FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

by Mark Alexander

16:23 PM, 16th November 2014
About 6 years ago

FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

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FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

The FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) have done it again! FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

In the past the FOS have controversially agreed that rate hikes applied by Bank of Ireland, Skipton Building Society (Amber Homeloans) and also the Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) were fair. Therefore, is it really that shocking that FOS would also rule in favour of West Bromwich Mortgage Company?

Following a judicial review in the case of Millar & anor -v- Financial Services Ombudsman [2014] IEIC Mr Justice Garard Hogan recently ruled that the Irish FOS were wrong in their contractual interpretation in a rate hike case that the Millars brought against Danske Bank [source1].

This supports the Property118 members’ lack of confidence in the UK FoS decision making process, and hence the decision for Property118 to raise funds to enable their members legal team to stand toe to toe on 21st January 2015 with the West Brom legal team at the Commercial Courts in the Rolls Building.

Property118 members have raised nearly £500,000 and these funds are set to grow as a result of people who complained to the FOS realising that Property118 were right all along to take a representative action to the Courts.

The National Landlords Association initially recommended its members to pursue the FOS route and await the outcome of that before considering legal action. Many of those who followed this advice are enquiring about joining the representative action organised by Property118 as a result of the FOS finding. **West Brom has indicated through its legal team that it will apply the finding of the Court across the board to all affected borrowers**, so all additional support to ensure the right result is achieved is essential.

The Property118 representative group are happy to welcome all who have received the FOS rejection letter. The same financial commitments to those who joined prior to the deadline will apply, plus a small price for the administration costs associated with Cotswold Barristers applying to the Courts to have the names of the newly represented participants added to the claim. A new deadline of 19th December has been applied, this will definitely be the final deadline for legal reasons.

Newcomers are interested in joining the fight in the full knowledge that sufficient funds have already been raised and that the case will be heard on 21st January 2015.

Each member has paid £1,000 into an escrow account held by BARCO (The Bar Council’s Escrow service) plus a further £500 to Property118 and Cotswold Barristers to cover legal costs and associated running and marketing costs of the campaign for each represented mortgage account. Some members have a dozen or more represented mortgages, most have one or two. In the event of the case being won the majority of funds will be returned, plus of course a refund of any over-payments to West Brom and the satisfaction of their terms being upheld as per the borrowers understanding of the tracker rate mortgage contracts they entered into.

Every newcomer to the Property118 reduces the financial exposure to the funds already raised on the basis that all costs are shared pro-rata to funds committed.

** Beware false promises! **

Back in 2009 the CEO of the Skipton Building Society went on record that they would honour an interest rate cap [source2] just one year before that promise was reneged upon [source3]. However, insufficient funds were raised to take the case to court and borrowers have been left high and dry by the FOS and the FCA who decided the rate hike was fair despite the promises made. Perhaps that’s why West Brom borrowers want the certainty of being represented in the Property118 vs West Brom Court case, whilst it is still such a cost effective option?

If you are affected, and are not already a member of the Representative Action, please complete the form below for more details on how to get involved.

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Comments

Mark Alexander

16:48 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "David Pettigrew" at "17/11/2014 - 16:27":

I'm sorry but I share Andy Bell's cynicism and can't help but wonder if this is just another contrived tactic to slow the pace of our fundraising campaign.

If everybody have waited for the outcome of the FOS decision the opportunity to round up enough people to mount a Court case would have dissipated as it has done with the BoI and the Skipton case before it.
.

The Seasoned Female Investor

17:13 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

A message to all you un-decided ...... deflated by the decision you were given by the FOS

My simple ode

‘I was stung by WB for larger fees each month, yet dithered and became a 'fence sitter'
Apparently I was told my trust was to be with the FOS, however that ruling has made me even bitter

The FOS has manipulated findings on our contracts which has now turned to be in WB favour
Which to us core fighters is of course no surprise given both their behaviour

No need to further wonder or ponder with us as a group at Property 118
You are all now welcome to join the fight before it' becomes too late

Let’s have your fee to join the fight
You know it makes sense as more numbers gives us even greater might

Mark Alexander

17:16 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "The Seasoned Female Investor" at "17/11/2014 - 17:13":

Big thumbs up for that one, I love it 😀
.

M Jones

18:23 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

The only way to be certain that any court ruling in our favor will benefit you is to add you name to this court action.
The West Brom have demonstrated to me that their words cannot be trusted or relied upon. My personal experience is that they will say anything, however misleading only to manipulate it to their advantage as soon as their name is out of the spot light.
If it is your intention to personally hold the West Brom to account once the ruling has been made then you are deluded.
The only strength is in numbers.

Robert Hayes

18:47 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

This has been my first and only ever dealing with the FOS

Before this episode I had imagined them to be some kind of beacon of comsumer protection - helping the little guy out when the big corperations started acting unfairly

After actually having to deal with the FOS I now firmly know that the little guy is certainly NOT who they're acting for

Funded by the financial industry and, it would appear, woking very much to look after the interests of those same people - even to the point of making undefendable decisions like this one

What a grubby organisation they seem to be

I now wonder about the independence of all the other ombudsman services

Onslow Clough

19:16 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Short of simply agreeing that the West Brom decision was "fair" have they explained how and why they came to that decision?

The Man From Nowhere

19:34 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

You'd be amazed how organisations and quangos can manipulate the general public into believing they are somehow independent and acting on behalf of the 'little guy' simply by having words like 'Ombudsman', 'Independent', 'Consumer', 'Council' or 'Public' in their title.

It's all window-dressing though. Smoke and mirrors. The Financial Ombudsman Service is funded by the financial industry so does it really come as that much of a surprise that it has decided to find against us and instead find in favour of its paymasters?

One of the few ways the ordinary citizen can secure justice against powerful interests and organisations is through the courts, e.g. via Judicial Review. Sadly, the citizen's access to Judicial Review is now under attack in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill. People tend to overlook, or pay scant attention to such a fundamental and basic concept as Judicial Review. It's not exactly the most exciting of subjects to discuss over dinner. However, once it is priced out of the ordinary citizen's reach and becomes the preserve of the very wealthy (as per the coalition government's proposals), many people will wake up to discover that it is in fact entirely possible to sorely miss something you never knew you had.

Kevin Jeffery

19:58 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Whilst I, and many like me, don't post much I do read everything posted and wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for everyones hard work and comments in the past two years.

Onslow Clough

20:03 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

Thank god for the cynics amongst us, otherwise this case would never have got to court. Instead there would be an extra 400 or so disappointed people this week.

Sandra W

20:19 PM, 17th November 2014
About 6 years ago

What is the purpose of a Judicial Review?

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