The need foran unbiased regulator

I have previously written about the fact that the credit crunch has spawned a large number of advisers and businesses allegedly aimed at helping those in financial difficulty. At the time I praised the work of the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), remarking that it was time that the government increased its funding as I assumed it was unbiased, and undoubtedly helpful. Since then the number of these unregulated operations, often publicised by highly regarded celebrities, has increased at an unbelievable rate, thrust at one at every programme break, and on the website of broadband operators.

At the same time people are running credit cards, and many of our banks are trying to encourage us, contrary to government policy, to spend more money on the cards, the very thing that caused the crunch. The other day I received a letter from my bank saying that I can get bonus points related to the amount of money that I spent on the card, which would then give me advantageous opportunities for holidays, wines and shopping. Surely this implies that the banks have not learnt their lesson, on the contrary they have discovered that they are in an unassailable position, and can do what they like. By the same token the government appears to be able to ignore its own lassitude in allowing the crunch to occur, and no one associated with the government has been brought to book for the failure of the regulator.

It is imperative that if somebody is going to advise you on how to deal with your financial situation, that not only that person must be experienced, they must be seen to be experienced by an overseeing body. Recently a relative who is a businessman with wide interests, and consequently has several bank accounts, found that in one account some stranger apparently from Africa, had managed to have a direct debit system installed in his account from which they could draw £5,000 on a monthly basis. The very people who are seeking advice are the ones who are in need of advice because their knowledge of finance is almost zero. They have not got the skill or the knowledge to carry out any test on the person they select to advise them. It is essential that there is an unbiased, overseeing regulatory body that manages all the difficulties. sources of lending, and the advice that is given to those who are in financial

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