CAB News 18 October 2019

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CAB News 18 October 2019

Friday 18 October 2019

As Boris Johnson attempts to win round MPs to his Brexit deal, ahead of what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the Commons tomorrow, one of our drop in centres for EU residents applying for settled status has featured on a regional tv news programme.

National

Immigration

Drop in centre to apply for EU settled status

The Granada Debate, 17/10/2019, (about 3’25” into clip)

Rebecca Potts-Jacobs from Citizens Advice Bury and Bolton has been interviewed by The Granada Debate on itv in the north west.

Rebecca was shown working at a drop in centre for EU citizens seeking settled status. She said to say people were “anxious” about the effects of Brexit was “an understatement.”

“I’ve had clients who are very, very upset,” said Rebecca. “It is affecting people’s lives, massively.”

Debt

Celebs ‘irresponsible’ for promoting debt firm

The Sun Online, 11/10/2019, Hollie Borland

Our advice on how to manage debts has appeared on The Sun’s website. The paper listed our top six tips for taking action on large amounts of debts. It also urged people who were struggling to seek our help to prioritise and negotiate with creditors.

The advice appeared in an article highlighting what the paper called the “insta-sham” of celebrity social media posts offering prizes or cash for signing up with a private debt management company.

Fraud

Cyber fraud techniques evolve into confidence trick arms race

Finaniclal Times, 14/10/2019, Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan

‘Spear phishing’ and other sophisticated new scams are the subject of an article in the Financial Times examining how social engineering techniques are being used by fraudsters.

As the public has grown more wary, fraudsters have raced to catch up, resulting in a confidence trick arms race.

“Not only are we seeing online scams become more prevalent, they’re also becoming more sophisticated,” Gillian Guy told the paper.

Insurance

Millions of loyal customers ‘overpay on car and home cover’

BBC News, 04/10/2019,

The BBC News website covered the Financial Conduct Authority’s interim report on the car and home insurance market by featuring someone we’d helped to get a better deal for his elderly mother.

Paul, from Staffordshire, said: “She is an 89-year-old lady and doesn’t have the capacity to sort all of that out herself. I feel like she’s been cheated. And I think it seems like common practice, to rip off the people who are most vulnerable.”

Gillian Guy said “it’s great to see the FCA acknowledging that the insurance market isn’t working”.

But she cautioned that the FCA’s report set out proposals only. “The FCA must now follow through on these bold ideas to stop loyal insurance customers being penalised,” she added.

BBC Breakfast also spoke to one of our case studies. Diane said: “I thought I was getting a good deal, but this year my premiums went up to £3500.”

Watchdog considers ban on UK insurers charging loyalty premium

Financial Times, 04/10/2019, Caroline Binham

The Financial Times has also covered the FCA’s finding that the home and car insurance market “is not working well for all consumers.”

Gillian Guy told the paper:  “We’re especially happy to hear the regulator say that everything is on the table to make sure customers are getting a fair deal

“This includes tackling gradual year-on-year price increases and making companies automatically switch their customers to better deals.”

She added: “At the moment these are just proposals. The FCA must now follow through on these bold ideas to stop loyal insurance customers being penalised.”

The Sun also quoted Gillian in its coverage of the story.

Regional

Energy

The heating benefits you can get before winter sets in

The Liverpool Echo focused on the benefits available to help with energy costs.

Citizens Advice also highlighted a range of grants from charitable trusts, but told the paper: “When you apply for a grant, you’ll have to provide detailed information about your financial situation in your application.

“It could take a while to complete, and it might be worth getting help applying.

“Charitable trusts like you to show that you have received debt advice before you apply.”

Do I have to get a smart meter fitted?

Westmorland Gazette, 15/10/2019

Citizens Advice South Lakes answers a reader’s query about smart meters after their gas and electricity contract has come to an end.

Citizens Advice South Lakes says that it’s always worth shopping around and Citizens Advice has a tool on its website which shows how well suppliers perform on a range of measures, including customer service and price.

It advises that you don’t have to accept a smart meter. However, it might mean you’re not eligible for all the deals on offer, like cheaper tariffs.

In other news

Westminster rough sleepers evicted after complaint by Commons chaplain.

‘12,000’ Asda staff currently face sack in bitter contract dispute.

Unemployment figures should be millions higher, says research.