Author Archive for Mark Rowe

Azure Services Ltd of Malta

Azure Services Ltd of Malta, the timeshare sales side of Radisson Blu Golden Sands and Barclays Partner Finance (BPF) hit the headlines as 1444 of their clients wait to see if their potentially illegally sold loan agreements will be overturned, possibly costing BPF £47 million.

It appears that Azure Services Ltd advised customers to purchase various forms of timeshare for personal use, resale or investment, despite this company not being authorised under British Law to act as a licensed broker, so therefore they cannot arrange or introduce clients to BPF. The contracts affected were sold between 1 April 2014 and 24 April 2016, at which point BPF became aware of Azure Service Ltd.’s illegal practices and in an attempt to resolve the potentially catastrophic financial disaster they contacted the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order to have these loans made legal (validated).

The Radisson Blu, Golden Sands Resort, has been in the news before when Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs invested €1.1 million in Island Hotels Group Holdings in 2009, and Neville became a non-executive director of the Company, however he resigned in 2015. In the meantime, the unlicenced sales team used the football stars celebrity status and the prestigious brand name of Radisson to promote the resort and the sales, whilst the misguided clients were led to believe that this made it a credible proposition.

The FCA issued the validation order; however, the 1444 customers affected appealed through their legal representation and forced the FCA to rethink their decision. The FCA then applied to the Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Division of the Royal Courts of Justice for a hearing on the legal implications and guidance to overturn the validation order.

Customers in the appeal have given accounts of their experiences including

  • False representations about the impact and duration of the loans
  • enduring a minimum of 5 hours to a full day of hard sales tactics
  • buying as an investment – Mr R who has since lost his wife and has to bring up their two children on his own, he “invested” £13300 for 1 week of timeshare having been told it would be worth £24000, unsurprisingly it has still not sold. He has had to renegotiate the repayments with BPF as they are unaffordable.
  • Miss E having been shown the penthouse and told that it was owned by the Manchester United players was persuaded to invest £20000 on a BPF loan again believing this would only be for 2 years when she could pay off her loan and use the profit to buy a house. Her repayments are ҄£205 per month and now she is unable to get a mortgage in the UK, and of course the apartment has not been resold.

On the 1 August 2018, Judge Timothy Hetherington issued his judgement and he ruled that the FCA did not take into account “Client Detriment” when they made their validation order and he has ruled that the FCA must re-evaluate that decision. He stated that client detriment falls into a number of areas some of which are detailed below:

  1. Insufficient information given to the clients regarding the Terms & Conditions of the loan agreement as required by law.
  2. Clients being pressured into signing agreements.
  3. No credit checks were carried out with regard to affordability, income versus outgoings.
  4. Vulnerable clients were treated inappropriately

Lawyers working for these mis-sold clients have said that the loan agreements should be unenforceable and the consumers should be entitled to recover the monies they have paid and be entitled to compensation for their losses.

Once the ruling gets overturned, other companies that have used BPF to finance their dubious timeshare investments, will be watching this case very closely, however it is not known as yet when the FCA will issue their findings.

 

Your Rights When Flying

Airlines generally try their best to avoid issues and delays for their clients. There are times, however, when the airlines cannot prevent problems from occurring.

Under the EU law there are many rights that travellers have, which include receiving care and assistance during their delay. If a flight is cancelled or delayed, there are things you should know about to make your disruption more bearable. We advise that you take your time to read and understand your rights, so you know that you are getting what you are entitled to.

The EU law only stands if your flight departs or arrives from somewhere within the European Union. If you arrive in, or depart from any of the following airports, you are entitled to claim compensation for inconveniences that occur during your travels;

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not in the EU, the regulations are the same for these countries too.

There have been a few changes to the EU laws in the last few years, due to hearings in the European Court. The EU’s Air Passenger Rights Legislation offers a high degree of protection against unforeseen circumstances and is among the most advanced in the world. Guidelines of the existing EU laws are as follows;

Clients will receive compensation for delay – as long as it is after 3 hours after the projected time of arrival at the final destination
Clients will receive compensation for missed connection flights – this is incase of any delays to arrival due to missed connecting flights.
Clients will receive compensation for extraordinary circumstances – these include various situations such as, technical defects, malfunction of certain components in the aircraft , and aircraft collisions.
Measures to be taken in extraordinary circumstances – rights to types of assistance and care during exceptional events.

