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article imageOp-Ed: The banking scandals continue

By Alexander Baron     Dec 13, 2013 in Business
It's been said a garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever. A bank is much the same, just replace beauty with scandal and job with bailout.
Or in this case with a fine; it is not simply the public — British and other — that has had enough of these perfidious institutions, but the regulators. Yesterday the Guardian reported that Lloyds had been fined £28 million after yet another mis-selling scandal. This one is similar to PPI, pressuring people to buy "protection" which is no protection at all.
More detail can be found on the website of the Financial Conduct Authority, the new watchdog that oversees these matters, and so far it appears to be doing an excellent job. The total fine levied on Lloyds is actually £28,038,800 "for serious sales incentive failings."
Sadly, most of the recent reports by the FCA have been of this nature. including one on a firm called Leighton Corporate Services LLC which it as good as brands an outright scam. Unfortunately it is based in Washington, Seattle, beyond the reach of UK law, but not beyond that of American law. FBI take note! This brings us to annuities.
Unless you are either extremely rich or plan on dying young, you will need one of these or something like one to have enough to live on in your twilight years. Earlier this week there was a lot of coverage of annuities by among others the BBC. The consensus appears to be that people are getting very poor value for money, but change could be afoot here too. So what should you do if you intend to buy one in the near future? The Banking Times website has some advice. Citing that ubiquitous Reuters — (source) — it tells us the best thing to do is shop around, and gives you some pointers towards this. Hopefully if the government and its revamped financial watchdogs get properly to grips with the real problem, that choice could be a lot easier to make in the future, and a lot more profitable.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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