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ombudsman news

issue 38

July 2004

about this issue

In past issues of ombudsman news we have looked at some of the problems that can arise when consumers make payments by cheque and by plastic card. This time we take a look at the UK's systems for making regular payments by standing orders and direct debits. We highlight the differences between the two payment systems and provide some recent case studies - illustrating where things can sometimes go wrong.

Over the past year we have seen a small but steady increase in the number of investors referring complaints to us about market value adjustments (MVAs). Also known as "market value reductions", MVAs are reductions that firms sometimes make to the value of with-profits investments. We outline the types of complaints we are receiving about MVAs and provide a selection of recent case studies.

Finally, following on from our insurance article last month, we provide some case studies illustrating how we have dealt with some of the complaints we have received involving the theft of a car when the keys were left in it, or on it.

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.