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17 Jan 2019
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman about how banks handle fraud claims
According to figures produced by the Financial Ombudsman, the bank customers complained about most regarding the handling of fraud claims was Natwest.
Trial of extended job centre opening hours
Job centres in seven areas will trial extended opening hours to support those who are in work search for new jobs and to provide advice on retraining. They will stay open in the evenings and at weekends. Amber Rudd explained that the job centre is not just a place for benefits and getting people into work, but also to support those in work improve their earnings. Following the trial, ministers will decide whether to extend the working hours across the country.
Grandparents miss out on National Insurance credits towards their state pension
Relatives, often grandparents, who do not work but take care of children in their family, could be entitled to NI credits towards their state pension. To collect a full state pension, retirees must have made NI contributions for 35 years. The “specified adult children credit” allows parents who are working (and therefore do not need the NI credits that come with their child benefit) to transfer them to a family member. The childcare credit, which can be backdated to 2011, is not available to relatives over state pension age and can only be claimed by one grandparent looking after a child under the age of 12.
New Private Parking Bill
In March the Government approved the Parking (Code of Practice) Act 2019 to force private parking firms to abide by stricter new rules, and to create a new independent appeals process to make it easier for drivers to challenge unfair parking charges. If operators break the code, they will be barred from requesting motorists’ information from the DVLA and so they won’t be able to track down vehicle owners. It is hoped the introduction of the code will create more consistent standards amongst private parking firms.
The code will be drafted later this year.
Royal Mail announces plans for parcel postboxes
Following a successful trial last year, Royal Mail are installing parcel postboxes in more than 30 locations over a six-month period, starting in August. These can be used for posting parcels if the postage has been pre-paid using Royal Mail’s online labelling service. People will also be able to use the parcel postboxes for return parcels, so long as they have a Royal Mail barcode attached.
Tesco Bank to stop offering new mortgages
Tesco Bank has announced it will no longer be offering mortgages. In the short term, there will be no impact on current mortgage customers, however it is looking to sell its existing mortgage portfolio.