Three rip-off fees that financial firms will be banned from charging

FINANCIAL firms have been ordered to end rip-off charges and fees as part of new rules to protect customers.The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is asking firms to also make it easier to cancel or switch products and to improve customer support waiting times.
1The new rules from the FCA are meant to help protect consumersCredit: Alamy
Information about products should also be helpful and accessible.
Examples of rip-off fees include buy now, pay later firms charging 0 percent interest and then raking in cash in charges, the FCA said.
The regulator also highlighted financial products where the fees are more expensive than any benefits offered.
However, customers will have to wait until 2024 for the new Consumer Duty rules to be fully implemented.

Initially, companies will have 12 months to make changes to existing products and services.
They will then have a further 12 months to bring older products up to scratch.
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “There are too many instances where the financial services market does not meet consumer needs or provide customers with adequate protection.
“Strong consumer protections are always needed, but at a time when household budgets are being squeezed by a cost-of-living crisis, they are even more essential.”
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There are a number of bad practices that the FCA wants to tackle to help consumers. 
We took a look at some of them: 
Buy-now-pay-later 
The FCA plans to tackle some firms who offer buy-now-pay-later products at 0% that come with high default fees. 
Some companies are targeting consumers who are on low incomes, or have poor credit ratings – people who might be more likely to default. 
When do people default, the company charges them high fees. 
So although going on a 0% product seemed like a good idea, consumers get bitten if they have problems paying their instalments.
Under the new rules, the FCA wants firms to consider whether pricing structures like this could cause harm to people. 
Stamp out “rip-off” charges
The FCA is also trying to stamp out “rip-off” charges and fees. 
Some firms charge unfair servicing fees, which are paid for services like keeping a record of payments. 
Servicing fees usu …
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