Even if your flight is not covered by EU legislation, you may still be entitled to assistance.

To claim compensation against your flight company, there are certain rules that you must comply to; the length of your flight determines how much money you are entitled to claim back. Your flight must fall into the following categories;

Short haul flights should be under 1,500 km
Medium haul flights are between 1,500 km and 3,500 km
Long haul flights are over 3,500 km

If your flight is delayed, your airline must provide food and beverages, as well as accommodation, depending on the length of the delay.

Your rights under the EU law on a delayed short haul flight are:

A short haul flight is any flight that covers a distance under 1,500 km, your flight must be departing from or arriving at an EU destination, with a delay of more than two hours.

If this happens your rights as a customer are;

Reasonable amounts of food and beverage – these are generally provided in voucher form.
Ways for you to be able to communicate – generally clients are offered the cost of your calls.
If you are delayed over night you should be offered accommodation – normally this is the nearest hotel to the airport.
Getting to and from your accommodation means that you will also be provided with transport.

When claiming compensation against your short haul flight you must make sure that your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours or you are not entitled to claim. If your flight has been delayed for more than 3 hours you are entitled to claim up to €250.

If you are looking to claim compensation after a short haul flight that has been cancelled, there are different entitlements as to what you can recieve:

Receive a refund – however your flight has been cancelled, you are within your own rights to claim compensation for all of the parts of your ticket that you have not used.
Choose an alternative flight – if you are determined to get to your destination as soon as possible, it is up to the airline to find you an alternative flight. It is up to you how soon you want to fly after your cancellation.

When claiming for cancelled flights, it all depends on the reason your flight was cancelled. If you received a cancellation notice within 14 days of your flight, you will be able to claim compensation based on the following points:

If your new flight departs in less than 2 hours before the scheduled time of your original flight and your new flight arrives in no more than 4 hours after the scheduled time of your first flight you will not be entitled to claim.
If your new flight arrives after 2 hours of your first scheduled flight you can claim up to €250.
If your flight arrives before 2 hours of the scheduled time of your original flight you can claim up to €125.

If you received your cancelation notice in less than 7 days of your departure date the same rules as above apply.

Your rights under the EU law on a delayed medium hauled flight:

A medium haul flight is at a distance of between 1,500 km & 3,500 km and to be entitled to compensation you need to be departing from or arriving at and EU airport.

Your rights as a customer are;

Reasonable amounts of food and beverage – these are generally provided in voucher form.
Ways for you to be able to communicate – generally clients are offered the cost of your calls.
If you are delayed over night you should be offered accommodation – nor,ally this is the nearest hotel to the airport.
Getting to and from your accommodation means that you will also be provided with transport.

When claiming for compensation against your medium haul flight you must be sure that the flight has been delayed for over 3 hours or you are not entitled to claim. For a delayed flight of more than 3 hours you are entitled to claim up to €400.

When claiming for cancelled flights, again it depends on the cause of the cancellation. If you received a cancelation notice within 14 days of your flight you will be able to claim compensation based on the following points:

If your new flight arrives more than 4 hours after your original flight you can claim up to €400.
If your new flight takes off more than 2 hours before your original flight and arrives 3 – 4 hours after you can claim up to €400.
If your flight takes off more than 2 hours before your original flight and arrives in under 3-4 hours after you are entitled to claim up to €200.

If you received your cancellation notice within 7 days of your flight departure the same rules apply.

Your rights under the EU law on a delayed long haul flight:

A long haul flight is at a distance of 3,500 km and you must be departing from and arriving at an EU destination.

Your rights as a customer are:

Reasonable amounts of food and beverage – these are generally provided in voucher form.
Ways for you to be able to communicate – generally clients are offered the cost of your calls.
If you are delayed over night you should be offered accommodation – nor,ally this is the nearest hotel to the airport.
Getting to and from your accommodation means that you will also be provided with transport.

