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,
- Five years since I first learned my mortgage was in arrears,
- Five months since I received HBOS' response to my claim that our mortgage was miss sold,
- Five weeks since I first asked for, and listed in detail, the information I require from HBOS to progress my complaint and
- Five days since I received what they tell me is their best attempt at providing me with all I have asked for.
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.
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.
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!