The British financial services industry seems to have a death wish as far as it reputation with the consumer is concerned. Not content with foisting underperforming and useless endowment products on the unsuspecting public in the 1980's, it managed in more recent years to do the very same thing with PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) products.
The payback from this wanton mis-selling is now coming back to bite them.
Brunel Franklin, a claims specialist, has written to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) highlighting a number of serious problems in the PPI mis-selling sector, including what it believes is a deliberate statistical manipulation of the mis-selling figures by the PPI vendors.
According toe Brunel Franklin, Lloyds TSB and Welcome are some of the worst offenders and are offering gestures of goodwill across the board.
Anthony M. Sultan, managing director of Brunel Franklin said:
"We believe that vendors are using gestures of goodwill to mask the true scale of PPI mis-selling from the regulator. If the significant percentage of complaints are being dealt with as gestures of goodwill, how do we know that these are being declared to the FSA as complaints and showing up as incidences of mis-selling?
Lloyds TSB are pretending that there has been no mis-sale and no formal complaint, and are hoping to sweep thousands of complaints under the carpet under the guise of gestures of goodwill.
Our suspicion is that they are not being declared to the regulator and never appear in any FSA statistics on PPI mis-selling.
This mis-selling crisis may be bigger than endowment mis-selling in terms of the numbers of people affected and the total amount of compensation due, so it is perhaps not surprising that the vendors want to play it down in the hope that it will go away.
It will not go away and we are determined to get people the compensation they are entitled to."
As if endowments and PPI were not enough, the financial services industry also has "blood on its hands" wrt extortionate bank and credit card charges, credit refusals for people with good credit ratings, excess bonus payments to underperforming directors, excess management fees for underperforming investment funds and the destruction of Northern Rock.
Hardly a "stellar" performance so far!