Banks Who Bleed Us Dry

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Byline: THE LAST WORD By Tony Hazell

BRITISH borrowers are being bled dry by banks seeking to boost their balance sheets. There has long been a suspicion that banks are pulling the wool over our eyes.

How can they justify charging 4 pc for a fixed-rate mortgage when Bank of England base rate is 0.5 pc and they pay just 0.23 pc on our savings? Banks have attempted to convince borrowers that mortgage rates are somehow the result of the costs of their borrowing. But the truth is revealed in research that we publish today. Our mortgages offer the worst value in the Western world.

The gap between bank base rate and the mortgage rate is vastly greater in the UK than in U.S., France and Germany. If banks in other countries can run tighter ships and lend at lower rates, it is time to ask: what is preventing ours from doing the same? Is it regulation, as they would have us believe? Or is it, as seems more likely, that they are both badly run and see homeowners as a handy crutch on which to lean their ailing businesses? It's little wonder that mortgage lending is at a 10-year low.

Banks are perpetrating a massive con trick on borrowers and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that our mortgage market is no longer working.

EVIL is a word that should be used sparingly -- held in reserve for the most malicious behaviour by those who form the detritus of our society. I have used it twice previously in 12 years of writing this column.

But there are those for whom it is the only adequate description. Today we expose the behaviour of an abhorrent band of low-life for whom the word evil is the only appropriate description.

They are the men and women who visit elderly people in their homes and pressure them into buying mobility aids at vastly inflated prices.

These people are without morals or scruples. They would cheat their own mothers, so yours does not stand a chance.

Trading standards departments around the country are cracking down on these bandits -- and Money Mail stands shoulder to shoulder with them. …