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Lloyds appoints High Court judge in £100m HBOS Reading victim compensation

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  • 27/04/2017
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Lloyds appoints High Court judge in £100m HBOS Reading victim compensation
Lloyds has appointed a High court judge and provisioned £100m in its interim statement to ‘fairly, swiftly and appropriately compensate’ the victims of the HBOS Reading fraudsters, who took fees from struggling businesses to spend on a lavish lifestyle.

António Horta-Osório group chief executive at Lloyds Group confirmed the £100m sum was available to compensate the victims, as regulator the FCA continues its own investigation into the bank.

The investigation into misconduct within the Reading-based impaired assets team of HBOS was put on hold in early 2013, when the FCA alerted Thames Valley Police of their findings and were asked to freeze their activity pending the outcome of a police inquiry.

Lloyds confirmed Dame Linda Dobbs will investigate whether this scandal was investigated properly by top brass at HBOS and Lloyds after its takeover of the former Halifax building society.

This independent review will cover the eight years from early 2009 to the criminal trial in January this year in which six bankers were jailed.

 

47 years in jail

Operation Hornet, the police investigation, resulted in the conviction of five men and one woman with combined prison sentences of 47 years and nine months.

Former HBOS senior banker Lynden Scourfield (pictured), 54, of Whitton Avenue West, Greenford, Middlesex, pleaded guilty on 12 August 2016 to charges of conspiracy to corrupt, fraudulent trading and money laundering. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison on 2 February this year.

Scourfield was bribed to refer businesses to a consultancy firm headed up by David Mills, 60, of Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire which claimed to help struggling firms out of of liquidation. In return, Scourfield received hundreds of thousands of pounds, holidays to Thailand and Barbados and parties involving prostitutes.

Lloyds said it aims to start making payments, which could average £1m per victim, by the end of May.

In its interim statement, Lloyds CEO Antonio Horta-Osario said: “We remain committed to supporting the people, businesses and communities in the UK through our Helping Britain Prosper Plan and putting customers first. As announced earlier this month, we are determined that the victims of HBOS Reading are fairly, swiftly and appropriately compensated and we have set aside a provision of £100m in our first quarter results.”

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