Delays continue as banks drag their heels with Tiimeshare claims
Some decisions were made, by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), in 2021, against some of the banks that had funded fractional purchases. In those cases, FOS held that the banks should repay, to the consumers, all monies paid to the banks, plus interest at 8%.
Banks should repay all monies paid to the banks, plus interest at 8%
Two of the banks in question – Clydesdale Financial Services Limited t/a Barclays Partner Finance and Shawbrook Bank Limited- applied to the High Court, by way of an Application for Judicial Review, to set aside the Ombudsman’s decisions.
After much delay, those cases were heard in the High Court, in London, in March 2023, and the High Court rejected the banks’ applications.
The court’s judgment meant that both ombudsman’s decisions, upholding complaints against the banks, stood and brought a complex and lengthy legal process to an end.
What’s happening now?
One would have thought that this would lead to decisions being rolled out, by FOS, against the banks, in similar cases. Sadly, this has not proved to be the case.
After several weeks, FOS said that they were “in active discussions” with the banks about how best to resolve the many fractional timeshare complaints that were with FOS “quickly and fairly, in light of the High Court’s findings”. They said that these meetings had been “constructive”, but since then very few actual offers have been forthcoming from the banks.
Because of this, FOS recently indicated that they were going to start issuing decisions on individual cases. They said that they would first deal with cases where there were serious health or finance issues, and then in chronological order, with the cases that are with FOS longest being dealt with first.
However, five months after the High Court hearing, this whole process continues to be unacceptably slow, especially in the case of elderly, sick and otherwise vulnerable victims of the fractional property ownership scam.
Although it is highly unlikely that FOS would ever admit this, the banks will no doubt be aware that FOS does not have the resources to make decisions on the
thousands of cases before them in a timely manner. These decisions, by their nature, are complex and take a not insignificant time to be processed.
In the circumstances, FOS are to a certain extent depending on the goodwill of the banks to assist in bringing the many outstanding cases to a conclusion.
A more cynical view might be that while the banks are “talking the talk”, they are deliberately not “walking the walk”, unless we are talking about a snail’s pace!
Timeshare victims wait years!
Timeshare victims have been waiting for justice for years. Many have died without having seen justice having been done. Isn’t it high time that the banks acknowledge their responsibilities, and rectify the harm caused?
What FOS does have in its favour is that the banks do not want Final Decisions being made by an Ombudsman. Such decisions can be published, and this would give them negative publicity, as well as the possibility of a drop in their share price. In the circumstances, perhaps FOS might be best served by moving towards Final Decisions, on one case for each of the lenders. However, no one is holding their breath….
If you have purchased a fractional timeshare product using finance and want to explore getting your money back, then please contact us today.
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