What will the CML do?

From Shelia McKechnie

An open letter to Michael Coogan, director-general of the CML from the Consumers&#39 Association

I am sure you are aware of the long-running scandal of usually elderly consumers left with ever-increasing levels of debt accumulated through the mis-selling of equity release schemes, particularly Equity Home Income Plans, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We remain very concerned about the victims of this forgotten financial scandal as many of them remain heavily in debt, with the amount increasing monthly.

I have attached a copy of an article to be published in Which? magazine this Thursday, which once again highlights the plight of elderly people distressed about their increasing levels of debt. As part of Advice for Life – our campaign for a system of fair, accessible financial advice, we are campaigning to ensure victims of past mis-selling scandals receive the redress they deserve. Teresa Fritz, principal researcher on Which? magazine, has written to the lenders involved in these cases requesting them to freeze the interest on these loans. To date, they have all refused.

I am writing to you, therefore, to ask whether you could instruct your members who still have customers with roll-up loans bought as part of an equity release scheme to freeze the interest on the debt. Lenders have already benefited enormously from the mis-selling of these unsuitable policies as many customers have paid off the capital sum and thousands of pounds in interest but remain heavily in debt.

Surely it is time for lenders to give these consumers some peace of mind and freeze the levels of debt accruing on the loans?

I hope you are able to take action on this matter as quickly as possible and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sheila McKechnie

Director

The Consumers&#39 Association

Islington

London