The PPI claims scandal has become the biggest scandal to strike the financial industry. Customers throughout the country filed nearly half a million claims for payment protection insurance in 2012 alone. The Financial Ombudsman Service said that around 90% of those claims are upheld. They have cost the banks nearly £560 million. Individual claims can be calculated using a ppi calculator.
Cost of PPI Claims to Banks
- The payout for a payment protection insurance claim varies considerably. Factors that affect the claim include:
- Premiums for the insurance
Interest on the loan
- How long the consumer held it for
Some PPI claims have been worth more than £40,000. However, the typical payout is approximately £3,000. The FOS reports that for every 10 people who file a claim the banks will need to pay between £25,000 and £50,000 in restitution. This has been extremely expensive for many of the country’s largest banks.
Banks Trying to Avoid Charges
The PPI payouts have been a large financial burden for the banks. Many banks are trying to reduce their losses by denying many of the claims that have been filed. Lloyds recently came under fire for refusing to pay claims that may have been caused by fraudulent sales tactics. They also allegedly denied claims filed by PPI claims companies, such as PPI Claims And Advice.
Customers with legitimate claims have filed claims with the Financial Ombudsman Service instead. This has created a large backlog of claims because the FOS has been largely understaffed. The Financial Conduct Authority feels that the way the banks have handled these claims has been unacceptable.
New Policies from the FCA
The new agency is creating stricter policies that they will need to follow. Last month they told the banks that they needed to begin processing claims much more quickly. They said that the banks will need to process all backlogged claims by the end of August.
A spokesperson from the FCA hopes this will alleviate the burden on the FOS and help customers get the money they are entitled to. However, the banks may have difficulty reaching that deadline. They currently have a backlog of approximately 200,000 claims that they need to process.
Implications for the Banks
The banks are currently suffering some of their largest losses since the financial crisis. Most of them say that the problem has been caused by the PPI mis-selling scandal. The public doesn’t have much sympathy for them, but hope that they will be able to meet their obligations when the new claims are processed.
Prosecutors in Italy are questioning contractors that developed supposedly quake-proof buildings whether ‘foul play’ and heavy corruption was involved.
The 6.2 magnitude earthquake the previous week had claimed 292 lives form several medieval hill towns on Wednesday night. About 300 more are injured and thousands are left homeless amongst the rubble.
Magistrates in Rieti, near the epicenter of the earthquake in Amatrice, are questioning whether the funds pooled to reinforce buildings in the area to avoid the similar fate of 2009’s L’Aquila earthquake where used improperly.
An Amatrice school rebuilt just four years ago was completely shattered by the Wednesday earthquake.
“We are making checks on the companies which did previous rebuilding works after past earthquakes to understand who they were and what they did,” Giuseppe Saieva, Rieti’s chief prosecutor, said.
Italy is sitting on two faultlines with an estimated 22m people at direct risk of seismic activity. In the last 20 years it has seen four catastrophic earthquakes.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had vowed to introduce a new program that would need Italy to “change its mentality”.
The “Italy’s House” project would mean the reinforcement of buildings and infrastructure in Italy. Mr Renzi said he would involve politicians, trade unions, technical experts and building companies.
However, many question the feasibility of the spending plan as Italy is in worse debt and has a stagnant economy in the last few years.
Italy and the Netherlands had proposed to split a two-year term for their position in the UN Security Council after the two countries became tied for a non-permanent seat in the council.
After five rounds of voting at the 193-member UN General Assembly, neither of the countries can attain the two-thirds majority vote needed.
Each one of them received 95 votes in the previous round.
Meanwhile, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Sweden have secured their two-year council mandates in one of the most contested elections ever.
Italy said it was a ‘message of unity between the two European countries.’
A European diplomat said that it was a ‘truly European gentlemanly agreement.’
On January 1, all countries voted into their seats will start their two-year-term on the council on January 1. They would take their seats alongside five other council members including Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States.
Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay are also entering the non-permanent seats of the Security Council.
As it campaigned to be part of the security council, Italy showed itself as a crossroads country in the Mediterranean. It also said its ability to deal with the refugee crisis – which it handled by majority alone until other EU Countries came in for support.
