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Bank Smart IMPORTANT UPDATE

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  • Bank Smart IMPORTANT UPDATE

    bhamoggy Disconnected THEJGB77 Jo-raffe Casio123 Steve58 JamesLFC sickofthem Simonsennen Shirley1969 Jimmy K x111tatty Hazza73 Misshubbuck Mowbray Russ7519 MannyJ Annamaflea fizzy69 Hawkeye66 Kazmo mothergoat1 Captainguy Dawg Magoo3 Mr Blue Sky Bigchaz123 SaraN Never_again Blue 123 Philypuss Bruno 17 asteer1 Malibu43 nijjon Hyousef Julia72 Craigro Bex18 Aforbes3 colin a claire2day


    After years of sustained lobbying by LegalBeagles, the Financial Conduct Authority has finally taken enforcement action against the notorious claims management company Symmetric Systems Ltd T/A Bank Smart.

    Thank you to everyone who agreed to share their information with FCA to assist in their investigation.

    The FCA have published the following requirements on Bank Smart on their Financial Services Register:

    1. Business requirements

    1.1 In relation to the issuance of cancellation and breach of contract invoices by Symmetric to its customers:

    a. Symmetric must not issue any further cancellation or breach of contract invoices; and

    b. Symmetric must cease pursuing any existing cancellation or breach of contract invoices through, but not limited to, any legal proceedings or debt collection processes.

    1.2 In relation to the charging of commission to customers on any PPI claims initiated after 10 July 2018, Symmetric must not collect commission from customers, or invoice customers for commission, at a rate above 20% excluding VAT. Symmetric is to comply with this requirement until the FCA is satisfied that the appropriateness of commission invoices has been reviewed to the FCAís satisfaction.

    Asset requirement

    1.3 Symmetric must not, without the prior written consent of the Authority, take any action which has, or may have, the effect of disposing of, withdrawing, transferring, dealing with or diminishing the value of Symmetric's client book and clients. For the avoidance of doubt this includes the disposal, transfer or sale in whole or in part of Symmetric's customer base. This is an asset requirement within the meaning of section 55P(4)(a) of the Act.

    Retention and notification requirements

    1.4 Symmetric must secure all books and records and preserve all information and systems in relation to claims management activities carried on by it, and must retain these in a form and at a location within the UK, to be notified to the Authority in writing by no later than on, or before, 7 December 2021 such that they (or, so as not to hinder Symmetric's performance of its business activities, true copies of them) can be provided to the Authority, or to a person named by the Authority, promptly on its request.

    1.5 By close of business on, or before, 7 December 2021, Symmetric must notify in writing all customers affected by the requirements at sub-paragraphs (1) and (2) of the effect of these requirements. The notifications must be in a form to be agreed in advance with the Authority.

    1.6 Once the notifications referred to in sub-paragraph (7) have been made, within 24 hours of those notification, Symmetric must provide to the Authority:

    a. Copies of the template notifications sent to all recipients referred to in sub-paragraph (7).

    b. A list of all parties to whom notifications have been sent pursuant to sub-paragraph (7).

    c. Confirmation that, to the best of its knowledge, Symmetric has sent notifications pursuant to sub-paragraph (7) to all relevant parties.

    1.7 An employee holding a senior management role of Symmetric must send to the Authority by email by 12 noon every Friday (or the following business day should the Friday fall on a Bank Holiday), until such time as it is notified otherwise in writing by the Authority, written confirmation that Symmetric is in compliance with the Requirements.

    2 The Requirements shall take immediate effect and remain in force unless and until varied or cancelled by the Authority (either on the application of Symmetric or of the Authority's own volition).
    In respect of the requirements we have asked the FCA to clarify the following and we'll update here with the answers when we get them.

    1 Does requirement 1.1 (b) mean that current legal proceedings in respect of cancellation & breach of contract invoices should be discontinued?

    2 With respect to requirement 1.1 (b), what is the current status of complaints currently lodged with the Financial Ombudsman?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    EXC Thatís fantastic! I had such a terrible time with Bank Smart, and would almost certainly have handed over thousands of pounds to them, if it hadnít been for your help. Iím very grateful for everything you did to assist me at the time, and thrilled to hear all your campaigning means they wonít get away with it in the future.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Never_Again, good to see you.

      Thank you and you're welcome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well done Leagalbeagles, we thought we hadn't heard anything from B/S for a while, they obviously had other things on their mind.
        We hope to never hear from them again, this will be music to alot of people's ears.

        Well done again to all the legalbeagles team for being there for so many of us.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Philypuss

          Many thanks,.

