As many reading this will know, transparency or getting fair and reasonable treatment from banks remains a key issue for SME Alliance. We are repeatedly disappointed that 'Access to Justice' is almost non existent for SMEs and in some cases we are even seeing banks manipulate the justice system via misrepresentation or worse. In the case of Mr and Mrs Berry, Steve Middleton of Modus Mediation and SME Alliance, has been battling hard to get some transparency on what appears to have been a gross injustice in the Courts caused by a bank. Unable to get the answers needed from the bank to get to the bottom of the case, Steve, on behalf of Mr and Mrs Berry, tried to enlist the support of their MP, George Osborne. Here's the results – evidenced first by one of the many e-mails Steve sent to Mr Osborne's PA Jane and secondly by Mr Osborne's letter to Mr Berry.
I would make the point – Mr and Mrs Berry who have worked for years to build up a business in the construction sector, have been poorly treated by their Bank and the Court. Without a timely remedy to that treatment, they could now lose their home as well as their business. In such circumstances is it unreasonable for them to expect to get a meeting with their MP? Isn't that what “They Work For You” is all about? Quite frankly, the phrase “This is my final response on this matter and I will not engage with you or Mr Middleton any further” sounds remarkably like thousands of letters our members have had from banks – but I've never seen anything quite this unfriendly from an MP!
24 March 2016
Steve Middleton to George Osborn's PA
It is now almost a month since I sent the e-mail below and again formally requested a meeting with Mr. Osborne, in the circumstances with Mr. Osborne’s constituents home at risk, a failure to not only respond but even to acknowledge my e-mail is quite frankly unacceptable.
I have copied in my colleagues at the SME Alliance who asked me to look in to this case and now require a formal response as to why Mr. Osborne is not only refusing to meet his constituents but also refusing to get one simple question answered on their behalf;
Q. Was XXXXXXXXX (nee XXXXXXX) qualified to undertake regulated mortgage activity whilst at RBS in 2008?
I am not interested in your referring us to previous correspondence, the Bank have not answered this question, the fact that they say she did not have to be qualified is not an answer it is avoidance, that position is moot, the Bank have already admitted EO undertook regulated mortgage activities to the FCA and we have this confirmation in writing.
If I do not have a response to these requests within 7 days I shall draft an open letter of complaint to Mr. Osborne on the Berry’s behalf, which if this is again ignored will then be provided to all of our press contacts.
This abject disinterest in his constituent’s plight and the banks misbehaviour is appalling and in light of Mr. Osborne’s influence and involvement with RBS is proving one simple fact, Mr. Osborne intends to put a Banks interests ahead of even his own voters.
Dip PFS, CeMAP. Cert PFS (Securities)
Here is Mr Osborne's reply: