How easy is it to ignore what’s going on in the financial world? So many people have lost trust in banks, yet the majority of us think they are essential to make our lives run smoothly, and give them our money all the same. Just last week, consumer champion Which? revealed how easy it is to steal enough detail from contactless payment cards to fraudulently purchase goods.
Yet how many of us are going to do something about it? Will you be switching current accounts, which has been made easier in the past year (though don’t forget to check how much access you’ll retain to previous statements). Will you be putting your contactless card in a metal holder, or wrapping silver foil around it – which, according to commentators on the Daily Mail’s website where the story was reported, is the way to prevent such fraud. Probably not!
Most of us are guilty of thinking there is nothing we can do about such things, that the financial juggernaut trundles on, taking those savvy enough with it, and disregarding those that fall behind, often those who need it most.
So here’s a quick challenge for you (and I know you are people who do want to change the status quo, or you wouldn’t be supporting Keep Me Posted!). The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has just released a consultation proposing cash savers should have the right to be “clearly alerted” to changes in their interest rates such as the end of an introductory rate, should be able to switch ISA providers easily and should be talked to without complex jargon. Do you think these are good ideas? Then let them know! And while you’re at it, let them know you want to be told with a proper paper letter as 61% of you said should happen if your interest rate was changed. (http://www.fca.org.uk/news/fca-to-consult-on-new-measures-for-cash-savings-account-holders)
We receive so many letters from supporters who have joined us after thinking there was nothing for it but to go paperless or hand over hard-earned cash for a bill or statement that used to be free not so long ago. When we spoke to other regulators such as Ofcom and Ofgem they told us they didn’t believe there was a problem with people being moved online and denied paper because no-one had actually complained (cue 3,000 postcards to Ofgem from our supporters doing just that!).
You have a voice. So do I. Let’s make it heard. Now where’s that silver foil!
Judith Donovan, chair