Judgement from the Court of Public Opinion

A Voter
1 Election Close
Middle England

To Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Mr Hector Sants, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Authority
Mr Mervyn King, Governor of The Bank of England

CC to: Perter Ainsworth MP
John Thornhill, Editor, The Financial Times
Alan Rusbridger, Editor, The Guardian
Rebekah Wade, Editor, The Sun

Re: Judgement from the Court of Public Opinion 20th June 2009

Dear Messrs Darling, Sants and King,
You have all been charged by the Court of Public Opinion with continuing to allow the Financial Institutions to run ‘rough shod’ over the people and businesses of this great country, of allowing these Institutions to treat their customers like 3rd class citizens and of allowing these Institutions to use the Laws of the Land to their advantage, but to deny any responsibilities of their own in relation to these same Laws.

We, the millions who make up the Court now own many of these Institutions due to our generosity in rescuing these Institutions from becoming bankrupt and we would have hoped for some generosity in return, more time to make repayments on loans and credit cards because hundreds of thousands of us have lost our jobs, taken pay cuts or had pay freezes imposed on us due to the reckless activities of these Institutions. Yet no, home owners and borrowers, both personal and business, are being hounded and harassed for a few missed payments and as a result, sound businesses are being forced to fail, good hard working families are losing their homes or having their credit ratings ruined and people and businesses can no longer get credit and all because these Institutions have learned all too late and through greed, the importance of responsible lending. Bear in mind that this is our money and we believe it is only fair that we are permitted to have some back, or keep some for a few months longer than agreed so we can keep our homes or keep our businesses open.

As fairly wealthy men yourselves, you may not know or understand the consequences that are caused by your failures, so I will take this opportunity to enlighten you.

Firstly, many people have used credit cards to survive the current climate and now wish to take out a loan to repay these cards, the Institutions will not give these people any more credit as they already owe too much on these cards, this results in these same people having less money to spend in the high street and delays the ‘upturn’. These people may also be forced to miss repayments and you, the guardians of the people, then allow the Credit Card Companies to raise the level of interest as these people are now deemed a risk. These people now have a worse credit rating and when they apply for a loan to repay credit cards that they can longer repay due to the increased repayments; they cannot get credit as their credit rating does not match the requirements of the loan. Do you see a cycle here?

Secondly, in the current downturn, the turnovers of businesses suffer and reduce as the people spend less and indeed have less to spend. This does not look good to the newly responsible Financial Institutions and they see RISKS. Overdrafts are reduced or cancelled, credit is stopped and otherwise sound businesses are forced to fail. You, our chosen protectors, allow this to happen. These businesses employ people who are now out of a job and have less money to spend on the High Street, thus delaying the ‘upturn’. They will also have credit cards and may be forced to miss repayments due to not having a job and you, the accused, allow the Credit Card Companies to raise the level of interest as these people are now deemed a risk. These people now have a worse credit rating and cannot apply for a loan to repay credit cards as they no longer have a job. Their credit rating is adversely affected and when they get another job and apply for a loan to repay these credit cards, they are refused any credit as their credit rating does not match the requirements of the loan. Do you see a cycle here?

Thirdly, we have the use of the Law. When Financial Institutions feel that they need to recover outstanding repayments, they quote sections of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 and sections of the Terms and Conditions of any Agreements for credit, to allow them to pursue any missed repayments or to apply Defaults to our Credit Ratings. Yet, when we quote sections of The Consumer Credit Act 1974 to our advantage or request copies of the Terms and Conditions that have been quoted, you, our Three Musketeers, allow these Institutions to completely ignore our requests as if the Law does not apply to us, just to them. Continued requests for any information using the Laws of the Land fall on deaf ears in these Institutions and you, our supposed shield from abuse, allow this to happen. If you require examples of this abuse, I should be able to find two or three hundred thousand examples on internet forums by the end of the week, if you require more than this, I may need an extra week.

We, the Court of Public Opinion, find you all GUILTY as charged.