When claiming for compensation against your long haul flight you must be sure that the flight was delayed for over 3 hours, or you are entitled to no compensation.For delayed of 3-4 hours you can claim up to €300 and for delays of more than 4 hours you can claim up to €600.

When claiming for cancelled flights, again it depends on the cause of the cancellation. If you received a cancelation notice within 14 days of your flight you will be able to claim compensation based on the following points:

If your new flight arrives more than 4 hours after your original flight was due to arrive, you can claim up to €600.
If your new flight takes off more than 1 hour before your original flight and arrives within 4 hours after, you can claim up to €300.

If you received your cancellation notice within 7 days of your flight departure the same rules apply.

Will Brexit affect UK passengers claims against their airlines?

As we all are now aware, the UK will be leaving the EU in March of this year.

In October of 2012 there was a huge shift for airline passengers when there was a change in the law, and travellers were now entitled to claim compensation for such things as long delays and flight cancellations.

For passengers flying short haul, there is a maximum claim entitlement of €250 if a flight arrives at its destination three hours after the scheduled time. If flying long haul and the flight is delayed for four hours or more on arrival at its destination, you could be entitled up to €600.

According to Brexit discussions, the government have said they are not intending on changing any compensation claim legislation for delayed flights, however, the EU could reduce the compensation payout limits. Brussels have discussed the reduction of clients compensation entitlements. This could potentially be; half of the monetary entitlement for delays between 3 and 5 hours from scheduled arrival time for short haul flights, and delays between 4 to 12 hours for their long haul flights.

Airlines may be forced to clarify the entitlements of their travellers, making them much clearer for passengers to understand. This could include airport tannoy announcements explaining the rights to make a claim to delayed passengers. The airlines could also be made to make automatic payments back to passengers who have booked directly with the airline, just as Virgin trains do with their delays.

With Brexit, there will be legal confusion when trying to claim against airlines. For example, a flight from London to Paris will be conflicted under the EU regulations, for departures and take off in Paris and the new UK version for any departures and take off in the UK. Lansdown Financial Ltd. will be able to help sort out any confusion regarding your compensation claim.

If you already have an active claim, either direct with the airline or with a claims company, you might want to contact them to check your position regarding Brexit. Up until the UK’s exit from the EU flight passengers are still covered by Regulation 261/2004.

There are almost 7,000 laws and regulations that the EU have, and of course the UK abide by. The UK government will now have to decide if they keep abiding by these rules, whether they adapt to suit them, or ignore completely. If the government decide to ignore the Regulation 261/2004 there could be future scenarios where UK passengers will not be entitled to the added extras, such as hotel overnight stays and food and drink tokens, whereas the rest of the EU will be entitled to them.

Lansdown Financial will be able to update you with more information on this when we know more.

What should you expect as compensation from your airline?

Generally, when your flights have been delayed and or cancelled, the airline kindly offers you vouchers for food, and or accommodation. As a passenger do not be fooled by what you think is the airlines kindness, why settle for vouchers that have expiry dates and limitations, rather than cash in your pocket?

Stated in the EU Regulations, any flights that have been delayed or cancelled should be paid in actual money. This can be paid either, in cash, electronic bank transfer, bank orders or cheques. If you, as the passenger decide to accept vouchers as a compensation payment, you will have to sign an agreement, as this will then be in place of monetary compensation.

If no agreement is signed by the passenger to confirm that you are willing to accept vouchers as a compensation claim, you are under no obligation to take and accept them and can go ahead and claim for compensation against your airline.

The EU Regulation 261/2004 was introduced in February of 2005, to enforce the rights of passengers who experience delays, cancellations and denied boardings. The law decided that airlines should pay their passengers a compensation for the loss of their holiday time and their inconvenience.

When looking to claim compensation against your airline you must be aware that this is an EU law, so this only applies to countries within the European Union. It doesn’t matter the nationality of the passenger, just as long as you are flying to or from an EU airport.

