The Financial Ombudsman has rejected complaints from Halifax customers over the lender’s decision to keep some existing borrowers on higher rates of interest, while offering better rates to new borrowers between March 2001 and February 2002.
The decision, in favour of the lender, has been made about a number of cases involving fixed and standard rate borrowers who also found themselves linked to a higher rate than new borrowers.
The Ombudsman ruled that if customers did not ask to switch to the cut-price rates when first available, then they were not entitled to compensation.
The ruling is the first in favour of a lender involved in the dual rates scandal. The lender views it as evidence the Ombudsman has drawn a line between customers who applied for compensation while dual rates were in operation and those who complained later.
Mark Hemmingway, spokes-person for Halifax, said: ‘We took the original ruling to mean compensation was due to both capped and discount customers and believe we have compensated all those who qualified.’
l A similar ruling has been made against Cheltenham & Gloucester customers who complained about the lender’s dual rate system after the rates were abolished.