Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wolves, Sheep and Regulators

Twice elected US president, Radical Republican and former union Army General, Hiram Ulysses Grant once said, "In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten and then he who continues to attack, wins" and after three months of a bank battling impasse in which the Bank of Scotland's debt collection have been eerily silent, I have reach the conclusion an armoury of evidence is my only hope of defence should they chose to launch another attack. Without it, I am nothing more than a sitting duck.

Keen to leave no stone unturned, I embarked on another quest for information. I sent,
  • Another request to the mortgage broker who submitted my falsified application to the Bank of Scotland in March 2006, this time via a DSAR, along with formal notification I suspect them of fraud
  • A DSAR to the mortgage broker’s network support organisation requesting any information they might have relating to disciplinary action taken against the broker during the application process of my mortgage and a letter advising them I have put Karrek on notice
  • An application  to my contents insurance company making a request for legal advice with regard to whether or not my falsified application renders my contract with the Bank of Scotland void, legal representation in the event Bank of Scotland wish to dispute my findings through the courts and some telephone time with a legal representative to explore the merits of a negligence claim against the broker
  • A formal request to the FCA under the Freedom of Information Act requesting all information pertaining to any disciplinary actions or formal investigations relating to the mortgage broker, their network support firm and the Bank of Scotland. I have also specifically requested any information which would shed light on why (according the BoS' screen notes) the mortgage broker was removed from the  Bank of Scotland’s panel of brokers during the processing of my mortgage application in March 2006.
Believing my requests could provide me with pivotal evidence to support my claim that both I and the Bank of Scotland have been victims of mortgage broker fraud, I have also sent,
  •  An outline of my findings to the Devon and Cornwall Police and requested my case be kept open while I await further evidence.
Ten weeks have now passed and I have received,
  •  No response from the broker to my DSAR
  •  No response or even an acknowledgement from either the broker or their network support regarding my letters putting them on notice
  • No file of  information from the brokers network support team on grounds that the DSAR I made only covers personal information and the data they hold is not personal to me
  • No reply from my legal insurers
Thankfully I have received,
  • No objection from the Devon and Cornwall Police to leaving  my case open while I collect and collate further evidence.
However, I have also received,
  • A totally meaningless five page reply from the FCA which concludes with, “we can find no record of a relationship between Karrek Financial Management and the HBOS lending panel and  with regard to all other points of your request “to confirm or deny that we hold any information specifically relating to enforcement or disciplinary action against either ...[the broker] or [their network support provider] Openwork Ltd would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of a person or a firm (particularly the firms mentioned) and would, or would be likely to,  prejudice the exercise by the FCA of its functions under Financial services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”). Therefore, we are unable to confirm or deny under section 43 (commercial interests) and section 31 (Law enforcement) of the Act whether or not we hold any information relating to action taken by us against these firms.” They further state, “the FCA also has a policy of not commenting publicly on whether or not it is investigating a particular individual or firm.
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs and later 74th  United States Secretary of the Treasury,  Henry Merritt “Hank” Paulson, Jr. once warned, “There is a very real danger that financial regulation will become a wolf in sheep's clothing” but if my own experiences are any measure, the complete reverse has proved to be much closer to the truth and, while some would still have us believe these very same regulators are the friends of the victims of banking crime, my six years long investigation into a Bank of  Scotland driven, broker implemented mortgage churning fraud would very much indicate otherwise.

With regulatory friends like these, who needs enemies?