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Friday, 5 August 2011

The Great PPI Robbery Redux

I must be missing something. UK banks are all reporting their profits and losses with separate adjustments that 'strip out' their massive provisions for mis-selling payment protection insurance in connection with their retail credit products over many years.

In other words, they suggest they would have been 'much more profitable' if they had not ripped off consumers.

But they did rip off consumers, and this damaged their profitabilty.

Worse still, their provisions do not reflect the fact that they used PPI revenue to cross-subsidise the marketing and sale of related credit products. So there was a false market in those products as well.

The point remains: will these banks continue to rip off consumers? Will there be more fines and more provisions?

Millions upon millions of fines and adverse findings in UK banks' recent history suggest we have not seen the last of their exploitative conduct.

And it would seem very unlikely that in the current economic environment these businesses will be capable of dedicating the necessary resources to ensure their processes and procedures are compliant.

We urgently need to figure out alternative sources of finance to our banks.
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