I’m not the only one who went through hell. Toxic banks have wrecked thou­sands of lives

NOEL: Evil bankers cost me £300m and drove me to a drug over­dose

The Mail on Sunday - - Focus - By Noel Ed­monds

who saw last week’s pa­per. Mr Tom­lin­son’s Govern­ment-com­mis­sioned re­port in 2013 ex­posed the un­fair treat­ment of business cus­tomers by RBS and he is drop­ping by this af­ter­noon to dis­cuss my fight with Lloyds.

To­mor­row, I’m off to Ox­ford to meet rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Thames Val­ley Po­lice and hand over docu- men­ta­tion about my case, and to sup­ply ad­di­tional HBOS/ Lloyds’ names for their on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Op­er­a­tion Hor­net.

It had al­ready been an ex­haust­ing week. Yet just when I was about to take the dog for a long, re­lax­ing walk, there was an­other star­tling devel­op­ment. An email ar­rived, fol­lowed by a phone chat and then a hastily ar­ranged four-hour meet­ing at my home with the owner of the most ex­plo­sive ev­i­dence I’ve seen. I’ve seen bun­dles of doc­u­ments, which leave me in ab­so­lutely no doubt that the bank­ing mal­prac­tices which wrecked thou­sands of lives were not con­fined to a sin­gle rogue unit in HBOS Read­ing, but ex­tend much fur­ther and for a lot longer.

The harsh re­al­ity, which makes me very sad and ex­tremely con­cerned for our na­tion’s fu­ture, is that for many years huge num­bers of small to medium-sized UK busi- nesses have been sys­tem­at­i­cally pil­laged by many of our largest banks – banks that are now too big to fail and too big to reg­u­late, run by for­mer ex­ec­u­tives who ap­par­ently be­lieve they are too big to jail.

A spokesman for Lloyds Bank­ing Group s ai d: ‘ We are mak­ing progress with pro­vid­ing com­pen­sa­tion to cus­tomers af­fected by the crim­i­nal mis­con­duct of those con­victed in re­la­tion to HBOS Read­ing. Where we have cus­tomer in­put we have been able to as­sess nearly all of these cases and pro­vide com­pen­sa­tion of­fers. We have pro­vided of­fers to nearly half of all cus­tomers in the re­view, and in more than 50 per cent of such cases the of­fers have been ac­cepted and paid.’

NOT ALONE: Our re­port, left, about NoNoel’s bat­tle prompted rread­ers to share their own heart­break­ing tales

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