A letter that was addressed to Lloyds Banking Group was written by a group of MPs. They accused the company of treating the victims of a fraud that was carried out by members of the company’s Reading branch “with contempt.”
Today, MP Kevin Hollinrake, the chairman of the all-party group parliamentary group on fair business banking, wrote an open letter to Lord Blackwell, the chairman of the bank. He blasted the bank for its “arrogance” over its treatment of the victims of the fraud.
The said letter is referring to a fraud, which focused on the Reading division of HBOS. Last year, the said fraud saw six people put in jail for a total period of 47 years.
Hollinrake cited the bank of “victim-blaming” and initiating “attacks on the victim’s integrity” in connection to those who are attempting to seek some compensation for the fraud.
The MP said that the victims are being given “take-it-or-leave-it” offers for compensation, without being offered access to the methodology or the basis of the calculations.
The letter stated: “We have no trust in such an opaque process.”
The said fraud targeted the small businesses in the impaired assets division of the bank. The businesses were loaded up with unmanageable debt and their assets were stripped off when they were not able to pay.
Hollinrake said that the victims are being informed by Lloyds that their businesses were already the verge of failure and had no possible signs of hope of survival, despite the fact that the fraudsters were the ones who were deliberately driving the businesses into administration.
Hollinrake also wrote a letter that was addressed to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City watchdog, to inquire regarding the authority that it had to intervene in the process of compensation.
A Lloyds spokesperson stated: “We are in regular dialogue with Kevin Hollinrake and the APPG. The customer compensation review was set up to deliver swift and fair compensation to customers. It considers any losses that customers have suffered and also the distress and inconvenience that they experienced from their first dealings with those now convicted of criminal offences, and since.”
He added: “All offers are reviewed and approved by the independent reviewer who considers the very specific circumstances of each individual customer’s case. The group has paid for all customers to take independent legal advice before entering into any settlement agreement.”