Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Great Expectations

When American novelist Nicholas Sparks said, “I’ve often over-estimated what I could accomplish in a day [but] under-estimated what I could accomplish in a year” he portrayed my own expectations in the role of a one woman debt fighting machine precisely and it did not occur to I would still engaged in a battle for the facts behind my families financial demise four whole years later.

Despite a background in financial services and one hundred and thirty six years of industry experience amongst my immediate relatives, I was unable to comprehend the logic of the way HBOS chose to deal with the suffering and hardship of my family during the banking crisis of 2008. This only made me all the more determined to embark on a quest for as much information about HBOS as I could possibly lay my hands on.
At first I believed I was alone in my distress; my research soon revealed nothing could have been further from the truth. While I had been consumed by the shock of our financial demise and the effect it was having on my children, the media had been awash with the devastation bankster's criminal avarice had reaped on the global economy. Initially hoping government promised rescue packages, interest rate cuts and lenders forbearance combined with a substantial offer of rental income to service our mortgage would begin to ease our difficulties, it soon became clear HBOS had no intention of behaving with compassion or forbearance and were instead intent on recapitalising their coffers with the forced sale and repossession of many people’s residences including our own.
Once my home was no longer mine, I was convinced HBOS would, like 80% of the other banks my husband owed, write off the £217,000 shortfall created by their fire sale when I and the CAB reminded them of our dire financial circumstances. Sadly, instead relentless pursuit at the hands of their debt collectors was the route HBOS chose so, with nothing further to lose and much to the delight of the CAB, my solicitor, several good friends and some very sympathetic bankers, I decided to go public by posting my story on the Internet.

A complete newcomer to blogging little more than a year ago and now the proud recipient of 10,000 page views, I originally embarked on my social media journey to expose HBOS’ brutish behaviour. However, during my subsequent voyage of economic discovery, I realised my suffering as a result of HBOS avarice was far from an isolated incident. Endemic of a light tough regulatory banking system which rewards greed, criminality and failure with untold wealth, the list of those on the receiving end of the bankster’s big stick was all but never ending.

Disillusioned with the reluctance of the FSA, FOS and the government to get to grips with widespread banking fraud I have, over the last year, documented every irrational and often sexist remark I have encountered from Lloyds, HBOS and their regulators during my campaign for a financial future. In the process I have learned the following.

And we must all,

Now, almost eighteen months since I first started writing about banking skulduggery, I am nothing short of delighted to hear the New Wilberforce Alliance has been launched to instigate change. Brain child of whistle blower Paul Moore, former head of HBOS risk management, this organisation promises to campaign for radical reform in our banking sector and a return to corporate values which embrace ecologically sound motives as well as moral ones. I wish every success to the honourable endeavours of the New Wilberforce Alliance and hope, with the help of its growing number of supporters, the volume is raised on the public’s repeated demands for a brighter and ethical future.
It is said, “When the world whispers, give up, when hope whispers, try one more time” and because I remain hopeful of a better future, not only for my family but for generations to come, Paul Moore has my whole hearted support.


  1. I started reading your blog earlier this morning. As a result my child is not yet dressed, the breakfast table has not been cleared, and we're all running very late. I am mesmerised by your story, by your strength and by the limits of your endurance. I cannot imagine how I would have coped in your situation. So impressed -- what a journey. Bravo.

  2. Thank you Sophie for your kind words of support. Knowing people are routing for me really helps me remain focused and strong. I am so pleased you have been mesmerised by my story and I have to confess writing it has regularly left my own table uncleared, my children undressed and all of us running very late!