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Banks Now Running Dummy Legal Firms

Media stories in the last two weeks will have come as a shock to many people. First there was the story of an estimated £1 billion underpayment in compensation accordingly due to borrowers further to the banks' self-admission of mis-selling Interest Rate Hedging Products.

Last week it was revealed that the Banks were using threatening letters from 'pseudo' solicitor firms to make debtors pay up. Basically, this is the process of issuing threatening legal letters from what appear to be solicitor firms, but are actually coming from a department of the Bank.

These stories, added to a recent admission by a main NI Bank to hiring Private Investigators, highlights the stress being caused to already anxious and distressed borrowers. Despite the extreme tactics being employed by the Banks, both the use of Private Investigators or letters signed by solicitors working within the Bank is legal.

What it does serve to highlight is that there has been a total breakdown in trust between the bank and the borrower, and where there is no trust there can be no solution obtained to their shared problems.

Banks have had a lot of bad press in the last 6 years, some of which has been self-inflicted and some of which is not. It is natural for people to look for someone to blame, but the fact remains that Banks have been overwhelmed by the levels of debt in society, and at the end of the day, the banks are required for economic stability, economic growth and access to finance.

In the good times, the relationship between the banks and the borrowers was good and nobody had any reason to be paranoid. Since the economic recession and the property crash, there has been a real lack of trust between borrowers and banks.

Our own view is that it is companies like ourselves who bridge the gap between banks and borrowers, in particular were there has been a breakdown in communication and a loss of trust that was once shared. When feeling the pressure from the bank, you should have a team of professionals on your side to help you.

It has turned out to be a murky old world, this bank and debt crisis, and it has ruined many families and SME’s in the last few years.  Companies and traditions that have been built up over generations - wiped out in a flash. Education, though, is still key to solving many of the world’s problems, and working out solutions with your bank is no different. Informed decisions are the only way to progress.

Darwin AllenComment