The miss-selling of insurance policies has been branded the UK’s ‘biggest financial crime’ by one expert this year. The PPI scandal that has engulfed banking has hit a payout total of £23bn to customers – a figure which could have funded the 2012 Olympics twice over – and the number of complaints about miss-sold life insurance recently rose 26% in just one year. Indeed, the Office of National Statistics has estimated that it wasn’t government policy or stimulus that kick-started Britain’s economic recovery in recent years – the ascent out of recession has come as a result of people spending their average payout of £2750.
With banks continually taking advantage of their customers, one consumer has decided to speak out in the most unusual and eye-catching way.
Christopher George was miss-sold life insurance and protection against a business loan by one of the world’s banking giants – and instead of simply claiming back the miss-sold amount and continuing to quietly use the financial behemoth’s services, he decided to get his own back. Mr George trademarked an online domain in the name of a very different kind of bank to seek his own brand of revenge. www.thehongkiongandshanghaibankingcorporation.com is now registered under Class 05 – a sperm bank. The domain – the real name of one of the world’s largest banks – is now associated with sexual stimulants and chemical contraceptives rather than loans and savings.
An investigation of the matter has found that the famous corporate has no grounds for complaint, due to the fact that no trademarks have officially been infringed. The case is a refreshing example of a consumer standing up for his own consumer rights and demonstrating that, though banks may have limitless funds and experienced lawyers, they are still open to this kind of retribution.
Mr George says, “The miss-selling of insurance over the past few years has been a total scandal, with billions paid out to wronged customers who should never have been out of pocket in the first place. Many of those who have claimed compensation for these issues have quietly accepted their payout and continued to bank with the provider in question – but my conscience lies in a different realm, and I couldn’t sit back while this leading bank took advantage of me and drained funds from my account.”
The episode played a part in the demise of Mr George’s business, and though he now has his finances in order, the registration of the domain name felt like a small step to righting this wrong.
Mr George’s example won’t be the last time a bank miss-sells a policy to a customer, and the disgruntled ex-customer hopes that his example will demonstrate that errors like these don’t have to be taken lying down.
To find out more about Mr George’s experience, please visit the website: http://www.thehongkongandshanghaibankingcorporation.com/