Michael Fabricant is the main sponsor of a Parliamentary Bill calling on
banks to offer greater protection to their vulnerable elderly customers.
The Banking Practices (Protection of the Elderly) Bill, introduced in
Parliament on Wednesday [by Conservative MP for New Forest East, Julian
Lewis], recommends three changes:
1. There should be a ban on ATM cash machine charges for pensioners
gaining access to the accounts in which they are now obliged to receive
2. Banks which operated the ill-fated Share Appreciation Mortgages
in the 1990s, which have left elderly people unable to sell their homes
without giving three-quarters of the increase in their value to their
banks, should be declared inequitable and the debts should be
rescheduled to impose only a reasonable rate of interest.
3. Banks should have in place software which will automatically
alert account managers, cashiers, and where appropriate relatives and
carers of elderly people about untypically large or frequent withdrawals
being made from a vulnerable client’s account – whether or not being
made by the account holder personally. This is to improve safeguards
against the activities of conmen and other criminals who prey on the
vulnerable and suggestible.
Michael says "As a Private Members’ measure, this Bill sadly will not
become law. However I believe it is important to register my approval –
along with Members of the other two major Parties – for the principles
behind it. We all know how much misery is caused by those who take
advantage of the vulnerability of the elderly."