’s controversial policies, the payday firm is defending its decision. Errol Damelin, the CEO of Wonga.com, said that his firm has researched the problem in great depth. They have found that local businesses often find it impossible to get funding and Wonga intends to serve that need.
Experts hope that the banks will find a new way to help small businesses by creating new lending packages. However, they have become concerned about lending to consumers after the financial collapse. Over the past three and a half years, banks have lent out nearly £100 billion more to businesses than they have been paid back. This clearly has created some concern on their part and led them to believe that local businesses are highly risky investments.
Citizens are urged to be careful when they are conducting online banking. Tony and Val Walter found that out the hard way when Tony typed in the wrong account number. As a result, £3,000 went to a complete stranger instead of his wife’s bank.
This goes to show how easy it is to make banking mistakes when initiating payments online. Customers need to be especially careful when they are creating these payments, lest they end up losing whatever money they are transferring over. The Walters are frantically trying to get their money back, but have so been unsuccessful so far.
The couples had accounts setup at Barclays and Santender. Barclays has stated that it bears no responsibility for the unfortunate situation and told the customers to resolve the problem through other means. Santender said it is doing everything it can to resolve the situation. However, both banks have acknowledged that money cannot be retrieved once it has been sent.
Val Walter has said that she is angry at both banks’ incompetence. However, a representative from Santender said that it should not be held accountable for the mistake. He said that the customer bears the responsibility of filling out account information correctly. If they fill out incorrectly, there is little the banks can do to get their money back.
Although critics don’t completely absolve the Walters of the mistake they made, they also said that the problem isn’t completely their fault. Many of the online systems banks use can be very confusing. Although they can be navigated by younger generations who use the Internet on a regular basis, many people don’t know how to use the Internet properly. As a result, mistakes can be very common for some users. This can be especially problematic for people like the Walters who are trying to initiate money transactions in the tune of thousands of pounds.
One of the biggest challenges critics have raised is the fact that many of the banks use a variety of drop-down menus on their sites. These drop down menus have almost identical product and service names. This raises the possibility that people could end up clicking the wrong item, which could lead to a number of possible complications.
According to many cynics, the banks are grateful for online banking. They cite that the banks can now shift the blame towards the their customers and don’t have to worry as much about potential lawsuits. Whether or not that is true, it is clear that customers are going to need to be much more careful when they do their banking online.
The Bank of Ireland has warned citizens that the cost of mortgages is likely to increase in the coming months. Although they are expected to start to drop later in the year, they found that the rate will be largely dependent on factors outside its control. The pace of the housing market is likely to have one of the largest impacts on the direction of mortgage rate. Commercial property markets will also have a profound effect on mortgage rates.
Although the mortgage rates are continuing to increase somewhat, the Bank of Ireland’s largest concern is the debt that is piling up. As unemployment remains elevated, the BoI expects that mortgage debt is only going to get worse.
Ireland continues to struggle in its efforts to spur an economic recovery. Although the Bank of Ireland has been working with parliament and the prime minister to improve economic conditions, the outlook over the near term does not look promising. Austerity measures have created a number of concerns for debt-laden countries such as Ireland, which are now threatened with a new recession. Consumer confidence studies have shown that citizens expect the economy to improve in the future, but other leading economic indicators have been disappointing in the previous months.
In the meantime, the biggest concern is whether home prices in Ireland are going to stabilize. New home buyers would incur less debt if prices to dropped to more affordable levels. However, that wouldn’t help current homeowners, who would be unable to sell their properties to recoup the debts they have incurred due to the cost of the housing market.
The Bank of Ireland is also facing a number of challenges. Last year it was bought out by a group of foreign investors, while the government retained a 15% ownership stake. However, it still faces a number of challenges, as loans have dropped by more than 3% in the past year. The Bank of Ireland is in the process of mitigating the risk of insolvency by removing itself from many of the bad loans it has taken on over the past years.
A number of businesses are being taken for a ride by new bank fees. Many of them are finding themselves stuck with loans that are charging them more than they would like. They sign these contracts because they are told that they can get out of them later. However, they have found out that it is going to cost a considerable amount of money to exit the contract.
Many of these bank loans end up costing small business owners a huge penalty if they try to get out. In many cases, this penalty can exceed 20% of the loan itself. In the most extreme cases, the penalty is nearly a third the value of the entire loan.
According to a new study from Commercial Real Estate Services, nearly 90% of loans may have these penalty clauses embedded within them. As a result, many businesses are finding out the hard way that they are going to have to stick out loans that charge them more than they would like.
