Thursday, 6 June 2013

Duty of Care

US business school graduate, National Security Agency potential recruit, governmental consultant and author of The Economic Hitman, John Perkins, once said, “This Empire, unlike any other in the history of the world, has been built primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, though fraud...” and although he was speaking of the way in which the US miss sold debt to under developed countries to acquire political leverage and economic gain, endless investigations into the banking crisis would suggest the US  was not the only Empire to profit from economic manipulation, cheating and fraud.

However, despite revelations that widespread manipulation, cheating and fraud has been at home within the UK’s banking culture for many a year, not one high ranking executive or board member has faced criminal charges. Like the Economic Hit Men in Perkins book, highly-paid professionals have cheated the nation out of trillions while the Parliamentary Banking Commission’s outrage has endorsed the public face of our government. However, behind closed doors, evidence suggests the leverage of the all powerful banskters has neutralized political and regulatory muscle and in so doing created an untouchable elite who still enjoy the benefits of the obscene and exceptionally lucrative carrot without fear for the consequence of the stick.

 As a result of this unspoken rule of thumb it is clear a miss selling complaint such as mine represents little more than a minor irritant to the minions of the corporate con-men who remain practiced in the art of denial.

It has been,

After hours of wading through reams of screen prints and under writing notes, I have now learned (according to HBOS),
  • My husband is a professional sportsman
  • We are owner/occupiers of a large house without a mortgage
  • Neither HBOS or their surveyors owe a Duty of Care to customers with remortgages.
Knowing full well my husband has never been a sportsman (professional or otherwise) and the place I call home has not only been owned by our landlords family for decades but been rented to us for the past four and a half years, I was suspicious HBOS’s claims regarding their obligations to provide Duty of Care might prove equally fictitious.

Further investigations have revealed,
  • My conveyance was carried out by HBOS’ in house solicitor as was my survey and this situtaion may well constitute a conflict of interest in both cases
  •  A surveyor cannot produce a valuation inspection report without liability, as their code of conduct indemnity insurance does not permit an opinion to be given without responsibility.

  • A fee free remortgage submitted by a broker does not permit a lender to abdicate from their responsibilities to provide a Duty of Care.

In 2011 Lloyds Banking Group “set out a new vision and strategy to be the best bank for customers...[and promised to be] a more transparent organisation that delivers”. However, if my own case is anything to go by, HBOS, who now reside under the umbrella of Lloyds, have demonstated no plans to deliver anything but hogwash to me and the only strategy they seem to have embraced has been to send me a constant stream of inaccuracies and denials for the past five years.

In the words of American foundling father, principal author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, “The eyes of our citizens are not sufficiently open to the true cause of our distress. They ascribe them to everything but their true cause, the banking system” and while this may well have been true of my perceptions before our financial demise, this particular citizen has certainly had her eyes opened to the unscrupulous and negligent business practices of HBOS now.

Here's hoping documenting my battle with HBOS and posting it via my blog on the internet helps open the eyes of a fair few more!


  1. Keep up the pressure Caroline. The more people that understand HBOS and other banks and banksters can't be trusted - at any level - the better. Whether it is conspiring to fix LIBOR or 'do over' a simple mortgage account holder they are only in it for personal benefit.

    1. As ever Ashley, thanks for your continued support. I was once told my case would probably turn on a sixpence and if this is to be the case, I would really like it to be on this duty of care issue. It riles me to think a lender is perfectly comfortable telling the Financial Ombudsman Service they do not have a duty of care when entering into a remortgage contract and knowingly writing remortgage business without exercising a duty of care makes them nothing short of tricksters and con men/women.