Passengers will be entitled to claiming monetary compensation on delays that are over 3 hours, and cancellations of flights that are not caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’. If you have been delayed by your airline, you have the right to their care and assistance programme which can be requested after a two hour delay, on flights that are up to 1500 km and flights that are delayed after 3 hours that are between 1500 km & 3500 km. If your flight has a 4 hour delay on a flight that is over 3500 km, you will then also be entitled to:

Food & Drink for your waiting time
Accommodation if you need an overnight stay
Transport to and from the airport if needed
Two telephone calls, faxes and emails

Any compensation claims that are payable under the EU 261 Regulation will be a fixed price according to the time delay and distance of the flight. Passengers can find out exactly what they should be entitled to, so if the airline offers you vouchers, you might want to weigh up the value of your vouchers before accepting them.

Vouchers generally have expiration dates and can be very limited and if you want to fly with the same airline next time using your vouchers, this route may no longer be available. If you are thinking about accepting vouchers as compensation from the airline, we here at Lansdown Financial suggest you think about your decision and what you could be entitled to as a suitable compensation claim.

Call us now on 01483 478251 or visit our website: www.lansdownfinancial.co.uk.

Submitting a compensation claim against your airline

There are many different reasons why you may have had to claim compensation against your flight company. You may have been delayed, which could have caused you to miss a connection flight, your flight may have been cancelled, you could have been denied boarding, due to overbookings by the flight company.

Whatever the reason for your claim, there is a time limit in which you should receive any compensation monies owed to you.

When receiving a compensation claim, the amount of time in which you should receive it can vary. This depends highly on how long it takes the airline to accept your claim. Most airlines answer your claim within 2 to 3 days, others may not give an answer for 4 to 6 weeks. You then have those airlines where you never receive an answer!

Any claim company will be pushing for answers from the airlines and in the worst case scenario, the longest cases could be anything from six months to one year.

You may find that once you have out in a claim against an airline, they could well contact you. The reason the do this is because they may want to try and persuade you to to accept a reduced offer. What ever you get told over the phone you should not accept without first speaking to your claim company.

It could be a few days, even weeks before you hear anything from your compensation company, you shouldn’t be worried, as they will be awaiting on their answers from the airline company. If there is any update on your claim, you will be informed straight away, whether this be a telephone call or via email. This depends on the details that your claim company have for you. Generally if you do not hear from your flight company it will be because there has been no news that they can give you. If you do need peace of mind on what is happening with your claim, then never hesitate to give them a call to make sure that they are doing their utmost to push your claim through as quickly as possible.

There may be times when your claim company hears nothing back from the airline, after weeks of constant requests. If this happens there is a chance that you claim company will take your claim for legal assessment where they can potentially take the airline to court. Most of the time these cases do not end up in court as the airline would prefer to pay out what they owe than going through the hassle of a court case.

If your claim company receive notice from the airline to say that your claim has been rejected, don’t be disappointed! Your claim company can pass your claim to a legal assessor to be seen in a courtroom. Regularly, once a case like this hits the court it can open up different opportunities for compensation claims.

Unfortunately, you won’t always be given a reason for the rejection of your claim. If this happens your claim company should treat the case as if there has been no response from them at all. This again will be handed over to legal assessors.

If your airline refunds you money for your cancelled, or delayed flight, do not accept this as compensation. Under the EC 261, your airline should provide you with both a refund and compensation. If you are offered this from your airline, more than likely you will be asked to sign some kind of a waiver to ask you to forfeit your compensation claim against them. Anything like this should be put through your claim company first, as you could be putting yourself out of a decent pay out.

There have been times where clients have received their compensation claims from their airlines, however they may have only received part of their claim, not the full amount they were expecting. If you were offered a different flight time, or reroute, that you accepted at the time of departure, there is a chance that the airline has taken this in account and reduced the amount of your compensation pay.

Whenever you are dealing with a compensation company, be sure to keep in contact with them. If you do receive calls, emails or other correspondence from the airline, without answering, pass it straight on to your compensation claim company and let them do the hard work for you. At the end of the day, most people don’t want to settle. You should receive what is owed to you.

