MPs call on Lloyds to pay up compensation following HBOS fraud trial

 
Hayley Kirton
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Lloyds boss Antonio Horta-Osorio has been sent some strongly-word mail today (Source: Getty)

A group of MPs has today called on Lloyds Banking Group to repay victims of a scheme run by two former HBOS bankers.

The two men, Lynden Scourfield, 54, and Mark Dobson, 56, were among six people jailed last week for their roles in a plot which drove troubled businesses into the ground for their own profit, all while running up losses of around £250m for the now collapsed bank.

Although the fraud took place before Lloyds purchased HBOS, the MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking have sent an open letter to the bank's chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio and chairman Lord Blackwell urging them to compensate the victims of the fraud, review its own handling of the scheme and to publish its findings.

Scourfield, who was once head of the HBOS department responsible for businesses in financial difficulty and was sentenced to 11 years and three months, was accused of taking bribes, including cash, exotic holidays and sex workers, from turnaround consultant David Mills, 60. In return, Scourfield pushed troubled businesses to engage with Mills' firm should they want to obtain additional funding from HBOS.

Scourfield then advanced sums of money to these businesses so large they could never feasibly be repaid, allowing Mills, who was also jailed last week, and his associates to charge through the nose for their consultancy services.

Many of the businesses caught up in the scheme eventually went into liquidation.

In the letter seen by the BBC, George Kerevan MP, chair of the parliamentary group, writes: "We are at a point where, once again, there are a large group of aggrieved business people who have lost their livelihoods.

"Critically, many have endured years of financial duress and personal stress."

Lloyds has not responded to City A.M.'s request for comment at time of writing. However, the lender told the BBC: "While we have fully reviewed customer concerns raised previously, we will review any new concerns on a case-by-case basis taking into account any relevant new information from the trial.

"The trial highlighted criminal actions that bear no reflection on the behaviours of the vast majority of the employees of HBOS at the time or in the group today."

HBOS was taken over by what was then Lloyds TSB in January 2009.

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