Addressing a UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, The Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, had rejected the use of illegal drugs and the legalisation of use.
In his speech he pondered on the negative effects of illicit drug use on the family would extend from community to the possible massive destabilisation of modern civil society.
He called for providing support to people suffering from drug abuse as these can lead to depression and long-term sickness.
“The negative effect of illicit drug use on the family extends to the community, and leads ultimately to the destabilization of civil society,” he said.
“People suffering from drug abuse require all the support we can give them, including comprehensive health and social services that are accessible, effective and affordable,” continued Archbishop Auza.
“Not all crimes related to illicit drugs are of equal gravity. International drug traffickers, local pushers and drug users have to be treated differently according to the principle of proportionality,” – the Vatican diplomat added – “Disproportionate responses would be against the spirit of justice, and would not help in the rehabilitation of those who have become addicted to illicit drugs.”
For an entire year and a few months, several of Rome’s classic attractions underwent restoration and subtle improvements hidden behind scaffolding. One of these, the Trevi fountain, was hidden from public and tourist view.
The Baroque structure was restored to its full glory including all its details, down to the gold lettering above the fountain.
According to locals, the structure appeared cleaner and brighter. Officials had left it dirty for quite some time.
The Trevi fountain is set to reopen by the first week of November. Several of Rome’s ancient structures had 26 restorers checking everything from structural cracks, rusty steel supports and other areas that could be a repeat of 2012’s raining debris from the fountain.
Total Costs For Renovation
The costs for managing Rome’s Attraction’s restoration are quite high considering the low funding it receives as Rome and Italy is still within a financial crisis.
Private company and Fashion House Fendi donated €2.18 million to restore the old cultural structure. Fendi also funded other structures, including the city’s Le Quattro Fontane.
Other private companies, including jeweller Bulgari had donated €1.5 million to help restore Rome’s Spanish Steps. Tod’s Shoes Chairman Diego Della Valle had donated €25 million to help restore the Colosseum’s failing structure.
Rome’s City Hall is under close supervision by senior government executives due to an allegation that organised crime has deeply rooted in the local government.
A scandal dubbed “Mafia Capital” had seen multiple suspicions of rampant corruption used as an explanation for the city’s unmaintained public services and the inconsistencies of municipal account values.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s cabinet decided one of Rome’s 15 districts will be under the direct supervision of the government due to Mafia infiltration. Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino, while not investigated for any wrongdoing, is criticised for his lack of authority over organised crime and crime in general. He will be in charge of the remaining 14 districts.
Marino would not be in charge of the Holy Year celebrations due the following year. The government awards responsibility to Prefect Franco Gabrielli. The Holy Year celebrations is a high-profile, year-long event. Marino has not given his comments to the allegations or the relieve of duty for the Holy Year celebrations.
Marino had said the previous month that the city administration was in a ‘substantially-rotten’ state.
The “Mafia Capital” scandal had put up 59 defendants linked with activities of fraud and exploitation in Rome’s City Hall. They are due to be heard in court on November 5.
The EU’s request to use powdered milk when producing mozzarella is an outrage according to Buffalo Mozzarella producers in Italy.
Mozzarella is one of Italy’s top exports and is considered a very important symbol of Italy’s passion for natural produce.
The EU Letter, sent to the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, had asked for “an end to the ban on possession and use of milk powder, condensed milk and reconstituted milk” in the manufacture of dairy products. The EU justified the request as “a restriction on the free movement of goods.”
Coldiretti, representing most of Italy’sagricultural producers, said the EU was forcing the country to lower its standards on food.
It was not the first time the EU had set out a request for artificial ingredients on cultural delicacies. The EU had once allowed winemakers to increase their alcohol content using sugar.
Italian mozzarella producers are protected by a 1974 law that protects the quality of Italian produce, which includes the ban on powdered milk entry in the country.
Coldiretti believes that Italy’s reputation as a food producer would be damaged if they had allowed the entry of powdered milk in the country in replacement for their dairy products
In 2013, Justin Bieber earned an arrest warrant related to a 2013 assault claim in Argentina. As soon as he stepped down in Rome, he was halted by authorities as Argentina requested his detainment.