Mr Darling, you will forever be remembered as the most unpopular and under achieving Chancellor in history. You are deemed responsible for Labour coming third in the 2010 General Election when they gain six less seats than the Liberal Democrats. You are forever haunted by a BBC exit poll which showed that if the Government had followed a few simple policies (see later in this correspondence); Labour would have been returned to power with a small majority. After two disastrous terms of Conservative Government, rather than return to a Labour Government and memories of Alistair Darling, the people choose the Liberal Democrats who sweep to an historic victory and remain in power for thirty years. After losing your seat to a twenty thousand Liberal Democrat majority, you retire to small village in Aberdeenshire and become Bursar of the local Primary School and look after the funds of the teacher and her four pupils.

Mr Sants, you are forced to remain in your position at the FSA, although with reduced powers and the position becomes almost honouree. Your biggest duty each year is the annual ‘Signing of the Stay’ where the great and the good of the Financial Industry turn out each July to watch you sign another extension to the ‘Stay’ on Penalty Charges. In 2035, after searching the ends of the Galaxy for an impartial Judge to hear the Banks’ final Appeal against the OFT and the issue of Penalty Charges at the ‘Inter-Galactic Court of Appeal’, you chose Judge Lloyd Barclay of Scotland AIB, ING, HSBC to oversee the expected twenty five year appeal.

Mr King, your crime is deemed the most heinous. You out of the three defendants were the sole voice who was fully aware of the crimes of the Institutions against the people and you did not allow you whispers and whimpers of discontent to be heard when a few well spoken words could have saved the Government from catastrophic defeat and saved millions of people from years of misery. After the General Election of May 2009, you retire from working life spending you days fly fishing and playing crib. A trip to Liechtenstein for some new false teeth and a chance meeting with an old acquaintance re-ignites you passion for Banking and you use the policies you wanted to use in the summer of 2009, in the new Depression of 2022, which sees Liechtenstein become the world’s greatest financial superpower. On the back of this immense wealth brought to Liechtenstein by your policies, a sporting superpower is born and Liechtenstein win three successive football world cups, 3 rugby world cups, top the medals table at two Olympic Games, coming second in another two and their golfers have a stranglehold on the majors. They also rename sailing’s America’s Cup to the Liechtenstein Cup due to their success. Vaduz FC is undefeated in one hundred and twelve Champions League games.

You have seen you sentences and what your futures hold. You do however have a choice. If you do not like what your future holds, you all still have the power to change the future if you follow the direction of the Court of Public Opinion below;

Mr Darling, you must follow President Obama’s lead and legislate that Credit Card Companies must cap their interest rates; we suggest a rate 12% above the Bank of England base rate. Interest rates on credit cards are currently at their highest for years, yet the base rate is at an historic low. This is blatant profiteering and MUST be stopped. They must also allow a 6 month repayment holiday every 3 years if certain criteria are met and cap late payment fees to £4.00. This would result in the wholly unhelpful position of the people having hundreds of pounds more a month to spend on the high street, keeping more Businesses afloat due to their increased turnover, more people in jobs, more lending by the Institutions as peoples’ credit ratings are better and the economy is saved! We also demand that companies are no longer permitted to keep information on Credit Reference files for 6 years after the relationship has finished. We, the people have to give our permission for this information to be used when we start the relationship and when we finish the relationship and withdraw our permission to use this information, it MUST be removed. We could vote for a party that passes this legislation.

Mr Sants, after the House of Lords ratify the stance that banks MUST repay the Penalty Charges, you ensure that these charges are repaid, with interest within twelve weeks. This money is spent in the high street, keeping more Businesses afloat etc, etc. Do you see a cycle here? You must limit any further bank charges to five pounds and not more than two of these charges per month. In partnership with the Financial Ombudsman, you also ensure that all complaints against the Institutions are looked at consistently and are fairer to the consumer. Any abuse, misuse or complete denial of the Laws of the Land MUST meet with severe penalties.

Mr King, you must begin to preach to your congregation with more vigour and gusto. Your voice must be heard and instead of the whispers and whimpers, we hear fire and brimstone and your voice is not only heard, but also heeded and finally, the Institutions begin to ‘tow the line.’ Stirling recovers, recruitment in The City is at an all time high, salaries are capped and our economy is saved for future generations.

History is a funny thing, it changes every day. You three are fortunate; you have the chance to change history. If you do as the Court of Public Opinion demands, the very worst thing that can happen is that the people have more money to spend and the recession ends sooner. This must certainly have a positive effect on the polls for the Labour Party and who knows, May 2010 may yet hold a few surprises………………

Yours faithfully

A Voter



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