The Financial Services Authority may need to investigate and impose new regulations. This could be particularly bad timing for them, considering they are still dealing with the aftermath of the payment protection insurance scandal that cost bank customers and taxpayers billions.
The banks were able to burden these customers by bundling them with interest rate swap contracts. Businesses took out loans with these contracts because they were concerned after the sudden spike in interest rates six years ago. However, interest rates have since been kept at record lows due to monetary policies initiated by the Bank of England. Businesses are realizing there is no need to engage in these contracts at this time. However, the clauses prohibit them from terminating without the penalty.
According to the CBRE, many businesses took out these contracts when it wasn’t necessary to do so. This leaves many speculating on who is to bear the bulk of the blame. Many businesses may have taken these contracts out intentionally, indicating that they are responsible for the loss. However, experts argue that most of these businesses probably didn’t know what they were signing at the time. The costs of these products could be the result of wrongly imposed commissions just like the individual consumers who mis-purchased PPI claims. This will require the FSA to assess how these packages were sold and whether or not these businesses will have a case if they want to file lawsuits against the banks.
It remains to be seen how these businesses will fare if they file lawsuits against the banks. Arguably, they may not have the same chance as the consumers who were mis-sold PPI packages, because businesses are expected to have a more detailed understanding of the contracts they are signing and are always encouraged to have attorneys evaluate them. The FSA may be the one who needs to help make that determination.
As new bank fees are imposed throughout the country, scam artists continue to look for new ways to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Most recently, a large scheme involving compromised bank cards across the entire country. In this situation, customers of many of the largest banks were contacted from persons claiming to be either law enforcement officials or banking representatives.
Customers willingly handed over their personal banking information to these individuals. According to recent figures, 14 people were successfully swindled out of £300,000. An additional 21 people were contacted by these confidence men, but didn’t provide the details they requested.
This scheme is not the first of its kind. Detectives across the country have told reporters that a number of similarities exist between this case and many of the others that have been enacted in recent months. They declined to give more information when pressed for details.
The police department has created a nationwide sting operation to catch the culprits involved in the scam. The operation involved a number of law enforcement agencies throughout the UK and Scotland.
They have found that many of the crooks engaging in these kinds of schemes are becoming increasingly more brazen. They have contacted potential victims by phone, targeting greater numbers of customers. However, in some situations the suspects have actually spoken to their victims face-to-face, even getting them to surrender their cards. This tells officers that they are facing incredibly bold criminals who pose a great threat to citizens.
Detectives have arrested a number of individuals for these crimes. Thus far, 14 people have been indicted on a number of different charges. The number of people who face charges is likely to increase as police officers continue their investigation.
Banks have been accused of engaging in a new set of scandals that involves swapping rates among vulnerable businesses. According to an investigation that was recently conducted by the Telegraph, some of the most vulnerable groups may have been caught up in this alleged mis-selling racket.
Some of the largest nursing homes have recently claimed to have purchased a number of insurance packages designed to help them exchange interest rates on their loans. Management at these facilities argue that they didn’t know what they were buying when they signed these contracts.
Many of these nursing homes told reporters that they took banks at their word when they suggested these loans. As a result, they ended up purchasing new packages that ended up costing them hundreds of pounds more than they would have paid if they had taken out a loan without any insurance.
These packages have created a burden for many of the nursing homes and their residents. According to Louise Bruce, the owner and manager of a home in West Sussex, these extra fees made it almost impossible to sustain the profitability of her business. She was forced to raise the rates for many of her residents to maintain her profit margins. Although she would like to get out of the contract, she is forced to stick it out. She would have to pay £160,000 as an exit fee in order to escape the liabilities she faces.
Many nursing homes said that these products seemed like a great deal because they were charging such low interest rates. The sales staff they spoke with told them that they would save a substantial amount over the terms of their loans. The deal sounded good to most nursing home managers, who decided to sign the contracts. However, the managers of the nursing homes didn’t understand all the terms they were signing, because the representatives they spoke with used confusing jargon.
While nursing home managers such as Ms. Louise state that they didn’t understand what they were buying, the banks argue otherwise. Representatives from the banks involved in these transactions argue that they operated with full transparency and are confident their customers were given enough information to make an informed decision. According to many of these agreements, customers are only given six years from the time they are sold the package before they no longer have the option of taking legal action against the banks.
The Co-operative Bank has decided to raise its mortgage fees from 4.24% to 4.74%. This fee is expected to impact nearly 60,000 households throughout the UK.
Co-operative is now the fifth bank to increase the mortgage fees it imposes on its customers. Co-operative stated that the change in its fee structure was largely the result of new developments in the mortgage industry. However, critics argue that Co-operative is simply following the direction other banks are setting and taking what measures it can to make up for some of the other losses it has suffered over the following year.
