A Times Magazine undercover reporter recently revealed that Lloyds’ Royal Mint Court Complaints Centre had profoundly rejected PPI claims and asked trainees to turn a “blind eye” against forged PPI documents obviously filled in by bank salesmen. Lloyds said that it was aware of the Court Centre’s issues, had fired its former supplier and is retraining its staff with a new supplier.
The undercover reporter noted that recruitment executives warned trainees that the job was “morally difficult”. Lloyds said that Deloitte, the supplier who runs the Court Centre, had not managed to work with the high level of standards set by the bank in terms of PPI claims.
However, the third-party operator said that it had provided a high level of service during their term with Lloyds until May. The recent scandal was not the reason why the accounting management firm was laid off. According to Deloitte, the bank wanted to work with two, not three contractors instead.
Lloyds currently makes up 39% of the total PPI compensation package in the United Kingdom with £5.4 billion paid out to customers. However, the Financial Ombudsman Service estimated that 86% of Lloyds’ rejected claims were actually valid. The FOS also estimated that 60% of the claims coming from the Court Centre alone was favoured to customers.
Tim Haries was arrested for defacing the painting of the Queen at Westminster Abbey. The 41-year-old electrician is charged with £5000 worth of criminal damage as the oil painting on canvas was defiled by spray paint on Thursday.
The oil painting on Westminster Abbey was made by Australian artist Ralph Heimans and went on display in the Chapter House May this year. It was completed last year and was used for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It depicted the Queen in a state dress.
The painting was entitled The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was shown at Australia’s National Portrait Gallery September this year before it was moved to London.
Heimans said that the portrait was a narrative. It represented the Queen reflecting her incredible milestone in life. He said the painting was to express her public role and her personal, emotional dimension as a person and Queen.
Haries is accused of damaging the painting nine days after the monarch and other Royal Family members attended a service in the Abbey marking the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. He was apprehended by two security guards and detained as police were called at noon to arrest the man.
Heimans was aware of the incident about his painting, but his spokesperson said that he refused to comment about it.
Legislation was proposed in the Scottish Independence Referendum allowing 16 to 17-year-old population to vote. The said legislation was already brought to the parliament. The ministers already stated that they will ensure everybody who is aged sixteen and up to take part in the 2014 election during the autumn. Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy First Minister released a statement saying that the younger generation could take part in the country’s future. According to Labor, there is a need to clarify so that the sixteen year olds can vote during the Election Day.
Included in the bill is the equality given to the young voters. The information of these voters will be stored in another registers ensuring that the data well be secured. The electoral registration officers will be given the right to include the people who are 16 and up to register. It was reported that the proposed bill was been debated for a long time. It was said to be a longstanding policy of the SNP. Many organizations have supported the legislation including the teaching Union in Scotland, EIS. The National Union of Students and the Electoral Reform Society and the Scottish TUC have also supported the legislation.
The government of the UK has opposed the bill. The Deputy First Minister says that it is the right time to include the young to be given the opportunity to vote. The said Autumn Election is marked an important event that happens in Scotland for almost three centuries and the young should be given the advantage to be part of it. She added that in the referendum next year the 16 and 17 year old population will have the opportunity in shaping the country through voting.
A challenge was given to the NHS in improving their system because of the increasing number of cancer survivors in the United Kingdom that has already reached a number of 3 Million. The said survivors who are set to live in Britain by the year 2030 needs help to constantly check their conditions. This was a warning released by the government. It was said that in the UK, breast cancer is a common disease where a lot of Britons survived. There are 28% of cancer survivors in the UK.
The Government Ministers already have plans to give more aid to the said survivors so that they can help them from struggling after surviving from the disease. A study in the UK has shown that there are 3 quarters of the breast cancer patients who are released from the hospital without enough and adequate advice and support after being treated in the hospital. The government has challenged these hospitals to change their system and provide support to the recovering patients. Based on statistics from the number of 1.8 Million breast cancer survivors, a quarter of them have not received support. When this continues, it was predicted that the number of survivors will double in the next seventeen years.
The Macmillan Cancer Support CEO, Ciaran Devane said that a lot of the breast cancer survivors were abandoned after their treatment and diagnosis of the disease. They are discharged from the hospitals and sent home without complete information about other symptoms and side effects that could occur and would signal that the disease has returned.
A new power plant project was approved in The United Kingdom. The proposed nuclear power plant at the Hinkley Point C was given consent by the Energy Secretary to be constructed in Somerset. The project was reported to be costing £14 Billion. A French Energy called EDF will be the one responsible in the construction of the new nuclear power plant in the UK.
According to the Energy Secretary, Ed Davey the newly approved project can provide a total of 25,000 jobs in the UK. The said plant will also give power to almost 5 million homes within the area. The Energy Secretary describes the project to be of national importance. He added that during the construction of the plant, there will be 20,000 people hired and a number of 900 permanent jobs will be offered once the Nuclear Plant starts to operate.
A BBC reporter said that the current project will cost more than the hosting of the 2012 London Olympics. The Energy Department will oversee the planning and they would look into analyzing details about the project. Mr. Davey has told the MPs in the House of Commons that there will be a tough examination coming from the Planning Inspector. He added that the plan to put up a nuclear plant will add to the number of energy projects in the UK. The other projects included gas-fired power stations, wind farms and biomass. The Energy Secretary said that the project can benefit the UK economy although the approved plan was not favorable to the environment. The said news aimed to develop the nuclear industry in the UK.
