Thursday, 22 November 2012

Literature, Legacies and Legislation

American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly line process Henry Ford once said, “Speculation is only a word covering the manipulation of prices instead of the supply of goods and services” and with an ever lengthening list of criminal practices assembling on the global doorsteps of our errant bankers, it is easy to believe dubious business initiatives embracing a sales rather than service culture have been the modus operandi by which the banking elite have manipulated their way into a life of excess and affluence.

Yet, after decades of the exploitation of financial deregulation to secure profits at any price, CBI chief John Crickland is keen to point out now is not the time to seek payback for all those who have fallen foul of this relentless reign of economic plundering.  Instead he believes we should focus on how best to prevent this legacy of banking fraudulence from coming home to roost. Not only is he calling for legislation to place time limits on claimants who have been miss sold PPI but he also believes people who have suffered Libor related losses should be legislatively discouraged from bringing cases against the culprits for fear the costs of compensation will be impossible to deliver.

However, seemingly unperturbed by either lobbyists worries or recent reports that sixty six billion pounds of bank bailout debt is unlikely ever to be repaid, some of the very same individuals who condoned both Libor manipulation and the miss selling of ever increasing numbers of financial products are still, with the endorsement of their regulators and the law, misrepresenting their forty billion pound toxic loan books to disguise their losses while enjoying sizable rewards for failure. Furthermore, despite austerity led postponement of UK retirement dates along with reduced pension incomes (current and future) for the majority, these morally challenged individuals are also to have a comfortable share of a combined pension fund amounting to in excess of one hundred and four million pounds. Fortunately for them a sum of this magnitude will provide individual annuities of several hundred thousand pounds of indexed retirement income per year.

In contrast, all I can show for the past four years of endless communication with a bank which has already been fined 3.5 million pounds for the miss handling of 45% of its complaints, is £500 in compensation from the Financial Ombudsman for their own miss handling of my case and a half page letter from HBOS advising me they are finally about to investigate my miss sold mortgage.
However, if regulators remain adamant it is both difficult and inappropriate to prosecute banksters for their crimes and legislation continues to find ways to favor them above me, in the absence of resorting to getting those responsible round the throat and attempting to throttle the life out of them, I suspect it is will prove increasingly necessary for me to tweak my game.

To this end I plan to,

  • Contact Hilary Messer of RPW solicitors to explore the benefits of a mortgage miss selling class action
  • Speak to a mortgage miss selling claims firm to discuss both my eligibility and how best to quantify loss
  • Compile a list of "fictional" characters from the banking world on which to base my book.

Foundling father and third President of the United States Thomas Jefferson once said, “The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money” and despite enduring overwhelming frustration and a great deal of heartache at the hands of both the Halifax Bank of Scotland and the Financial Ombudsman Service, I must admit this last thought has left me feeling I know exactly what President Jefferson means.

Here's hoping some of my readers may be prepared to help me dish the dirt! 


  1. Good on you, Caroline!

    With no disrespect whatsoever intended to the brave men amongst us and those who have already fallen through this terrible time, so often it takes braver women to lead the charge. ;)

    There is no excuse for any Government that uses their legislative powers in this way - to deny justice and due compensation to those whom they promised to protect and serve.

    As I understand it, given the occasional distortions in media reports, in the US a private law firm, Spire, have mounted a class action against those who are suspected to have assisted or profited from this appalling theft from their victims.

    Iceland have paved a new direction by refusing to just take the damage from Banksters and are tracking them down and prosecuting them and previous government officials, from what I've read.

    South Africa's New Era are going through the judicial process for a more just situation.

    Money doesn't usually disappear - it has to go somewhere. Paper trails take time but are traceable for fresh eyes with the will to see and search where others haven't. Where did the money go?

    It is a higher duty of government to go find the money and bring it back to those who have been robbed.

    To simply say "it's too hard" in a situation that has damaged so many of their citizens is an admission of failure by any Government. It also spells the impending end of the rule by that Government in any Democratic society.

    IMF Australia are litigation funders. They took on Standard and Poors over misclassified investments and won. An appeal was mentioned.
    Last I heard IMF Australia were in discussion with others in Europe. Do you have litigation funders like this in the UK?

    The judicial system is there for the people to seek justice and fair treatment. The trick, as always, is knowing how to use it to best advantage.
    I wish you every success with the Class Action!

    In the end the sheer size of the multiple misconducts may come down to a form of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But first, the Truth must come out.

    Please keep us posted on your progress - watching with great interest as you go onward and upward.

    Fortune favours the brave!

  2. How sad to hear those who should know better making excuses for those who committed acts of serial/criminal stupidity. Whatever next; making excuses for those who rape and kill because the victims deserved it?

    We don't need or want a truth and reconciliation commission. What is needed is an aggressive and well supported investigation and on the assumption sufficient evidence to charge is discovered that prosecution takes place. This is what civilised societies do - however we (the West) seem all too willing to 'forgive' white collar 'victimless' crime. Here in NZ a piece of disturbing academic research has just been published (Victoria University) where fraud offences were categorised by value of the fraud and the socio-economic status of the offender. The average fraud of the blue collar worker (typically benefit fraud) involved around $75,000 and the sentence circa 4 years. White collar crime involved $250,000 (mostly embezzlement) average and the sentence - home detention. It says it all really. People like us (PLUs) get away with it...

    Keep up the good work Caroline.