Nineteenth century philosopher and critical thinker Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance of things present which then mislead into error, nor by weakness of the reasoning powers, but instead by preconceived opinion, by prejudice” and there is little doubt in my mind that preconceived opinion played a major role in keeping the extent of banking criminality and its capture of our government from the wider audience for many a year.
Even now, after countless government inquiries, regulatory investigations and whistle blower revelations the “company line” along with that of outgoing governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, is to refer to banking crimes as system errors or mistakes and in so doing allow the culprits to remain at liberty while a molecular level of banking criminality continues to contaminate far and wide. Common sense and history tell us rewarding illegal behavior only encourages more of it yet in the absence of any deterrent or moral restraint, banksters have been permitted to wreak economic carnage while their regulators have refused to use the law to affect redress.
Invisible to the naked eye of regulatory enforcement and further aided by the preconception derived from a misplaced belief that banking integrity must still be inherent in the City, the light touch of deregulation has served only to pave the way for tantalizingly lucrative but nonetheless entirely illegal pastimes for those with sufficient power with which to implement them.
- Laundered money for drug cartels
- Laundered money for terrorists
- Sold toxic mortgage products
- Miss sold insurance products
- Misrepresented the nature of their loan books
- Disguised volatile investment products as low risk to off load their exposure
- Misrepresented their exposure to risk.
- Engaged in insider trading
- Manipulated markets, LIBOR and anything else they could lay their hands on.
- Participated in various Ponzi schemes and,
- Cooked their books to mislead the government, their regulators, their investors, their shareholders and the general public alike.
As a direct result of these crimes many people have lost their homes, their livelihoods and their financial futures. Prejudged by the banks and their henchmen to be scoundrels and wasters who are not prepared to face up to their responsibilities (rather than being acknowledged as victims of banking criminality) we have been left with only two options.
- To accept ruin at the hands of these scurrilous banksters and withdraw, with our families, to wait for the relentless persecution of their henchman.
- Fight for our futures with the assistance of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Having chosen the latter I have, over the past five years, become well versed in each and every guideline set down for the behavior of creditors during the complaints process. However, being privy to this information has made it no less distressing to discover the Halifax Bank of Scotland have chosen to instruct their debt collectors to initiate recovery proceedings for my disputed mortgage shortfall during the complaints process. Deeply troubled by actions which blatantly flaunt both regulatory and mortgage code guidelines, I have been nothing short of astounded to receive the Financial Ombudsman Service’s response to my request that they ask HBOS to suspend recovery action until my case has secured a Financial Ombudsman Service ruling.
This was their reply,
Dear [Life after Debt]...
“I have spoken with Bank of Scotland regarding the letters you provided and your statement that you are finding them distressing [however,] I must manage your expectations at this time ... to ensure you are fully aware of what we at this service can ask a business to do.
We are able to ask a business to suspend any litigation activity that it has started or intends to start while we investigate a complaint. However while we can ask the business to do this, there is no obligation for it to agree.
Financial Ombudsman Service Adjudicator
The executives of big banks invariably pretend wrong doing is only ever committed by one or two low level employees while both their personal and corporate objective is always to comply with financial regulators, financial guidelines and the law. However, when the truth reveals a bureaucracy such as the Financial Ombudsman Service has insufficient power to insist a lender comply with their own code of conduct and guidelines, I can only conclude there is little chance they will defy longstanding prejudice and preconception to flex their feeble musculature in support my over valuation and mortgage miss selling case.
Tennessee born Republican politician Ric Keller once said, "You can lead a bureaucrat to water but you can't make him think" and, if my own predicamnet is anything to go by, I can only assume this is precisely what our untouchable banksters have been counting on.