Banks violate laws, say PIBA

FINANCIAL institutions are breaking consumer protection laws by monitoring account transactions, a group of financial brokers has claimed.

The Professional Insurance Brokers' Association (PIBA) said that some banks are using information from their customers' bank accounts to put them under pressure to switch to products sold by the banks.

A total of 76pc of brokers say consumers are being pressured to take out bank's in-house products in order to maintain overdraft and other loan facilities.

Direct debits going to other institutions are being identified by banks to persuade customers to change to the bank's own products.

PIBA chief executive Diarmuid Kelly said that the banks are "flagrantly violating consumer protection laws" by pressurising consumers who feel they have little choice because their credit facilities could be curtailed or withdrawn.