Italy’s Prime Minister Urges UK T...

Italy’s youngest Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called on the United Kingdom to remain in the United Kingdom. According to Renzi, UK and Italy can figh...


The Mis Sold PPI and UK’s Banks: ...

From 2008, the entire UK financial industry had paid out more than £13 billion by the arrival of 2014. They had also earmarked more than £22 billion...


Cameron Urges Scotland To Stay in t...

British Prime Minister David Cameron had attended a weekly meeting in the Shell UK Offices of Aberdeen, Scotland to help persuade the country to remai...


UK Immigration Laws Raise Questions...

UK’s new immigration laws set by the Homeland Office raises questions about UK’s racism and xenophobia regarding immigrants. New immigration la...

Italy’s Prime Minister Urges UK To Remain in EU

Italy’s youngest Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called on the United Kingdom to remain in the United Kingdom. According to Renzi, UK and Italy can fight “red tape” in the European Union laws together and promised the full cooperation of Italy in UK’s reform efforts.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK will leave the 28-member bloc should the Conservatives in the UK win the 2015 elections in the United Kingdom. Renzi said that he and Cameron could work to reform EU laws. Cameron’s decision came from pressure from many in the Conservative party to change or remove the country’s relationship from the European Union.

Cameron said that if there is enough reform in the European Union, then he can promise to have the UK remain inside the organization. He had also said he would regain as many powers from the European Union granted by the UK as soon as possible.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that the EU should drop its “red tape and bureaucratic methods and instead make it easy for countries to ensure the future of every country. Renzi said that the UK was crucial for Europe and its 28 nations.

Cameron acknowledged the offer of Renzi despite their different political sides, but he said they both want to focus Europe into improving its economies.


The Mis Sold PPI and UK’s Banks: The Price to Pay

From 2008, the entire UK financial industry had paid out more than £13 billion by the arrival of 2014. They had also earmarked more than £22 billion for consumers mis sold the notorious insurance policy, making PPI the most expensive scandal in the history of the country.

Every UK bank, including the UK ‘Big Four’, had paid the price of their misdeeds. Lloyds had recently announced a £1.8 billion additional provision for consumer compensation. Lloyds has a total of £9.83 billion in consumer recompense, making it the biggest mis seller of payment protection insurance.

UK’s biggest banks, including Barclays, RBS and HSBC, all make up £19.6 billion of the total UK PPI recompense.
Barclays had reached its total of £4.13 billion, RBS with £3.1 billion and HSBC with £1.7 billion in total for recompense.

The Financial Conduct Authority estimates that there had been 53 million payment protection insurances sold. Most of the mis selling came from bank employees who tried to raise work volume for added incentive beyond quota.

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) said that while the Financial Ombudsman Service is seeing numbers of PPI compensation claims drop, their research indicates that it would take a few more years until the UK sees the peak of PPI claims, signifying its drop.

According to FSCS CEO Mark Neale, their research cannot indicate when or what the peak is, but despite such, a few more years should give more clarity.

Cameron Urges Scotland To Stay in the UK

British Prime Minister David Cameron had attended a weekly meeting in the Shell UK Offices of Aberdeen, Scotland to help persuade the country to remain in the United Kingdom. However, Cameron’s advances had Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond reject the idea.

Before the meeting, Cameron and his senior officials had toured the British Petroleum’s oil rig 150 miles offshore. A review said that Scotland could lose billions of pounds if it goes for its independence in Septembers because UK funding would be crucial given the fluctuating oil prices in the world today.

Salmond continued to repeat his challenge against Cameron to directly debate with him. As Cameron held a meeting in Shell UK, Salmond held his own meeting seven miles away.

However, the British Prime Minister said that the Scottish people will be the ones to vote for their independence from the United Kingdom. Cameron made it clear that he wanted Scotland to stay with the United Kingdom because it would be tragic for everyone, including Scotland.

According to Cameron’s speech in London will undo “centuries of history”, a “fusion of bloodlines” and “family ties.”

However, many Scots still believe that UK and Westminster’s policies are elitist and self-serving, which will drive them to vote themselves out of the UK’s grasp.


UK Immigration Laws Raise Questions of Discrimination and Xenophobia

UK’s new immigration laws set by the Homeland Office raises questions about UK’s racism and xenophobia regarding immigrants.