Apparently, Bieber had assaulted an Argentinian photographer during his stay.
Meanwhile, despite the call for arrest, Bieber was just under interrogation at his five-star hotel. He hasn’t been arrested… yet.
American news magazine TMZ confirmed that Justin Bieber is in an Interpol list for the outstanding arrest warrant in Argentina. Bieber ignored a November court summons, which coincides with a November 2013 date on his recent tour in Buenos Aires.
An Argentinian Photographer, Diego Pesoa, accuses the pop star of having his bodyguard seize the photographer’s camera forcefully, resulting in possible personal injuries.
In Argentina, personal injury could range from one month to six month imprisonment.
Despite the news, Bieber said all information about his Argentinian assault are rumours and nothing more.
Justin Bieber is to appear with a cameo role in the film Zoolander 2.
It wasn’t the first time Bieber had encountered problems with the law. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to less charges after he was found to have participated in an illegal drag race in Miami. For throwing eggs at his neighbour’s home, Bieber was sentenced to two years’ probation last year.
After France and Italy had breached its budget limits, effectively violating the EU budget rules, the European Commission had refused to make an example of France under the EU’s tougher budget regime.
Meanwhile, Italy had also been granted pardon after it quickly failed to reduce its debt level. Currently, Italy’s 133% debt is second only to Greece. It had been named one of the worst economies of 2014 in Europe.
According to EU Economic Chief and Former French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici, the commission was convinced it had to avoid a sudden correction that wouldn’t be easy to correct. According to him, it was a political commission taking decisions on the basis of objective information.
However, the commission hopes that the commission will maintain pressure against France and Italy to improve its economy effectively.
With five years of austerity-led economic policies, Eurozone sovereign debt is now expected to hit 94.4% of gross domestic product this year.
Italian President Mateo Renzi was seen by international and local politicians, including supporters of his advocacy as the “demolition man” who would introduce reforms and change the “old” system that has slowed down Italy’s progress. However, his government and cabinet had been involved in a series of organised crimes and public administration scandals.
Worse still, his reform agenda is progressing slowly, with resistant politicians still trying to hold the fort.
Renzi still argues his reforms are essential to help Italy gain international investment.
Italy’s government is still at negative growth with a 13.2% unemployment rate and a debt ratio of 132.6%. He has pushed the “Jobs Act” labour reform designed to encourage local businesses and employees to take up occupations. However, Standard and Poor has downgraded Italy to a “BBB-“ rating.
The passing of the “Jobs Act” had been challenged by the opposition after the ‘Roma Caput Mafia’ involved 37 people with administrative roles in Italy had been arrested for Mafia-type crime that included traditional usury, bribery, extortion and money lending.
One Roman Godfather may have also attended a Renzi fundraising dinner in November. Labour Minister Giuliano Poletti had been seen having dinner with Mafia Boss Salvatore Buzzi.
Italy has yet to see how Renzi will handle everything that is happening and how he could reverse the negative progress that it had contributed to Italy.
Rome City Mayor Ignazio Marino had registered 16 same-sex marriage celebrated aboard the city hall registers. However, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that his marriages were considered invalid because it was unconstitutional.
Mayor Marino hoped that “this will become a normal day.” He posted photos of himself wearing the mayor’s sash in between some newly-wed couples and their families inside city hall. On another post, he said “how could you not call this love?”
However, Alfano said through his own social media account that Alfano’s transcriptions were invalid. He said that the Italian constitution makes it impossible to marry two people of the same gender. Alfano stressed that Marino’s signature is not a substitute for law. He even called it an “autograph.”
Alfano also stressed in his interview with local Roman news radio RTL that city authorities must cancel the same-sex registrations or government representatives will step in and annul them.
However, Mayor Marino insisted that “people opposed to the transcriptions probably live in the wrong century” in the Corriere della Sera.
Same-sex marriage is legitimate in some states of the US, the UK and France. These new laws have been constitutionalised in such countries. Without Italy’s consideration, all marriages in cities are invalid.