Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Yorkshire born Canadian serviceman Harry Banks and reputedly “the crucified soldier” of the First World War once said, "If at first you don't succeed-try to hide your astonishment" and although the events of recent weeks have provided me countless opportunities to follow this advice, hiding my astonishment has been nothing short of impossible.
  • I have been astonished to discover my now severely disabled eighty seven year old mother has been required to stay in hospital for two whole weeks as a result of the mismanaged administration of her medication and a shortage of mobility assessment appointments with the community physiotherapist.
  • I have been astonished to discover my Incapacity Benefit assessment is subject to an appointment system which not only allows operators to cancel my designated time slot after I have already left home but then puts my benefit in jeopardy if I am unable to attend on a computer generated date which is allocated without consultation.                                                                    
And once again facing homelessness as a result of an unreasonable and violent landlord,
  • I have been astonished to discover our neighbours not only own an additional house in which my family and I can be accommodated but, having had five years to observe us care for our current home, would (as of 1 December) like us to become their tenants in a very attractive property in a neighboring village.
However, despite feeling exceptionally relieved to find I no longer face the prospect of  being without a roof over our heads for Christmas, I remain astonished to find ,

  • Eleven months have passed since I initiated my second attempt at lodging a complaint against HBOS with the Financial Ombudsman Service,

  • Nine months have passed since I originally requested all records held by HBOS pertaining to my mortgage be sent to me via my Data Subject Access Request

  • Fourteen weeks have passed since my FOS adjudicator declined to answer my emails for a period of almost three months,

  • One month has passed since I reported said adjudicator to his line manager and

  • Two weeks have passed since I placed an official complaint with the ICO as the result of HBOS’ non compliance in respect of my Data Subject Access Request.
I am further astonished and nothing short of astounded to learn that, without warning and ahead of the timescales previously agreed by the FOS themselves (and in the absence of the further evidence I have been waiting for the above mentioned nine long months for HBOS to produce) the FOS have now reviewed my mortgage miss selling case and, in the interests of "being fair" to HBOS, have ruled there is insufficient evidence to support my claim that HBOS have been guilty of miss selling my mortgage! 

Famed for his ridicule of the most banal of situations for European based Theatre of the Absurd in the late 1950's, contemporary Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco once said is it "explanation [which] separates us from astonishment". However, still reeling from both shock and astonishment at the way in which I continue to be dealt with by both HBOS and the Financial Ombudsman Service, it is "explanation" which now separates me in unadulterated astonishment from any understanding of a regulatory culture which prefers to permit the infamous HBOS to with hold evidence and use repeated delays to obliterate my case of complaint rather than take the time to investigate!