New immigration laws rightfully deport illegal immigrants staying in the United Kingdom. However, they are also discouraging “unneeded professionals” from entering the country as it places UK employees on priority with employments first. According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the new laws work to prevent setting a lower standard in an occupation the country might need.

According to observers, the “Benefits Tourism” of the United Kingdom raises questions of visitors and naturalized UK citizens as “scroungers”, which raises questions of racism and discrimination.

However, according to UK citizens themselves, it is a fear possibly “drummed up” by politics as election campaigns are about to start. According to some citizens, creating a political scenario allows campaign runners to provide positions and “trademarks” for their political figures.

A Top-EU official criticized British ministers “scaremongering” about an invasion of foreigners. European Commission Vice President Viviane Reding said that the UK is destroying its own people by isolating itself.

Observers note that the clearest symbolism of racism UK immigration campaigns ever showed were the “Go Home” campaign vans targeting illegal immigrants, which were reminiscent of racist groups condemning immigrants in the UK in the past.


Natalie Ceeney Leaves After Four Years of Handling PPI Complaints

Right after the Financial Ombudsman service received its one-millionth PPI complaint against banks and financial companies, Four-year Chief Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney declared her resignation from the borrower-lender mediator. Ombudsman Chairman Nicholas Montagu said that Deputy Chief Ombudsman Tony Boorman will temporarily replace the Chief Ombudsman position.

According to Montagu, Ceeney felt that it was time to move on from her career in the Financial Ombudsman. He said that despite Ceeney’s leaving and the new challenges that lay ahead for the FOS, the foundations and contributions Ceeney had left the FOS will always be a foundation for handling their work.

For the majority of her career, Natalie Ceeney had handled payment protection insurance complaints from consumers who weren’t satisfied with their banks’ decision regarding their claim. Ceeney had heavily criticised banks who did not properly address consumer claims.

PPI or payment protection insurance repays loans and mortgages in case you get sick or unemployed. You may have lost £3000 on average for a mis sold PPI policy. You can calculate your PPI refund claim back by clicking the link.

Ceeney said that her stay at the FOS was wonderful and she was very privileged to have worked with many talented people in the service. She said that she is very proud of the FOS for having made a difference in society by helping people regain their confidence on the UK financial industry.

Spain Promises It Will Not Repeat Its Error in Opening UK Diplomatic Bag

A bag containing crucial UK diplomatic mission communications and resources had been opened by a Spanish Guardia Civil at the Gibraltar border on Friday. The UK government responded in anger against the opening of the bag, but Spain acknowledged that it was a misjudgement on the Junior level that led to the opening of the bag and promised that it will not happen again.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said that he was satisfied by the Spanish response and acknowledgement of error. Spanish officials told the UK government that it was an error at the junior operational level and as the more senior Spanish officials realised what had happened, they had failed to stop the interference quickly.

According to the UK Foreign Office, two UK government bags were opened. The bags contained official correspondence and communications, which were properly labelled as such.

Opening of any diplomatic bags were safeguarded by the 1961 Vienna convention, which said that if the bag and items were clearly marked as something necessary for a diplomatic mission, they cannot be opened or detained.

According to British MP Nigel Evans it was the first time an EU state and ally had opened a UK diplomatic bag, or any diplomatic bag at that.


Convicted Computer Hackers May be Included in UK Cyberdefence Unit

The UK’s new cyberdefence force might take a turn for the unconventional as its head, Lt. Col. Michael White, said that he might consider recruiting convicted computer hackers if they pass security vetting, into the force. The recruitment will heavily focus on capability development rather than personality traits.

The new UK cyberdefence unit is known as the Joint Cyber Reserve Unit the government had announced last September. Funded with £500 million, the Ministry of Defence is looking to recruit hundreds of computer experts to work with regular armed forces, which would be tasked to defend national security by protecting the country’s computer networks and important data. The task force may also initiate an offensive in cyberspace if needed.

Recruitment had already began early October including all reserve forces with the required skills or knowledgeable civilians.

However, a former hacker said that the government had already lost its chances at attracting highly-knowledgeable civilians and former hackers. Mustafa al-Bassam, a computer science student at King’s College, said that after the revelation of Edward Snowden about world surveillance, many hackers, including him, do not find working for the protection of government information very appealing.

