The Money Shot - Another mis-selling scandal?

lovely-terraced-house
Interest only mortgages may well take the gloss off lovely terraced houses, such as this one
"claimback lawyers across the country will doubtless be rubbing their hands with glee at the news that a new financial debacle is looming on the horizon"
  • | by Kristian Dando

The facets of unpleasantness caused by the mis-selling of lame payment protection insurance policies are legion.

Banks fleeced millions of people out of money for policies they didn't need, often through high-pressure sales tactics and occasionally outright deception. It eroded people's already diminished trust in financial institutions and, perhaps worst of all, spawned the PPI claimback industry.

It's now almost impossible to sit down for one's tea without having some herbert in a contact centre making an unsolicited call - occasionally claiming to be from the bank, in the Money Shot's experience - offering to claim your money back for a cut of the cash. In most cases, a letter to whoever mis-sold you the policy will suffice.

With the PPI scandal rumbling towards a long, drawn out and expensive dénouement, claimback lawyers across the country will doubtless be rubbing their hands with glee at the news that a new financial debacle is looming on the horizon.

The Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) is set to 'launch' an investigation into interest-only mortgages sold in those heady pre-credit crunch days which were apparently issued without any consideration given to the ability of homeowners to actually pay the blasted things off.

Mike Dailly, of the FSCP, said: "Mortgages had been issued without the banks checking that they were actually suitable... so we know that with those mortgages that are not due to complete until 2020 to 2025, there could certainly be issues in terms of there being no ability for people to actually pay their mortgage off."

Rather disconcertingly, FSA director Martin Wheatley warned that homeowners in their fifties with interest only mortgages were sitting on a "ticking time bomb".

But a Council of Mortgage Lenders spokesman attempted to allay fears, saying: "Lenders believe that the proportion of interest-only borrowers unable to repay their mortgage at term is likely to be small. Where this does occur, the lender will work with the borrower to help devise a solution suited to individual circumstances."

The Money Shot believes that we'll only know the true extent of the problem when some bloke called Darren starts ringing every time we sit down to watch Coronation Street to inform us we could claim back thousands of pounds.

NEWS IN BRIEF

It's said that men think about sex every six seconds. So it's a damning indictment on banks that there's a complaint made against them even more frequently - every four seconds, according to the Sun.

The car insurance industry will be hauled in front of the Competition Commission after being referred by the Office of Fair Trading, which reckons that the way 'the industry' operates makes costs and premiums too high.

Insurance companies will be paying out over £40m after a deluge of claims following this week's flood chaos.

A keen-eyed shopper from Hampshire has managed to bag nearly £9,000 worth of free stuff from retail giant Asda by exploiting a loophole in the store's promise to refund the difference in price if it's found cheaper elsewhere.

Doing no favours to the image of 'white van man' an AA study has 'found' that van drivers take more risks than car users, are six times more likely to be caught holding a mobile phone to their ear and  are also twice as likely to have racked up motoring convictions. Unfortunately, the study made no mention of the statistical likelihood of van drivers having a folded up copy of the Star in their windscreen or the frequency of bellowing suggestive comments at female students making their way to lectures.

ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK

The Jaguar F-Type, unveiled at this week's Paris Motor Show, has caused car fanciers across the land to get all overcome with the vapours. Daniel Bevis rounded up six obtainable Jaguars for those of more modest means

Kristian Dando met the 'compers' living large by winning prizes - including a man going by the rather fabulous name of Dallas Wilcox.

There was this piece on cashback credit cards, best accompanied by this swinging soundtrack.

The impacts of the European Court of Justice's gender ruling are set to be "sudden and dramatic"  if Gocompare.com's 'gender watch' study is to be believed. (The Money Shot lobbied long and hard for it to have the rather more tantalising moniker of 'Sex Watch' - to no avail.)

AND FINALLY

A postbox near bustling Birmingham New Street station has been found to have been neglected for 23 years, without anybody coming to collect mail from it.

Builders conducting renovation work on the 'challenging' Midlands station removed the postbox, only to find that mail dating back to 1989 was still in there.

"There were letters that were meant for Australia and America and postcards to people's friends and family in there, just lying under a thick layer of dust," said a Network Rail spokesman.

"We couldn't believe it would be missed by anyone. But with the greatest will in the world we're not in the mail delivery business."

Meanwhile, Royal Mail said it was "baffled" by the situation and said that it was doing all it could to get the letters to recipients.