Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) have today called for an end to unfairness in the banking sector.
Responding to the report published today by the Scottish Affairs committee of MPs – which refers to “unfair and aggressive tactics” - CAS have said they would like to meet soon with the Scottish banks to discuss ways in which they can change their policies and so take the pressure off their customers.
CAS Chief Executive Ms Kaliani Lyle said,
“This report outlines a number of areas in which banking practices have been unfair to their customers. The recommendations are very much in line with what we have been calling for, and with what we told the committee when we spoke to them last year. So we strongly welcome the report and we hope that the banking sector also accepts it in full.
“People in Scotland are suffering hugely because of the impact of the recession, and for many the banks have been making things worse. Unfair fees, inappropriate lending policies and high interest rates have combined to put added pressure on to people – many of whom have been driven unnecessarily into debt, which could have been avoided had the banks pursued more flexible policies.
“The report urges that the banks should work with us now to put these policies right. We are very keen to do this and we will be contacting the banks to set up such communications. We hope they respond positively. We have a responsibility now to work fast to put things right, so that no-one suffers for one day longer than they need to.
“We also welcome the report’s recommendation that government continue to aupport advice services to the full. It’s clear that many people depend on their local CAB, and without it would struggle even more.”
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 500 1010.
Notes to editors - click to expand/collapse
Citizens Advice Scotland gave evidence to the Scottish Affairs committee last year. A number of the recommendations we made have been included in their report today, which mentions us a number of times. e.g.
“We recommend that the banks use the research undertaken by Citizens Advice Scotland to identify specific arears in which they can improve their communications with customers.”
“We recommend that the Government monitors the public’s need for advice services and continues to provide extra support for Citizens Advice where it is most needed.”
“We recommend that the banks work with Citizens Advice Scotland to ensure that these practices (unfair and aggressive tactics) are eliminated.”