Deal or no deal? Noel Edmonds demands HBOS compensation from Lloyds or threatens bank with court action

William Turvill
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Noel Edmonds is famous for presenting Deal Or No Deal (Source: Channel 4)

After more than a decade presenting Deal Or No Deal, Noel Edmonds is finally taking on the banker.

Edmonds, also known for Noel’s House Party, has written to Antonio Horta-Osorio, the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, to demand compensation over the HBOS scandal.

The letter, signed by Edmonds’ lawyer, Jonathan Coad of Keystone Law, alleges that HBOS and its former employee Mark Dobson destroyed the celebrity’s former business, Unique Group. Coad said Edmonds’ full claim was for an estimated £73m.

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He said: “My client has both suffered immense economic loss as well as (to put it very mildly) ‘distress and inconvenience’ at the hands of your bank as a direct result of the actions of these individuals.”

Edmonds said in a statement that he hopes to be “fairly, swiftly and appropriately” compensated, adding: “If... not, then I will pursue my claim against Lloyds via the courts.”

The claim marks the latest twist in the HBOS fraud scandal, which centred around the bank’s Reading office. Between 2002 and 2007, troubled small businesses were referred to turnaround consultants Quayside Corporate Services, after which they were advanced sums of money so large they could never be repaid. The companies were then charged hefty consultancy fees and many subsequently went into liquidation.

Six people, including two former HBOS bankers, were convicted over the saga in January this year. In April, Lloyds set aside £100m for victims of the fraud.

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Lloyds said today:

The customer compensation review, led by Professor Griggs as the independent reviewer, will determine what compensation is due to victims of the HBOS Reading fraud.

As stated when we announced the £100m provision, this is what is currently anticipated as compensation for the 64 customers in the review.

If the review determines that the level of compensation due requires us to increase the provision then we will absolutely do so.

It is LBG and the independent reviewer’s intention to begin making compensation offers from late May onwards.

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