Archive for October, 2012


Financial Ombudsman Seeks No-Claim Payouts for Mis Sold PPI Customers

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Due to the PPI claims “clogging” that recently plagued them, the Financial Ombudsman is proposing that customers be paid out insurance without having to make a claim. The parameters will be set by the regulators in order to compensate those who appear to be mis sold PPI. The FOS also made the proposal as banks continue to hassle customers, which contributes to the “clogging” of PPI claims.

From 2.2 million from January to June, the number of PPI claims have now reached more than 3 million, with the FOS having their 500,000th successful claim last week from an elderly woman mis sold PPI. Banks have also paid out more than £13 billion for PPI compensation, but still the process is too slow to process all the claims. The FOS’ increase in manpower and rented facilities only hastened the process up one bit.

However, despite the accusations against banks, banks themselves have blamed claims management companies and the Financial Services Authority for “clogging” the PPI claims systems. They state that their personnel had to go through rigorously every claim to check for “bogus” claims, which continue to swamp their systems. CMCs invite customers to make claims and perform it for them while the FSA recently asked banks to write to customers potentially mis sold PPI to make a claim.

However, Natalie Ceeney, the chief ombudsman at the FOS, stated that banks and financial institutions were the root cause of PPI mis selling. It was because of their bad bank practices, which were exposed by the scandals, that led to the difficulties of many customers and authorities. She stated that banks should now “take responsibility for their actions” and aid them in resolving the UK PPI crisis.



The Philippine Cyber Law: Why Was It “That Bad?”

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The United Nations recently declared that Internet access is a basic right among people, next to food, water, shelter, nutrition and education. However, in the Philippines, the basic right of the Internet was threatened by the Draconian decrees of the Philippine Cyber Law RA1075, which criminalizes libel for 12 years. It was attacked by many hackers, law professionals and journalists and had at least 13 petitions signed against it. This signifies that it was that bad.

However, was it really that bad? The law was created to protect children from child pornography and having their photos exposed and used as blackmail by malicious third parties. It was also meant to protect reputation and prevent “cyber-bullying”. However helpful these are, the problem is that it criminalizes anyone who wants to express their anger or problems with certain public figures, in the form that may seem as libel.

On Oct 15th, the law was placed under a Temporary Restraining Order by the Philippine Supreme Court. The law also united all Internet citizens to work together as hackers attacked Philippine websites. The outlaw group “Anonymous” stated their goal in “plugging a hole” that may limit the freedom of speech in the Internet and its people.

The UN itself declared the law as “counter-progressive” and limits the people’s views and needs. The libel clause criminalizes anybody who wants to speak their minds, which is against the views of the United Nations itself.

It is not as bad as it seems, if not for the libel clause. If the law was revised accordingly, then it can have its own civil significance that would ensure safety, instead of oppression, for its people.


Mortgage Tips for The Fourth Quarter of 2012

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If you intend to take out mortgage this 2012, you’ll need to know a few things to get yourself started and to ensure that your transaction flows smoothly every step of the way. The economic crisis is definitely a big hassle in taking out mortgage as lenders are not willing to be lax with the rules. Troubles from mis sold PPI and rising numbers of PPI claim are also affecting consumer attention to banks, which can affect the economy. However, this is important as you can still get the deal you need. Here are a few things to remember.

1. Your Documents

Your payslip, tax information, birth certificate, credit information and other needed documents should be prepared in both hard and soft copies. Have spare copies of what you will be submitting to your lenders. Should the lender lose your information during the processing of your mortgage, you can easily replace it with a new one. This is also effective when shopping around for more mortgage brokers.

2. Credit Scores

One important thing before taking out mortgage is to work and improve your credit scores. Credit scores reflect your spending and responsibility with the financing you take out. You can work on your credit scores through a low-limit credit card that you can pay in full per month. Request your credentials and ensure that these scores are precise and correct before you send them to your mortgage brokers.

3. Compare and Contrast

The key to finding the best mortgage deal is to shop around. Have at least 3-4 mortgage brokers show their lender’s deals to you. Once you’ve chosen one that has good potential, you can use the information from the other brokers to haggle with them to effectively lower down your mortgage rates.

4. Insurance

If your credit score is good enough, you can receive a mortgage protection insurance or MPI from your lender. However, be warned; MPI can be similar to PPI and even if it is paid for the first year, paying for it in the second year can cost you around £2750 if you can’t make use of it. If you have read the policy’s terms and conditions and are eligible for the MPI then go for it.