Press Release 21st June 2019
Friday 21st June 2019
SME Alliance slams FCA fine over HBOS Reading as "justice denied"
Please find below the reaction to the FCA’s decision to fine Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary Bank of Scotland £45 million for failures over the HBOS Reading scandal, Nikki Turner on behalf of SME Alliance, said:
“Justice delayed is justice denied, so for victims who lost their businesses, livelihoods and, in some cases families, because of the craven, unrestricted behaviour of HBOS bankers, action coming over a decade after the event is the ultimate insult. The only bankers banned are those who’d never work in the industry again, while their bosses get off scott free and the bank is fined what is little more than small change.
“It is also insulting that Lloyds receives a discount for being a ‘good boy’. How does this help the victims in any way. We demand that the £45 million fine is put into a fund to help those who have suffered, many of whom have been denied compensation, or forced into accepting derisory pay-outs, by Lloyds.
“When is the FCA going to investigate, or even acknowledge, the cover up by HBOS senior executives, the lies and the obstruction going right to the top of the bank? When are they going to show they are on the side of the customer rather than the banker?”
19th June 2019
SME Alliance has become aware of attempt to challenge the integrity of Kevin Hollinrake MP, co-chair of the APPG on Fair Business Bank. Please find below a Statement from Nikki Turner, director of SME Alliance:
“Kevin Hollinrake MP has been a tireless supporter of SMEs in their fight against the banks, drawing on his own experience as an entrepreneur whose business thrived despite issues with some of its lenders. Kevin declared his interest to the Chairman of the Independent Steering Group of the Dispute Resolution Scheme in March 2019, when the APPG was invited to join the discussions to create the DRS and in Parliament. He has repeatedly said he would donate his share of any compensation received to either the APPG or a nominated charity. The SME Alliance supports Kevin 100% and would see any attempt to undermine Kevin as bad faith by those who supposedly support this initiative.
“It is very disappointing that any of the contributors to the DRS who to date, have demonstrated an encouraging willingness to work together to find a resolution for the impasse between SMEs and lenders in dispute, would attempt to malign any member of the ISG, which in turn, threatens to destabilise such a worthy cause. ”
Press Release 13th June 2019
Thursday 13th June 2019
SME Alliance calls for Ross McEwan and Stephen Hester to resign in wake of FCA report into RBS GRG
Nikki Turner, director of SME Alliance, says: “The Financial Conduct Authority has found that if the current regulatory regime was in place when RBS was sending thousands of small businesses to the wall, then they would have had the ‘jurisdiction’ to take action against the senior management of the bank. Based on the report’s findings we would point out that the FCA can still make a decision under its Principle for Business as to whether the senior management were fit and proper persons for the jobs. We therefore call for all of those who were in charge of RBS at the time – notably current RBS CEO Ross McEwan and his predecessor Stephen Hester – to immediately resign from their present roles and not be allowed to hold senior positions in financial services.
“While the regulatory regime has been tightened up through the introduction of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime, the protection afforded to small and medium sized businesses, which are the bedrock of the UK economy, in their dealings with banks is still woefully inadequate and we call on the Government to urgently review whether they want entrepreneurs to feel that they can safely borrow to grow their companies.
“Yet again, we are deeply disappointed that the regulator, having found ‘that some aspects of customers’ inappropriate treatment were systematic’, and that ‘Some customers lost everything’, seems to have concluded none of RBS, its staff or its senior management could or should be held accountable in any way. It begs the question of why the FCA started an investigation or produced a report at all when the only real beneficiaries will have been the authors?"