If you would like help claiming against a flight company that you have had issues with, do not hesitate to call us on 01483 478 251 and speak to one of our Claims Handlers.

Claiming Compensation for Missed Connection Flights

Everyday there are thousands of people who have to catch more than one flight to reach their final destination. Not only does this happen for long haul flights, many people have to catch more than one flight to go shorter distances.

Many people stress when having to catch more than one flight to reach their destination, worrying about the endless possibilities that could go wrong; What if the flight is delayed? What if the baggage doesn’t arrive? What if there are problems checking in? etc. there are so many factors to smooth travels . . . or not so smooth!

Thanks to the Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004, you have the rights to claim compensation from the moment you miss a connecting flight for the delay and or cancelation of your first flight.

A connection flight is a flight that supersedes an initial flight, normally each with a different flight number, to reach your final destination. For example; a flight from Glasgow to Sal, Cabo Verde; there are no direct flights, therefore the first flight is Glasgow to Birmingham and the connecting flight is Birmingham to SAL.

On many occasions and without pre warning, flights are cancelled due to bad weather at the next airport, technical difficulties on the first flight, control tower delays and other such issues. If you have been delayed for any of these reasons and qualify under regulation EC 261, you could be eligible for up to €600.

Compensation can only be claimed if you are either taking off or landing at an airport within the EU along with one of the following;

· A 3 hour (or more) flight delay
· Flight Cancellation
· Denied Boarding

Other points to remember when looking at the time delay on a flight;

· Always remember that the decision to pay compensation is made on the length of delay which occurred, causing the missed connection.

· Your ticket must be booked under the same booking reference, ie, both flights should be booked as one complete reservation.

Flight companies will argue that they are only able to pay out on issues that are within their control. There are many reasons why you may not be eligible for compensation, such as;

· Extreme weather conditions
· Airport staff strikes
· Air traffic control strikes
· Air traffic control restrictions
· Acts of terrorism

If airport staff strikes have been announced and the airline decides to carry on, they must compensate all passengers themselves if the flight is delayed or cancelled.

To sum up this article; If you have booked your flight, under one reservation usually with a single reference number and your connection flight is with a different airline, you are still eligible to claim compensation. After a 2 hour delay the airline are obliged to provide snacks and refreshments. Never be blind sighted when you are offered meal and travel vouchers from the airline, this is not your compensation.

See below our compensation breakdown:

Distance Vs Compensation Due

All Flights of 1,500 km or less                                                 €250
All internal EU flights of more than 1,500 km                     €400
All non internal EU flights between 1,500 & 3,000 km.    €400
All non international EU flights of more than 3,500 km   €600

Claiming Compensation for Changed Flights

Changes to flight times and dates happen daily, all over the world. Fortunately, clients who are forced to change their booking by the airline and/or tour operator are entitled to claim up to €600, under certain conditions, according to the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation.

There are many different reason why your flight may have to be changed. Flight cancellations, delays and overbooking are amongst the majority of the reasons. There have been many situations where the flight company simply did not sell enough tickets and the clients have been changed to a smaller aircraft, meaning that their flights have had to change too.

If you have had your flight changed involuntarily by the aircraft you are entitled to claim compensation regarding

The change to your booking at such short notice
The arrival at your destination if three hours or more later that scheduled

Compensation on circumstances such as the above can range from €250 to €600 per person. You are entitled to any additional services such as:

Hot & cold drinks
Meals

The above rights are based on the EU Air Passenger Rights Regulation 261/2004.

There will be circumstances such as:

Strikes
Fog
Storms

Under these circumstances you will not be able to claim compensation, as these reasons for flight delays are out of the airlines hands.

When claiming for compensation against the airline, you must remember you can only claim against issues that the flight company have under their control; staff strikes, delays, turn around, overbooking, cancellations etc.

If you are in a position where you have had your flight changed, there are steps you can take to make sure you are eligible to claim back compensation:

Request the airline to provide and confirm the reasons your flight details were amended
Collect photos, receipts, expenses, tickets, vouchers etc to prove the change
Speak to other passengers and collect contact details
Be sure the airport give you food and drink vouchers

The more evidence you have, the easier it will be to claim back any compensation.

