19 June 2018
“Lord Turnbull” report exposes lies perpetrated by Lloyds and HBOS
The publication of a “secret” internal Lloyds Banking Group report shows how victims of the HBOS Reading fraud have been misled and mistreated by the bank for many, many years. SME Alliance, which supports many of those victims, has long maintained that not only did the management of HBOS and Lloyds publicly understate the extent of the fraud, but that they misled victims, shareholders and the public about what they knew and when.
The “Project Lord Turnbull – Operation Hornet” report, written at the request of a senior member of Lloyds’ finance team, was delivered to Lloyds management and its legal advisors, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, in January 2014, more than three years before two ex-HBOS bankers and five others were found guilty of deception and other charges over the HBOS Reading fraud. The report was published today by a campaigning businessman, and reveals the extent of the fraud, the criminal
behaviour of HBOS bankers and the fact that both were covered up by the bank.
SME Alliance has long pressed for the contents of the report to be revealed as they show that senior managers at Lloyds hid behind a lie that they were not aware of any criminality. This led to Lloyds and HBOS keeping victims waiting for a decade or more before any compensation for losses. It also meant that the offers made to victims under the Lloyds review, run by Professor Griggs, have been predicated on the lie that Lloyds only became aware of criminality in January 2017.
“Victims have suffered terrible hardship, leading to bankruptcy, divorce, mental problems and attempted suicides, because the bank compounded the original fraud by perpetrating a lie,” said Nick Gould, chair of SME Alliance. “What this report says is that shareholders – who for a long time included British taxpayers – victims, regulators and politicians were repeatedly misled by those running HBOS and Lloyds. Both the National Crime Agency and Dame Linda Dobbs QC are now
investigating the cover up and this report will no doubt inform their deliberations with the obvious implication that senior people at HBOS and Lloyds will have to be called to account.”
SME Alliance be will writing to Lord Blackwell, chairman of Lloyds, raising a number of issues emerging from this report around the treatment of victims and correspondence with those victims going back to 2007.
SME Alliance was formed in September 2014 to support SMEs “battling against fraud, corruption and misconduct in the financial sector” and to lobby for the fair treatment of businesses by their banks and advisors.
For further information contact Jason Nisse on 07769 688618 firstname.lastname@example.org