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Nick Clegg applauded by moneysavingexpert.com

August 13, 2009 7:07 PM
Nick Clegg and Vince Cable will call for an automatic return of banking charges, if deemed unfair

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable will call for an automatic return of banking charges, if deemed unfair

In a letter to Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert who has been a lead campaigner in the unfair banking charges movement, Nick Clegg has pledged legislation on bank charges to back the campaign to ensure everyone who's had an unfair charge will get their money back without having to ask.

Nick is a subscriber to the site and receives Martin's weekly email. In it, three weeks ago, he spotted an open letter to David Cameron where MSE asked the Tory leader to back the campaign for automatic refunds. While Cameron has not replied, Nick, and Lib Dem Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable have promised to table a Parliamentary motion after the summer recess. Nick said:

"Dear Martin,

As a subscriber to your weekly email, I saw your recent comments on unfair banking charges. I couldn't agree more with you about the scandalous nature of these charges.

The Liberal Democrats have taken a strong stance on this for a long time - in particular, in our manifesto for complete reform of Britain's banking and financial institutions "A New Deal for the City", launched in May 2008 where we stated:

"The treatment of charges by the banks borders on the scandalous. It is a continuation of the practice described above: a protected industry seeking to maximise profits by exploiting the weakness of individual consumers who lack information and sophisticated knowledge of products or legal advice. The principle should be established that bank charges must be transparent and cost based."

In your email, you made a further suggestion that banks should have to pay back all unfair charges automatically if the courts do rule against them. This struck me as an extremely good idea that we should do all we can to put in place. Vince Cable, my shadow Chancellor, and I would be delighted to support your campaign.

We will put a motion before Parliament setting out our support for your idea as soon as the recess is over, which will hopefully put pressure on the government and the banks to act to return the money they so unfairly took from customers.

Finally, I'm really looking forward to receiving the manifesto you've been compiling on your site regarding other consumer issues. And I'm pleased to be able to let you know we will be having a debate on consumer protection at our conference in the autumn, where we hope to adopt some strong new policies for our manifesto.

All the best,

Nick Clegg"

Cllr David Kendall welcomed the actions of the Lib Dem Leader and said:

"Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats are again taking up the issues that are really important to people. Whilst the local Conservatives are ploughing £50m of our money into the Bank of Essex, the Lib Dems are taking clear and positive action that could see thousands of pounds returned directly into people's bank accounts at a very difficult time.

"I look forward to seeing Nick and Vince taking this action and hope we can count on other MPs backing this Lib Dem action."

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