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Consumers in debt getting hassled by banks

A recent report has shown how some of the major high street banks in the UK are pestering customers that are in debt in order to try and get them to take out a more expensive loan in order to deal with their debt issues, whilst actually making the situation worse in many cases.

It is even claimed that banks are hassling customers on debt management plans with debt charities and management companies, trying to get them to take out another loan to pay off their debts, often at a far higher rate of interest than they are already paying.

Officials from the Citizen's Advice Bureau have stated that the number of complaints relating to pushy and aggressive tactics being used by banks is increasing. A CAB official also stated that banks are often asking customers to pay more than they can afford on financial commitments.

He said: "We see a lot of cases of people coming in who have tried to talk to their banks about arranged payments and they haven't been listened to, and they have been asked for more than they can afford. Typically people find that, even after they have been dealing with us, they have found that they have been continued to be written to. They get aggressive letters and phone calls from their lenders."

One HSBC customer said that he had received letters from HSBC offering him a managed loan at double the interest rate that he is currently paying. He said: "I have had multiple letters from HSBC saying they want to help people in financial difficulty - when clearly they don't. HSBC have agreed that the amount I can repay each month is acceptable. But the only way they will accept that repayment is if I enter in what they call a managed loan."

Tom Smith
19th December2007

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