I apologise to the many members of SME Alliance Ltd who are not based in Scotland who are reading this and feel I am being too partisan in directing my comments to my fellow Scotsmen. However, the justice system in Scotland is wholly devolved from Westminster and I believe there is a strong possibility of persuading the prosecuting authorities to consider criminal prosecution against the Banks, and RBS in particular, if enough of us come forward with complaints which are in many ways identical in nature.
I am a victim of what has clearly, now been identified as fraud perpetrated by RBS. Since 2002 I have been making every effort, initially by a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and then through the civil legal process, to gain redress from this Bank for its conduct in recklessly driving us down the journey to bankruptcy and total financial destruction. RBS has placed every obstacle in my way and as a consequence of the distortions and deceit of its presentations to these challenges, including instructing lawyers to lie at court, has succeeded in ensuring that my challenges would be dismissed.
I have never given up with my pursuit and only very recently, after being introduced to legal counsel whose sole practice is to pursue the financial services industry for wrongdoings, has my claim finally been accepted for what I have always maintained.
The opinion provided by counsel in referring to the civil legal challenges is as follows; - in my view these initial claims have been largely misplaced in terms of the arguments deployed and those advising on such claims appear not to have understood the fundamentally fraudulent nature of the way in which the Bank was behaving.
Over the last eighteen months, my MSP has been very supportive in listening to, and finally accepting that RBS in its conduct of our business relationship was fraudulent. My MSP has spoken directly with the Lord Advocate in Scotland and I can confirm that the Crown Office and the police have conducted an investigation following a complaint that I made to the police.
I, and another fellow victim are now seeking other resident in Scotland who may believe that they have been victimised by RBS and that perhaps they too may have been victims of fraud. The civil lawyers and the civil courts in Scotland are not interested in any way when the term FRAUD is used, as I found to my cost. During the course of forensic examination of the financial position of our business, a forensic accountant clearly stated to our then legal team that he considered RBS had engaged in fraudulent practices. The forensic accountant was told in no uncertain terms to remove any reference of fraud in his report and to forget about such an allegation. This was at the time when no-one could comprehend, or even believe that any bank could act fraudulently let alone understand the magnitude of the fraud perpetrated by RBS that has now been widely reported.
The work undertaken by Lawrence Tomlinson accurately reported the wholesale corrupt conduct of this Bank and specifically the GRG division. The report has certainly opened a Pandora’s Box which has had the benefit of bringing together hundreds if not thousands of victims, the length and breadth of Britain, of the Bank’s corruption and who are now sharing their experiences.
I acknowledge that many who may feel that they have a case to pursue against RBS find themselves in a difficult situation; perhaps ongoing banking relationships with RBS, and do not wish to expose themselves to the full fury of the Bank and the financial destruction the Bank could enact on you.
I can assure you that if anonymity is required, your wishes will be respected; however the purpose of this appeal is to inform you of what we are trying to achieve.
With one MSP now very firmly acknowledging that RBS has acted fraudulently, we are seeking to encourage other MSPs who may have constituents in a similar position to meet together along with their constituents in either Edinburgh or Glasgow, where we will arrange for a legal expert in fraud law to be present and give a presentation of what could be done to bring all the cases to the attention of the prosecuting authorities.
There is an absolute certainty that the prosecuting authorities cannot ignore a raft of complaints made about one bank; RBS. I received confirmation from the Crown Office that in Scotland, fraud is an offence at common law and is the bringing about of some definite practical result by means of false pretences and requires to be proved by corroborative evidence. Were many others to come forward with details of the conduct of RBS that could be perceived to have been fraudulent that is as good as any for corroborative evidence.
One specific item that has been identified is the fact that RBS has been criminally convicted in the USA for its conduct in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). The conviction is recorded on the American Securities and Exchange Commission website and it reads as follows; - In January 2014, a subsidiary of RBS was criminally convicted for its conduct in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). The scheme profited RBS to the detriment of individuals, businesses, and governments around the globe. Under federal securities laws and regulations, this criminal conviction automatically precluded RBS from eligibility as a Well-Known Seasoned Issuer (“WKSI”) and the attendant benefits that our rules provide to WKSI filers.
The main effect of this conviction, and confirmed by counsel who has given the opinion on my case, is that anyone who was induced into taking out a SWAP which was linked to LIBOR on ISDA certificate has a fraud claim against RBS. However, it is not only the above referred issue on which a complaint of fraud can be brought, this being just one of the issues identified by counsel to pursue my case. The conduct of the Bank overall was reckless and fraudulent and many others will, I am sure have claims of reckless conduct by RBS that will support a complaint to the relevant authorities, which if all brought collectively through MSPs will strengthen our position.
One very clear issue is that fraud is not time barred and therefore, as in my case bringing a fraud claim after 17 years, can still be pursued through the courts.
Therefore, I would invite anyone to come forward and register an interest if what has been advised above has any appeal to you.
Nigel K Henderson