Industry experts are stating that this new change will increase the annual mortgage fee by £15 for the average homeowner. However, some homeowners will find that their mortgage payment will increase by as much as £42. Although this new development isn’t the greatest burden for homeowners, it is yet another challenge they will have to deal with.
Co-operative said that they are selling more of their SVR mortgages. They said that many customers enjoy these mortgages because they are more flexible and offer a variety of features not available in most of their other mortgages.
Although representatives from Co-operative said that the changes are necessary due to economic challenges they are currently facing, customers aren’t taking it so well. Many customers feel frustrated that so many banks are insistent on increasing their mortgage fees when the Bank of England has left its rates unchanged.
Some experts are concerned that this will lead to a number of new challenges that are going to be worse than people expect. They project that these new mortgage rates may force many homeowners into delinquency.
In response to these concerns, the bank is agreeing to allow some customers with high loan to value mortgages the opportunity to receive a fixed mortgage rate of 4.24% instead of the variable rates the banks wants to begin charging. This new rate will be eligible to customers over the course of the next 5 years. This new mortgage does not impose any fees on its customers. However, many customers may not qualify for the terms it provides.
Bank of England customers have become particularly outraged with some of the new policies the bank has put in place. Three years ago, the bank decided to cut the interest rate it paid its customers by half a percent. The central bank implemented this policy to help larger financial institutions overcome the major hurdles they were facing in the face of the 2008 financial crisis.
Although that decision seemed like the best approach at the time, it has cost customers at many large banks significantly over the past three years. Customers have since lost £60 billion from their savings in that time. This only makes it more difficult for them to deal with their financial problems.
If that wasn’t bad enough, many customers now have their money in savings accounts that aren’t yielding any interest. These customers also face huge bank charges if their account balances fall below a certain threshold.
The Bank of England has defended their decision, arguing that it was necessary to protect the high street banks. However, the banks have fared well from their decisions. Eight of the largest banks in England have been making record profits, due to both the mis-selling of payment protection insurance and cutting interest rates on savings accounts. However, the situation may turn for the worst shortly. Many banks are now losing significant amounts of money due to new PPI lawsuits. This could in turn lead to them cutting interest rates on more savings accounts.
The savings rate for banks held in the UK is now just shy of 1%. This creates a serious problem for people who are trying to build their savings, particularly those who are trying to near retirement. The Bank of England appears to believe that cutting savings will encourage more savers to invest their money in stocks and other risky securities. Although this could create some financial benefit for the economy, it could also jeopardize savings for people with low risk-tolerances as they near retirement.
A couple of banks still offer fairly reasonable interest rates to their investors. Both Lloyds and the Bank of Scotland give their customers the opportunity to earn up to 3% on their savings. However, not all customers are going to receive those rates and competition for those accounts may be high. Furthermore, accounts that offer higher interest rates tend to charge higher fees and have stricter account balance requirements.
Consumer groups are outraged as Allied Irish Bank announced that it intends to place limitations on its free banking program. The bank said earlier this week that any customer with less than 2,500 in their account may be required to start paying a fee. These new changes will be announced by the end of May.
The current policies AIB offers to consumers are fairly generous. Any customer who makes at least one transaction via phone or Internet and holds a debit card with AIB is automatically eligible to participate in the free banking program.
Nearly two thirds of the bank’s customers will be impacted by this new policy. The number of people who will still be eligible for free banking is expected to be lower than stated when considering that many of them are students or others who would be guaranteed free banking under the bank’s other guidelines.
Consumer advocates such as the National Consumer Agency say that these new policies are excessive and unreasonable. Consumers are already having a very difficult time managing their money in the face of one of the worst financial crises in the last century and are even more concerned over the prospect of another recession. According to one spokeswoman, a growing number of customers lack the ability to come up with 2,500 euros that they can leave in their accounts.
Consumer groups are telling Allied Irish Bank customers that they should seriously consider changing to another bank to avoid being charged. Although more banks are considering doing away with or restricting their free banking programs, some of them continue to offer accounts that do not impose fees on their customers.
Another reason the NCA is outraged over these new policies is that customers are not paid interest on these accounts. This is almost counter-intuitive to customers who must start paying for their bank account rather than receiving anything out of it. The only way that customers would be able to avoid the interest penalty on their free account would be if they decided to transfer money over from their savings account, thereby losing out on any potential opportunity to earn interest.
Although AIB is facing staunch criticism over this new move, it insists that it is necessary. The director for business development stated that the bank has no choice if it intends to recapture its dominant position in the banking community and offer competitive services to its customers.