The European Commission has fined eight banks – including RBS – a total of 1.7bn euros (£1.4bn) for forming illegal cartels to rig interest rates.
The cartels operated in markets for financial derivatives, which are products used to manage the risk of interest rate movements.
Two of the eight, Barclays and UBS, were excused their financial penalties for revealing the cartels’ existence.
The Commission said it was shocking that competing banks were in collusion.
A number of banks were engaged in the rigging of interest rate products intended to reflect the cost of interbank lending in euros, while another group fixed prices for products based on the Japanese yen.
Some have been fined for engaging in price-fixing in both markets.
via BBC News – EU fines banks over rate-rigging.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has promised to compensate those left “out of pocket” after customers were unable to pay for purchases.
RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank customers making online and card payments were affected between 18:30 and 21:30 GMT on Monday.
The group said all systems were now back to normal.
“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience,” said Susan Allen, RBS director of customer relations.
A group spokesperson added: “If anyone has been left out of pocket as a result of these systems problems, we will put this right.”
via BBC News – RBS to compensate ‘out of pocket’ customers after payment fault.
The systems issues that affected our customers last night have now been resolved and all our services are now back working normally.
We would like to apologise to our customers. If anyone has been left out of pocket as a result of these systems problems, we will put this right.
If you experience any issues this morning, please get in touch with our call centres or come into our branches, where our staff will be ready to help.
Almost three-quarters of Britain’s workers who were on low pay in 2002 failed to escape from it over the course of the following decade.
Both low pay and social mobility are recognised as serious concerns in Britain but much less attention has been given to how easy or hard it is for someone to work their way up the earnings scale. Who gets stuck on low pay and who gets on?
Starting out or getting stuck? gives new insight into how many people stay on low pay and for how long, whether low paid workers are more likely to remain stuck now than in the past and what the differences are between those who are stuck and those who progress.
Starting out or getting stuck? by ResolutionFoundation
via Resolution Foundation · Publications.
” Bold action should be taken by the Government to warn people about the danger of problem debt in the same way that campaigns raised awareness about HIV and Aids in the 1980s, a think-tank has urged.” Express & Star
Part of the problem seems to be that Britain has not had a meaningful public conversation about credit dependency. It has become an unspoken part of our national life. This surely needs to change.
There needs to be a concerted national campaign designed to bring the issue out into the open and change attitudes and behaviour. This campaign needs to be on a par with the AIDS awareness campaign of the 1980s or the “five a day” fruit and vegetable campaign that began in the 1990s.
Most effective would be a generic message that stops debt problems escalating, using role models and case studies. Possible themes could be around seeking help early, or having a plan
to repay debt, or ensuring that the length of term of the debt does not exceed the term of the benefit for which the loan was originally taken out.
Read the full report ( PDF Download )
via Tomorrow’s Borrowers. (Smith Institute and Stepchange)
”Although the majority of the over-indebted population report that their debt is having a
negative impact on their lives, only 17% of people are currently receiving advice to get
help dealing with their debts.”
Across the UK approximately 8.8 million people are over-indebted. These are individuals who have been at least three months behind with their bills in the last six months or have said that they feel their debts are a heavy burden.
This large and diverse group represents 18% of the UK adult population and within it there are a range of different levels of knowledge and skills, and different attitudes and behaviours towards debt and seeking advice.
In order to provide a clearer picture of the different needs of this group, and how they can be helped through advice services, the Money Advice Service commissioned a piece of research to analyse their characteristics and to identify smaller sub-groups that display similar situations, attitudes and motivations.
Commenting on the MAS findings, Caroline Rookes, CEO of the Money Advice Service said:
“Millions of people could escape their spiral of debt by accessing free advice. We know it transforms lives and the sooner people access it the better – to take steps to improve their life for good. However, this study presents us with a fundamental challenge: the majority of people with debt difficulties do not seek advice. This is the first time we’ve had such a detailed understanding of the complexity of their lives. So now, armed with greater insights, we will work with advice agencies, creditors, and public bodies to help as many people as possible access free, high-quality, debt advice.”
Read the report in full (PDF)
via Indebted lives: the complexities of life in debt – Money Advice Service.