Monday, 8 October 2012

Malice, Manipulation and Aforethought

American business magnet, investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet once said, “Economic medicine that was previously meted out by the cupful has recently been dispensed by the barrel. These once unthinkable dosages will almost certainly bring on unwelcome after-effects” and, as is the case with so many victims of the current global economic crisis, it seems unwelcome after-effects are precisely what those of us who have suffered at the hands of fraudulent banksters are expected to endure.

It is now fast approaching three weeks that I have been waiting for a response to my letter accusing the Financial Ombudsman Service of favoring Halifax Bank of Scotland in their investigative practices. It seems I am, along with numerous other victims of banking malfeasance, not only expected to swallow said "economic medicine" by the barrel but feel heartily reassured in the knowledge that the very same people who stripped us of our livelihoods and our homes have now, under the watchful eye of our regulators, kicked their culture of greed into touch and will henceforth be operating with our well being at the very core of their corporations.  Now pious and reformed after inadvertently relieving their customers and the global economy of trillions we, the voiceless general public, are urged to believe the following.

     ·        Rewriting the banking codes of conduct will protect us

     ·        Prosecuting banking fraud is neither desirable, practical or good for the economy


·        New legislation along with revised incentive packages will thwart any bankster’s fraudulent inclinations in the future.

However, if my personal experience of battling with the banks for the past four years is anything to go by, nothing could be further from the truth. In the real world customer well-being is definitely not paramount and irresponsible banking is unlikely to be a thing of the past when I am regularly told by financial regulators,

    ·        Flaunting banking codes of conduct are perfectly permissible as adherence to      them is optional

    ·        Prosecuting a bank is nigh on impossible because it is too difficult to prove intent

    ·        Duty of customer care is not a requirement in law

In the real world, a far off place banksters and their puppet regulators rarely visit,

·        Anglo Irish Bank’s “insane recklessness” not only contaminated the underwriting policy of fellow lenders but was pivotal to a property crash which lost millions of people their homes, their livelihoods, their pensions and in some cases their lives. Needless to say not one iota of reform or regulation has provided restitution for those who paid the price of a calculated manipulation of the property market for elitist personal gain.

In the real world,

·        Loyal Royal Bank of Scotland's commercial borrowers continue to fall victim of “knavish manoeuvres” expressly designed to hijack their assets. By shifting billions in commercial debt and concealing losses via balance sheet manipulation, RBS's bad loans and liabilities have been miraculously transformed into the assets CEO Stephen Hester so desperately needs to successfully implement his recovery programme.

In the real world,

Libor manipulation is not just inappropriate conduct which the banking industry and their regulators have been fully aware of from as early as 1990's , but a manipulative rouse to steal people's hard earned cash and escape unpunished to bask in the profits.

·   And, in the real world,   

·        HBOS are perfectly at liberty to willfully neglect their duty of care, over-sell a discounted, interest only mortgage secured against a family home they vastly overvalued, exclude me from all discussions from the outset, start repossession proceedings without making me aware the loan was in distress, ignore my offer of rental income to service the interest, force a sale which created a £217,000 shortfall and hound me for the re-imbursement of a deficit which came about as a direct result of their highly dubious business ethics and wanton recklessness.

Nineteenth century Civil war veteran and American political leader Robert Green Ingersol once said, “Happiness is not a reward-it is a consequence and suffering is not a punishment but a result” however, if those whose greed resulted in our suffering remains unpunished and regulators are increasingly happy to repackage captured reforms as a solution to an economic crisis which has left millions in financial purgatory, I suspect suffering is destined to be both the consequence and the result for a great many victims of banking criminality for the foreseeable future.

I sincerely hope I am wrong.


  1. Without adequate, appropriate and consistent enforcement against wrongdoers there is no reason to believe that the Banks will cease their illegal and unfair practices.
    It sounds like the UK situation is in the early days of reform.
    The people must stand up to FOS, the government and the financial sector and continue to communicate with them clearly as to what is needed, quite specifically. Consistency is the key, as are numbers of supporters. I do know how tiring that can be. An organised campaign can achieve a lot in a relatively short time, as it most likely will in Australia as well. Our mainstream media have been helpful and supportive in bringing our stories to public awareness. We are regularly in touch with our parliamentary representatives to ensure that they are getting the message, even if they are rather wary about taking strong action yet. We are awaiting the report from the Senate Inquiry into Post GFC Banking - there are some brave politicians who are willing to ensure that the Law is applied to bank staff without delay. Something seems to have been missing from the Banking fraternity's logic: Fraud is Crime. Apparently they and the regulators had forgotten! It is quite incredible to realise what an upside down world we have been living in!
    Like you, I fell into this dark side of banking and the financial world with no warning - my investment income turned out to be a investment fraud. Our corporate regulator continued to collect data from my updates but failed to give me a real reply for 9 months of wasted time. That was just one part of my Financial Services and regulatory education.
    Like Alice down the rabbit hole I entered a previously unseen world of cynicism, abusive banking staff conduct, harassment, total disrespect, and treatment as if I were a criminal - all the evil and unconscionable treatment that is meted out to the credit defaulter regardless of the cause with no thought by the credit providers as to the possible serious consequences of their actions.
    After enduring this treatment to the point of collapse, as I never mastered the art of not taking them seriously, I was fortunate to firstly receive assistance from a Financial Counsellor and then to find Denise Brailey from the Banking and Financial Support Association, a consumer activist group providing education, direction and badly needed 'self-help' support to borrowers and others who had been caught up in Australian Banking Loan Fraud in its many manifestations. I now have a guarded optimism that I may come through this situation alive, sane and maybe even with my home.
    I'm so impressed with your persistence over the 4 years of dealing with this Bankster, regulatory and government insanity. I hope that I can also find a liveable life after all this is over where I may actually relax and feel safe and happy once more.
    Thankyou for chronicling your experiences. I look forward to further hope and inspiration from your blog.
    Best wishes

    1. Dear Lisa,
      For some reason I was not alerted to your comments on my post and for this reason was not prompted to reply until now. Sorry to hear you too have experienced the consequences of banking fraud but it seems you have done better than I have by securing the support of an organisation to assist you. Sadly in the UK many of us are still trying to work out precisely what piece of banking skullduggery cost us our homes and our livelihoods while those at the center of the banking crisis remain intent on keeping the details out of the public domain and pretending to implement financial reform. I battle on in the hope that I will eventually be able to piece together enough information to take my UK bankster HBOS to task but at present I am finding my quest for substance on which to rest my case is proving not dissimilar to looking for a needle in a haystack. Thank you for your kind and supportive words. It helps to know I am neither alone in my endeavors or unheard.
      Yours gratefully LAD