Monday, 17 March 2014

Recipe for Disaster

Take three perfectly good financial products,
  • One non status mortgage requiring no proof of income, a cautious valuation and client equity stake of 35%
  • One 100% mortgage requiring no client equity stake, a cautious valuation but belt and braces proof of taxable income and affordability
  • One 80% mortgage, a cautious valuation, belt and braces proof of taxable income and affordabilty offering discounted interest payments for the first two years
Add a large helping of political gain with nauseating proportions of deregulated bankster spin and mix well.

Throwing caution to the wind, allow evidence of income, equity and conservative valuations to float to the top, carefully remove and discard.

Using what is left, re-package as an innovative low risk mortgage product which will take the market by storm

Present finished article to the board in terms of anticipated personal returns and obtain consent to market.

Use highly incentivised bank staff to roll out new product to as many brokers and introducers as possible, turn a blind eye to their methods and pay all concerned on results

Insist all new applications are submitted online by the broker with declaration pages to follow after offer

Provide regulated mortgages of up to a 125% LTV having told brokers that applicants homes will not be valued conservatively and applicants incomes will not be verified.

Have your cake and eat it while watching with detached indifference for the cookies to crumble,

Leave the victims of widespread mortgage fraud to cook in their own juice,

And then, just like HBOS have done with my own case,

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth

John F Kennedy once said, “The enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic” and, after five ineffectual years of mythical post crisis reform and regulation of the UK’s banking sector, the truth has not only failed to set me free but it has also failed to spark the Financial Ombudsman Service’s interest or ruffled a single untouchable HBOS  or Lloyds Banking Group feather.

In a last ditch attempt to persuade the dismissive and the disinterested of my sincerity, I have, over the past two weeks, implemented the following;
  • Prepared, sworn under oath and sent a statutory declaration to the FOS reiterating my claim that the mortgage application my broker submitted on line in 2006 contained false information which I did not supply.
  • Sent HBOS’ customer services department my eight page letter of complaint because, contrary to my expectations, the FOS declined to ask HBOS to comment on its contents as part of the complaints process
  • Simultaneously written to Lloyds Banking Group customer services, Lloyds Group Chief Executive Officer Antonia Horta Osario and Lloyds Group Chief Risk Officer Executive Juan Colombas, stating,
“Following the final decision from the FOS on 10 February 2014 it is now my opinion that the contract entered into in 2006 with the Bank of Scotland by myself and my husband is null and void. This is because it did not conform to due process and it was granted on false information which was supplied fraudulently by [a broker] and then negligently verified by HBOS’s underwriters M**** ******, S** ****** and J** ******.
As a result of the Ombudsman’s findings, together with information gleaned from a Data Subject Access Request, I am now of the opinion that I need to make a new complaint.

Yours faithfully”

Life After Debt


  • In an effort to understand the consequences a regulated  lender might suffer if they were found not to have complied with FCA rules, spoken at length with the FCA consumer helpline about my case.
As a result of my endeavours I have been advised;
  • The FOS have received my “letter” and attached it to my file. There is no mention of them changing their plans to publish the ombudsman’s ruling on my case on their website
  • HBOS’ Customer Services are unprepared to discuss my case any further and can only refer me back to the FOS’s recent ruling
  • HBOS’ Executive team are in receipt of my letter of complaint, it is very important to them and they will be responding to it shortly 
And the Financial Conduct Authority informs me;
  • The FOS are not empowered to rule or comment on cases of fraud
  • HBOS are duty bound by FCA rules to prove beyond reasonable doubt they took adequate measures during the underwriting of my mortgage to verify the information contained in my application was true
  • FCA rules run parallel to the law but, as guidelines, are not legally binding. Lenders are not required to keep compliance documentation for more than a year and the FCA, having asked for full details of the alleged perpetrators, strongly recommend I report my findings to Action Fraud or the police.
Thankfully, the tireless support, diligence and expertise of my FB friends has now put the latter very much in hand. 

Nineteenth century German born philosopher and author Arthur Schopenhauer believed, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second, it is violently opposed and third, it is accepted as being self-evident”. All I can now hope for is that, after six excruciating years of ridicule and violent opposition, the truth may finally become self evident in the hands of the Serious Fraud Office.

After all, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi;

 “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”