The concerns regarding breaches in cyberspace and corporate computer networks have greatly increased in 2012, with many large corporations reporting a 93% hacking on large businesses and 76% on small businesses.

Osborne Calls For People to See the Reality of the UK Housing Boom

Widely criticised for his austerity plan that pushed up the UK property values, Chancellor George Osborne said that he was not inflating a “housing bubble” that could burst at any minute. He admitted that he knew the risks but he called on his critics not to deny that a property increase had set property prices in the UK more than their pre-crisis values.

The Help to Buy Scheme, which aids new homebuyers the chance to own properties at a lower interest rate , allowed UK houses to price around £245,000, quickly surpassing beyond its pre-crisis values.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will be responsible for judging whether the Chancellor’s schemes need to stop as it is overly inflating the market. Osborne said that house prices are way off their previous peeks except for certain parts of London.

Steve Pateman of Santander said that an existing house price bubble exists in London and he said that he cannot deny that it is at a higher rate than in 2009. Lucian Cook of estate company Savills said that buyers are responsible for 35% of the home purchases even of some of the houses were “buy-to-let” properties.

This week, the interest rates for housing and properties only go around 1.49% to 1.69% from different UK banks.

UK Pledges £52 million for Syrian Refugee Aid

The United Kingdom backed down on supporting the United States and France’s military action against Syria, but it had pledged a £52 million aid for Syrian refugees, who are currently the widely-misplaced citizenship in the world today.

British MPs have voted against the military strike and British Prime Minister David Cameron had appealed to the G20 to “send a message” to Syrians saying that the world is still committed to keeping them safe and will help them rebuild their country after the conflict.

Speaking at the G20, Prime Minister Cameron focused on humanitarian aid for the Syrian refugees after discussing that the UK will not vouch for a military strike. He urged other leaders to allow aid workers to operate freely in Syria and have leaders agree on a set of principles to govern the activity. He also asked other countries to provide funding for the aid of the refugees.

According to Cameron, the more than 2 million displaced Syrians straining the resources of welcoming neighbours Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon along with other countries accepting them willingly, is the biggest refugee crisis in the world today. He said that the chemical attacks showed the critical stage of the crisis as more Syrians will need to avoid the fighting from their country.


Tesco Is Fined Over So-called ‘Half Price’ Strawberries

The big retail chains have never been stranger’s to scandals relating to price fixing and misleading adverts, but Tesco has really pushed their luck with their so-called ‘half-price’ strawberries. The big retailer in question, Tesco, has been fined £300,000 by authorities after admitting it misled many customers over whether the strawberries on sale were genuinely “half price”.

Trading standards officers said the £1.99 strawberries on sale in Birmingham in 2011 had not been for sale at £3.99 long enough, and that the store charged the same amounts at its other stores in England and Wales. At Birmingham Crown Court, Tesco admitted four counts of commercial malpractice. Judge Michael Chambers said the case was indeed “shocking by its very nature” as the majority of consumers had a “high degree of trust” in national retail chains.

He said the promotion was “patently wrong and misleading”, and Tesco has apologised in return for what happened. Tesco was also duly told it would also have to pay £65,000 in costs to the community. The judge also said that, when considering the fine, he had taken into account the financial damage caused to Tesco’s reputation.  Birmingham City Council claimed Tesco had sold the strawberries for only one week each at £3.99 and then £2.99 in 2011.

It said the supermarket then sold strawberries at £1.99 over the next three months of 2011, labelling the 400g containers misleadingly as “half price”. According to the pricing practices guide, the length of the new lower price sale should not be longer than the old higher price was available for. The same prices were allegedly used at all the supermarket’s 2,300 stores in England and Wales, but the case did not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland as they come under different legal jurisdictions.

The strawberries prices issue was raised with trading standards by Sheldon customer Daphne Smallman, who has since passed away but was described in court as quite “tenacious” in her argument against Tesco. The council did agree with her that the “overall presentation” of the offer misled or was likely to deceive the “average consumer”.

In conclusion to the matter, the court heard Tesco had apologised for the incident and said it accepted it had fallen well below its normally very high standards. In addition, Tesco explained that it was not a case of “deliberate mis-selling” but an error made by an individual employee.