HOW WILL THIS CRAZY YEAR END?
2017 certainly goes down as one of the most extraordinary years of my life.
Early in the New Year I learnt that my former HBOS bank manager and his superior, along with corrupt associates, had been jailed for almost 50 years.
Judge Beddoe at Southwark Crown Court had hardly finished announcing the sentences when my phone began to melt and my email became clogged as friends and business associates all wanted to know my future intentions.
The answer was made very simple with the announcement by Lloyds Bank chief executive Antonio Horta Osorio that Lloyds took full responsibility and appropriate compensation would swiftly be paid to the victims. How very simple everything seemed last Spring.
Now that we are deep into Autumn my life is anything but simple.
Lloyds Bank has reneged on their promise to provide all the victims of what was described as “the U.K.’s worst banking crime” with ‘swift and fair’ compensation. Their Chairman lied at the AGM on May 8th when he said compensation would be paid “in weeks not months” and now the Lloyds’ puppet Russel Griggs claims that he warned Lloyds that their promises were unrealistic.
Griggs is the living embodiment of all that is wrong in the upper echelons of our society. He claims that he’s independent but he’s previously worked for Lloyds as a consultant and was selected by Lloyds, contracted by Lloyds and is handsomely remunerated by Lloyds. So much for independence! Oh, and apparently he has past links to one of the criminals-oops.
Lloyds then raised victim’s expectations by setting June 30 as the final date for the completion of all compensation payments. Of course they had no intention of fulfilling this promise.
My lawyers wrote to Lloyds back in April requesting a meeting with Antonio Horta Osorio and Chairman Lord Blackwell. My intention was to discuss with them the plight of a number of victims and in my own case reach a ‘fair and swift’ negotiated settlement. Both these men refused to meet me.
My lawyers then made a 60-page submission to Lloyds in which my case was clearly explained. Of course this should have been a totally unnecessary process because Lloyds have a wealth of documentation they’ve been concealing for over a decade. I use the word ‘concealing’ because even the police have found it very difficult to get Lloyds to cooperate.
I was offered the opportunity to take part in the Griggs Review process. It’s worth noting that Nikki and Paul Turner, who so doggedly pursued justice and without whom there would have been no trial, have refused to be part of the Review process. They claim it is biased totally in Lloyds favour and conducted in such secrecy that a fair resolution for all victims is an impossibility. I couldn’t agree more but I decided to cooperate in order to better understand the Lloyd’s management culture.
By now I had realised that the directors, executive directors and senior managers of Lloyds banking group could not be trusted.
What is said to the media is purely Lloyds’ propaganda. They have their own agenda sanctioned at the very highest level of the bank. Cold-hearted, self-serving men and women who believe themselves to be above the law have created this agenda and the accompanying process behind which they hide.
Realising the Lloyd’s process was designed to raise hopes, which would then be worn down by deliberate delaying tactics in order to make victims accept derisory compensation payments-‘ better than nothing after all these years’-I decided to adopt a process of my own. This is running separate to the legal process I am undertaking.
I launched a website banklloyds.claims aimed directly at the Lloyds senior management. The site originally contained a Countdown Clock to the June 30 deadline but now that’s passed the clock counts up the months, weeks and days since Antonio Horta Osorio made his promise to the victims.
I also created a social media platform on Facebook- Lloyds Liars, a dedicated radio station (accessed through the posiradio app) and a YouTube TV channel- Lloyd’s Victims.
I’ll shortly post the traffic figures for my digital operations.
In June I was invited to a meeting with Andrew Bester CEO of Corporate Banking at Lloyds. Mr Bester then couldn’t make the meeting (he has subsequently left the bank-why?) and I met instead Lloyds Chief Operating Officer Adrian White and their senior in-house lawyer Melissa La Hood. I agreed the contents of the meeting would remain confidential (for now!) but I can say that Mr White persuaded my lawyer and me that in order to achieve a ‘swift’ resolution of my claim it was better for me to supply a more detailed submission to the Griggs review.
It was during this process that my lawyers and accountants were able to more accurately assess the scale of my losses and when this information was presented to Lloyds (I repeat they have all of this documentation but they refuse to hand it over) Adrian White promptly threw me out of the Review process!
Mr White on August 8 suggested a legal mediation was the most appropriate way forward and promised this would take place “without delay”. This next stage in the Lloyd’s process will now not take place until November!
Bearing in mind that Lloyds have all my case files related to the HBOS strategy to bleed my businesses of money, force them into administration and then pursue me through the High Court for millions of pounds, they’re obviously hoping to wear me down. Well, their strategy is not working and it will never work because if necessary, supported by the litigation funding I have already been offered, I will take them to court.
As an aside, if you have your own money in Lloyds bank or are an investor or shareholder you should be aware that if all the impending legal actions against Lloyds succeed, if all the compensation claims are settled and the regulatory fines are paid- Lloyds bank will go bust. No longer a problem for taxpayers but not very good news for the UK with all the Brexit stuff.
I have absolutely no doubt that Antonio Horta Osorio, his sidekick Juan Colombas, his Chairman Lord Norman Blackwell and their Gruppenfuhrer White are waiting for me to run out of steam. But since the series of articles in the Mail on Sunday and my interview on ITN, the momentum for justice has been accelerating.
I am now receiving a constant flow of information from whistleblowers and disaffected Lloyds bank employees. I have seen documents that (to this layman) suggest orchestrated criminal activities within both the Lloyds Bristol office and the London HQ. This should be of particular concern to the Lloyd’s Liararchy as it suggests the Reading crime was most certainly not an isolated incident.
I’m looking forward to meeting wonderful Dave Fishwick- famous for creating the Bank of Dave- who contacted me as did Lawrence Tomlinson, who created the 2013 report into RBS’ handling of SMEs in the GRG, and dropped in by helicopter.
Last week I had a very positive meeting with Detective Supt Nick John and his colleagues at Thames Valley police headquarters. I am hugely grateful for the compassionate way they received my evidence, which included additional banker names that I believe, should be thoroughly investigated.
Filming for the Channel 4 documentary continues and I have further TV interviews planned for the coming weeks.
Whilst, my focus must be upon achieving the resolution of my own claim I remain confident that Lloyds banking group will soon have to change its approach to all the victims of past (and possibly present) criminality. The stories I now receive on an hourly basis are heart-breaking and horrifying in equal measure.
For example just yesterday morning I received two emails, which chilled me to the core. The first was from a lady in Somerset who in the early hours of the morning had been contemplating suicide but by some magical coincidence (if there really is such a thing) she found herself drawn to my story on the Internet. Realising so many similarities with my dark experience she found new optimism and energy. Through my agent John Miles she emailed me her gratitude.
Within a few hours we were having a lengthy telephone conversation and I’m delighted say that through the tears- on both sides- she now feels stronger and better able to face the challenges in her life. We have promised each other that we will keep in touch.
The second email was truly terrifying. A man recounted a brief story of the utter destruction that he has suffered at the hands of bankers. Nothing new there you may say. However, he revealed his intention to within the next 28 days go to his bank armed with a gun and commit suicide in front of the people who have destroyed his life.
I immediately contacted my local police, Avon and Somerset, and I commend them for the speed of their response. A few hours later they assured me that the man had now withdrawn his threat and was being cared for by friends and family. Once again heartfelt gratitude to the police.
So, I wonder what today will bring? I know that tomorrow I will attend the SME Alliance meeting and will no doubt hear more harrowing stories of not just the HBOS Reading crime but also the appallingly callous treatment of victims at the hands of Lloyds banking group.
What a year 2017 has turned out to be and still 3 months to go!