          We hope to never hear from them again, this will be music to alot of people's ears.
          As per the requirements, if you've still got 'outstanding' breach of contract or cancellation invoices, they are required to write to you about the status of them by next Tuesday so you could well be hearing from them again!

          Comment


          • #6
            Nick that is such fantastic news that all your years of perseverance with this awful company have been listened to and action is being taken. I cannot thank you enough for all your guidance, help and compassion you have shown me. Itís been a very traumatic time for me and at last is now looking more positive. Thank you again for everything you have done for me and for everyone else who have been affected by BS. I suppose they could be renamed Bull Shit (BS)

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks, appreciate it. It's been a long hard slog but we got there in the end.

              We first reported them to the old regulator (which was a department within the Ministry of Justice) in 2016 (see below) and in 2017 they placed them under formal investigation which lasted for about 2 years but we were never informed of the outcome despite making requests for it under the Freedom of Information Act.

              In 2019 the FCA took over the regulation of CMCs and who actually first contacted me after I took part in a BBC Radio 4 program about Bank Smart and I've been on at FCA ever since and provided them with countless case studies of Bank Smart's conduct.

              Originally posted by Mowbray View Post
              I suppose they could be renamed Bull Shit (BS)
              Someone amusingly referred to them as Skank Smart.

              Click image for larger version

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              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Nick, a massive well done for all your efforts in stopping this despicable company who have harassed my wife and I for numerous years. This is great news especially in the run up to Xmas. I look forward to hearing from BS by the deadlines set. Thanks again for all your help with my case

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Disconnected View Post
                  Hi Nick, a massive well done for all your efforts in stopping this despicable company who have harassed my wife and I for numerous years. This is great news especially in the run up to Xmas. I look forward to hearing from BS by the deadlines set. Thanks again for all your help with my case
                  You're welcome.

                  Let me know when you've heard from them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Nick,

                    Well I hadn't seen this. I've been struggling a lot with my mental health & Bank Smart's constant bombardment hasn't done much in the way of helping.

                    Thank you for all your help in regards my issues with them. I truly appreciate it

                    I will email over a copy of the document you've asked for.

                    Thank you again. It's certainly put my mind at rest somewhat

                    Rachel

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rachel E View Post
                      Hi Nick,

                      Well I hadn't seen this. I've been struggling a lot with my mental health & Bank Smart's constant bombardment hasn't done much in the way of helping.

                      Thank you for all your help in regards my issues with them. I truly appreciate it

                      I will email over a copy of the document you've asked for.

                      Thank you again. It's certainly put my mind at rest somewhat

                      Rachel
                      Hiya

                      No probs. I'll look forward receiving it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've had some clarification from FCA as to the effect and scope of the requirements.

                        With respect to requirement 1.1(b) the requirement to cease collections (for invoices for cancellation and breach of contract) includes all channels Ė Bank Smart cannot chase customers for payment of these invoices by any method and this includes seeking payment itself, or via a third party collector, or via legal action.

                        This means that they cannot even ask you directly to pay and the requirement does apply to current legal proceedings.

                        Also this requirement is in place unless and until it is varied or cancelled by the FCA, and the FCA must be satisfied with the appropriateness of these invoices to do that.

                        I take this to mean that unless FCA have some extraordinary change of heart or that Bank Smart somehow successfully challenge it in court, the requirement will remain indefinitely.

                        With respect to how the requirements bear on those with complaints currently with the Ombudsman, it is for the Ombudsman to determine but in my view as Bank Smart are prohibited from asking you to pay, I cannot see any circumstances where it would be appropriate for the Ombudsman to decide that you should.

                        The requirements only apply to invoices for cancellation and breach of contract and not commission for successful claims.

                        Although those who will be affected were meant to receive a notification from Bank Smart by 7 December, that has been put back until the 10th (today) but don't be surprised if you don't get it for a few days yet.

                        Anyone who gets the notification I'd be grateful if you could email it to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Nick,

                          thanks for the update. Iíve forwarded you the email I got from BS this afternoon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Disconnected View Post
                            Hi Nick,

                            thanks for the update. Iíve forwarded you the email I got from BS this afternoon.
                            Excellent, thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              This is great work. Well done and I think that this will make a huge amount of difference to many people. Its a shame that it has taken this long and BS have continued to profit from their shady practices for so long, but without your tireless efforts this would have continued for much longer. Good to see also that they are not allowed to sell there book onto someone else. "BS Legal Services" for example, who would then fall under a different regulator :-)

                              Comment

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