Claiming Compensation for Cancelled Flights

In 2005 the European Commission introduced the EU Regulation 261/2004 to protect travellers from ill-treatment for flight delays, flight cancellations, overbookings and even being denied to board.

The Regulation 261 applies to flights departing and arriving to and from EU airports. It was put into place originally to stop the airline over booking their flights, on the thought that not all passengers would show up, which meant denying passengers on boarding. The cancellation of flights was introduced to this Regulation to allege the flight company to operate as effectively as possible. Not long after this, the Regulation decided to incorporate flight delays, as flights would change their flight status from cancelled to delayed for long periods of time.

It is known that claiming compensation on delays and denied boarding is much easier than claiming for a cancelled flight. See below on how we here at Lansdown can help you on claiming against different types of cancelled flights.

Compensation rules have been put into place and can be quite complicated to understand, which generally stops most people from claiming compensation against airlines.

When looking at flight cancellations, the rules, as well as the compensation amounts can vary compared to flight delays for example. The criteria are different, which can affect your qualifications to be able to claim compensation.

When a flight has to be cancelled, many times it is due to bad weather conditions and it’s not generally the airline who cancels these flights but the Air Traffic Control (ATC). The cancellations can happen from either the departure airport or the arrival destination. If a plane has been allowed to take off and then hits bad weather conditions, its most likely that the plane will be delayed, it might even have to land at a closer airport, which means the next flight out will have to be cancelled. If your flight has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions, you may be able to claim compensation.

Even with bad weather conditions there are rules, as to what criteria you come under to be able to place a claim. If for example the weather has been an irregular circumstance, then you may not come into the criteria of being able to claim as it is out of the control of the airlines.

If the flight has been cancelled due to Air Traffic Control, it also may be difficult to claim compensation. However, you may be able to speak to the airline to see if there may be any entitlement to care assistance, overnight accommodations and meal deals.

It has been known of compensation claims to be won due to extreme weather conditions.

When you are looking to claim compensation for a cancelled flight, it depends on different factors. The actual amount that you can claim can depend highly on the airports that you are flying from and too, as well as the notice the airline gave you for the cancellation.

If you are flying between EU airports, there is a chance that you could be entitled up to €600, of course this will also depend on what has happened for the flight to be cancelled.

If you were given notice about the cancellation within more than 14 days of the departure date, there will be no possibility of claiming compensation. However, you would be due a refund on your ticket. If you were given notice anywhere between 7 and 14 days before the scheduled departure date, you would be entitled to claiming compensation against the airline, as well as a reroute and a refund on your original flight.

With these types of cancellations, you could be looking at anywhere between €125 & €600 in compensation.

What if your flight was cancelled in less than 7 days before the scheduled departure date?

Well, this could depend highly on how big the inconvenience was for you. It doesn’t matter why the airline cancelled the flight, whatever the reason, you will be entitled to a full refund on your ticket as well as a reroute. If you are not able to get a new flight to the destination you wanted with the airline who cancelled the flight in the first place, you are eligible to claim compensation.

People who claim compensation against the airlines under these particular circumstances could win anything between €125 & €600.

Flight cancellations that have happened because of Air Traffic Control strikes and airport staff strikes could be accepted for a compensation claim. However, this has not yet been accepted into the Regulation, so there is not a certainty on clients winning this type of claim. Never say never, it could always depend on the reasoning of the strike and could go on and be heard in court for a decision to be made.

Have you ever thought about the companies that roll the stairs up to the plane to let you on and off, the food companies that deliver the food to the planes, and all the other companies it takes to make sure the flight runs smoothly? What happens when they don’t all work together? Things definitely go wrong.

We call these companies, third party companies and even though they are a third-party company, which means they have nothing to do with the airline, and something happens between them and the airline, which means the airline is delayed or has to cancel the flight, then you could again be eligible for compensation.