The Office of the National Statistics in the United Kingdom found out that recently a lot of Britons read through an EBook. Most of the people spend their money in buying an EBook reader and read books, news articles digitally. The ONS said that EBooks are added to UK’s basket of goods. Since growth in technology is inevitable, the UK government’s statisticians already added the EBook in the list of goods used by most of the citizens in the UK. The said basket of goods are used to measure the cost of living in the UK.
The statistical data of the ONS reveals that there has been an increase on the number of people who reads digitally using any of the digitally enhanced products like the Amazon’s Kindle and the eReader Kobo. According to a data released by Kantar Worldpanel and Nielsen, the sales of Ebooks in the UK for the year 2012 has reached the percentage of 14 in terms of volume and a percent of 7 in value.
It was also reported that most of the British consumers already spend much on new devices like the recorders, digital televisions, and the well known video recorders. There are new electronic toys available for the children and most of the parents purchase the said products replacing those that are not technologically enhanced. There’s an annual change of the inflation basket says ONS. The office has already monitored the ongoing impact of the increasing prices and that they would provide a clear understanding on the lifestyle and spending habits in Britain that has changed a lot every year.
The Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been doing its best in making certain reviews in light of the interest rate swap scandal that has been affecting small business and business owners in the UK. Business leaders want more action in responding to the scandal. An organization called the Federation of Small Businesses and the Bully Banks that has been representing the small business sector are not that satisfied with FSA’s report. A review on the scandal was conducted by different banks to put clarity into the ongoing scandal.
The announcement made by the FSA says that the small business that was affected would need to prove that upon purchasing the product, they weren’t clarified about it or knew less about the terms of the interest rate swap. The groups have complained that the FSA have been ignoring their calls. A spokesperson from the FSB added that they knew a little about the process and what has been happening. Most of the business establishment continues to give their pay out while waiting. It was reported that this could drive them in to financial problems while waiting for their claims.
The interest rate swap scandal emerged when different banks were mis selling interest rate swaps that were complicated and often not even explained. The small businesses purchased the product when the banks offered the loans. With the onset of the recession, the Bank of England was made to cut its interest rates to help UK borrowers, but the businesses who had bought the interest rate swaps were stuck into paying higher rates only. Now, most of the banks are cooperating with the FSA to undergo the reviews.
The supply of gas is often important in the household since it can provide heat. A lot of people use gas more often when they cook and for energy supply. The consumption of gas has increased over the years because people tend to use gas during a very cold weather. The company who owned the British gas reported to have a huge increase on its profit averaging to 12 percent. Centrica, widely known as the source of British gas has experienced this improvement since 2011.
There were also rumors that while having the increase of the demand of gas, the company also increased their price. The CEO of the company, Sam Laidlaw claimed that it wasn’t a huge improvement in the profit of the company since the company only gets an amount of £50 per household. The company is said to return amount of £500 million to their stakeholders. The British gas company also made an increase in the price of gas and electricity in November to up to six percent and the CEO said the increase was lower than their competitors.
The consumer policy Director said that this was not good news because the company knew that they were gaining more profit so there is no need for them to increase the price of gas. The said increase is a burden to lot of consumers and they will be wondering why there is such an increase in British gas. This was not the only commodity that has increased because different energy suppliers also raised their prices higher during the winter season.
The Food Standards Agency has already tested a number of meats and most of them tested positive on horsemeat DNA. The said issue is far from being solved and is still continuing to progress. A recent news about beef burgers found to have one percent of horsemeat and the products came from the Burger Manufacturing Company in Wales. All of the said labels were pulled out in all the hotels, restaurants, and other outlets who are selling the contaminated products.
The company released a statement that the meat that they were using was from Farmbox Meats which was already raided by the officials of FSA during their ongoing investigations. In the said raid there were men arrested. There were also more investigations regarding the meat to really find out how much of it contained bute. The burger company have complied with FSA and advised all their customers to stop selling and withdraw all the meats in the market. All the products delivered last February 13 are already quarantined.
This has been alarming and most of the food business and meat stores are having their own signage that the meat they are selling does not contain horsemeat. Customers who often purchase meat are now careful since they couldn’t be sure if the said meet is positive with horsemeat DNA or the contaminated with bute. The panic all over UK and Europe has been causing a lot of business to check all their products and have them tested for them to assure their buyers of fresh meat and a rightly labeled meat.
Last September in an incident of burglary in Greater Manchester, a fugitive named Dale Cregan told the scene of the incident where police officers were involved. The accused described how he killed them by shooting both on the chest and threw a grenade after learning that the officers were already dead. He went straight to surrender himself to the Hyde Police Station. He also announced to the police that he was a fugitive and just recently killed two cops. He has denied to the murder of other two cops.
The trial of the 29-year-old killer, Dale Cregan was misleading the court. The accused Mr. Cregan have surrendered himself to the police after an incident that killed police officers in Greater Manchester in September of last year. Mr. Cregan has admitted that he was responsible for the death of two unarmed police offers named Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes. This was not the criminal’s first statement in the court, and he still denied killing two other police officers.
During his trial at the Preston court he claimed that he was not guilty of killing the police officers. Other accused along with Mr. Cregan also denied the murder charges against them. Last Tuesday, Mr. Cregan changed his plea and has accepted to be guilty of killing the said police officers. When asked in the court he said that he was guilty as a reply to the question. He repeated the same plea twice for another victim. In the said case, the judge has reminded the court that the decision will be in the hands of the jury.