What a fantastic meeting we had yesterday! Many thanks to all who attended – it was great to see so many new faces along with what now seems like old friends!
I think it's interesting how like minded people seem to find each other. I know most of us have joined together because of bank fraud (note I didn't say miss-selling) but it didn't necessarily follow so many of us would go on to make real friendships. As Nick said to me earlier today, it sounds mushy but it the support and friendship network we've built up in such a short time is every bit as important as the progress we've made through attending meetings and breaking down silo's.
Enough of the mushy stuff – Andy Keats stunned the whole audience yesterday with his presentation showing clear evidence of documents being manipulated and falsified by RBS. He used to own case to evidence this and I know Andy has spent hours going through his evidence and collating it into a powerful case study which shows how his paperwork has had material added, subtracted and even re-punctuated to make the bank look better and disadvantage Andy. When the last page of his presentation went up showing how all but three or four lines out of fifty had been removed, the whole room gasped!
Given how many people receive documents that have been heavily redacted in the DSARs, can anyone rely on anything they get from RBS? The whole thing beggars belief!
As if we weren't all shocked enough, a Member then showed everyone a document we received last week from a member that turns out to be a cut and paste job of three different loans into one in order to convince the lender he still has a mortgage with the bank! Any guesses which bank?
Peter Crowley then gave a very interesting presentation on why banks pull companies down. I'm not going to even try and explain what he said – I'm still digesting the information but I will ask Peter to send me the documents he's printed to evidence this and I'll put them on the website. Joel Benjamin updated us on LOBO loans and local authorities. A huge issue that actually affects everyone because we all pay the exorbitant costs some 250 local authorities are paying for these dubious loans. You can find more about LOBO loans and what Joel does here http://communityreinvest.org.uk/ After Joel, Ray Baker spoke about the work he does to help victims of financial crime. Ray was a regulated lender who but he now uses his experience of the financial to advise and support his previous clients resolve issues. Like all of us, Ray made the point that he does this because he feels he must. And thank God he and our other advisers do feel like this because we wouldn't have made such great progress without them!
Last speakers before a question and answer session with all the advisers were Andy Keats who gave more info on his presentation and my husband Paul Turner . Andy is an ex police Sargent (as is Rowan Bosworth-Davis) who now investigates economic crime. You can find more info here: http://sbcb.org.uk/news/ Paul then amused everyone by saying all he does is keep me supplied with endless cups of tea! I must admit he does make a great cup of tea but the truth of the matter is he is so busy trying to stave off evictions for people and get their assets back, I need to make an appointment to talk to him most days! Paul did just manage to add the important news that he and Nick Gould (Gunnercooke and a director of SME Alliance) have successfully pulled off a £3.75M refinancing deal for one of our members and have managed to bring assets, including a beautiful farm, back into family ownership and out of administration. No mean feat and I know this deal has taken months to do.
It's a shame quite a few of our members couldn't make it and sadly, in some cases, this was because of illness. Poor old Graham Stewart didn't make it because his car broke down on the A1 and Colin Jones had a few anti austerity sniper problems! But I hope to get the notes to all members in the next few days and this will include details of my brief speech about the fund for justice we're building.