Airline staff and crew issues can be a huge factor when it comes to making the aircraft run smoothly and on time. Many times, the crew are forced to work through their breaks, especially if there have been delays and/or problems, they work day in and day out on planes full of people who are ill, and not forgetting the change in temperatures throughout the flight. All these factors can make the crew ill, which can leave the airline understaffed. If the airline is too understaffed, this is considered a safety issue, and the airline can be forced to cancel the flight. Generally, the airline should have crew on standby but if they cannot get replacements and the flights are cancelled then you will be eligible to claim compensation.

When catching any flight, we should know that there is always a chance for technical difficulties. Technical difficulties on an aircraft have been accepted under the 261 Regulation, which means that at any time a plane has to be cancelled due to a technical difficulty, the clients will be able to put in a claim for compensation.

Being put on a different airline, after your plane has been cancelled, can be a great relief for many

customers. Even if you are going to be delayed reaching your destination, at least you are getting there. This however doesn’t mean that you should just be grateful to be getting your holiday, if you have been messed around like this from your airline then you are entitled to claim compensation. As long as your new flight is arriving 3 hours later than your original flight was supposed to land at your destination.

Lansdown Financial are happy to help any clients who may be struggling to know if they are entitled to claiming compensation on their cancelled flights.

Call us now on 01483 478 251 or visit www.LansdownFinancial.co.uk

The FCA are taking over

In June of 2016 the government announced how the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) would be regulating CMCs (claims management companies) from April of 2019.

The FCA have explained how they propose to supervise firms with authority, so CMCs can follow all the steps to be able to reach the FCA’s regulations. With the FCA taking over, there will be a new approach for any claim’s management company, being able to centre their attention on managing and advancing consumer protection. According to the FCA, the goal is for the CMC’s to be trusted by consumers and provide good, high quality services where clients will feel comfortable in perusing their claims.

When following the rules and regulations formed by the FCA, CMC’s will be required to provide their customers with documents that contain essential information including an overview of any fees that will be charged to them, including alternative fees such as; ombudsman services, and a review with all services provided. No contracts will be agreed until all documents have been provided and read.

Claims companies who are already approved by the MOJ (Ministry of Justice), will been granted temporary authorisation to join the FCA. They are looking at taking over around 1,700 CMCs this year alone.

There are complaints being made about CMCs which, at present claims management companies are being regulated by the Claims Management Regulator. After the FCA has taken over these complaints will be handled by them.

When the law was changed for the FCA to take over the claims management companies, it also made changes for firms who are already regulated. These would be claims management companies for instance who are located in Scotland, as this is the first time they would have been monitored. Companies who only handle claims with section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act would also be entering regulation for the first time.

When entering the FCA regulations, claim companies will be able to get temporary permission through the FCA’s application system which will have to be done before March 31st, 2019. This will allow companies to carry on trading using their CMC permissions while their permissions are being authorised.

Claims management companies will have to apply and once they have, they will be allocated two different application periods;

April through to May 2019 is for CMCs who only deal with financial products and service claims and for CMC regulation.

Application 2 will be from June through to July, for CMCs who do claims products work and lead generation as well as CMCs that operate in all other sectors.
Once the claim companies have registered for their temporary permissions, and from the 1st of April 2019, all companies will be required to comply with the FCA standards and regulations. Any companies who do not comply, will face action.

For the companies who have applied for their temporary permissions, the FCA will be able to dictate what regulated activated the firms decide to do. There are 6 sectors in which the FCA regulate and if there are any specific concerns, they may have about any claims company, they are permitted to limit the amount of work for that company. They will be able to stop them working on claims from certain sectors as well as holding client’s monies etc.

The FCA have many rules and regulations that must be followed by all CMC’s. Many of their rules are similar, and some even the same as the existing, however there are some new ones, as well as some that may have been changed. With the strict regulations one of the new rules are; CMC’s will now have to keep records of all recorded calls for at least 12 months.

There are a lot of firms out there who will not be able to abide by the rules and regulations, and once firms have been authorised by the FCA, they will be checked upon regularly to make sure all standards re being kept. This also entails visits to the companies.