Financial watchdogs are warning consumers paying bills through the WeRe Bank that promises to write off their debts for free are not true.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed reports from disappointed consumers and confused commercial organisations have flooded in about the bank.
WeRe is a self-styled community bank and has generated the Re as a currency for members – but to get one they have to give the bank a promissory note for £150,000.
The bank does say the note will not be called in.
The problem for consumers paying their bills is the cheques are not a legitimate way of paying bills and shops, banks and other organisations are refusing to accept them.
Scooped up and destroyed
However, the bank says a member’s debts will be written off for free if they join the scheme.
“We do not believe anyone can repay their debts with a cheque from WeRe Bank,” said an FCA spokesman.
“Instead consumers are more likely to end up owing more as late charges and other sanctions stack up.”
The FCA explained that cheques are not legal tender, and anyone owed money is not obliged to accept the payment. They can demand you pay in cash.
The WeRe Bank web site insists that no consumer has a liability to repay any debt under common law since 1933.
“You cannot just do this yourself,” says the bank web site. “You must join us otherwise you will be scooped up and destroyed by the forces reigned (sic) against you.
Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide
Bogus adviser alerts on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site:
- Bank Capital-Investment Management – Mauritius
- Warren Global Group – Hong Kong
Warnings about bogus advisers – UK
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) web site has these warnings this week:
- Fix My Finances (Clone web site)
- Techkredit Limited T/A www.quickwage.co.uk (Clone web site)
- Baker Finch Partnership
- Jefferson Philips
- Fortress Credit Union Bank
Dealing with an unregulated firm
If you buy shares, save money or invest with an unregulated firm, you lose any protection offered by the Financial Ombudsman and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Broadly, you have no independent place to complain if the deal goes wrong and are unlikely to win any compensation.
Checking if a firm is regulated
Go to the Financial Services Register to check if a firm is regulated in the UK.
Reporting a suspected bogus adviser