TV star Noel Edmonds offered to accept £10m in compensation from Lloyds Banking Group in relation to the HBOS scandal, a fraction of the £300m he was originally seeking.
However the bank rejected this sum during a mediation process last month and came back with a much smaller counter-offer, causing Edmonds and his legal team to walk out of talks, Sky News first reported earlier today.
The Deal or No Deal presenter alleges that HBOS, the bank which was taken over by Lloyds during the financial crisis, was responsible for the collapse of his media company Unique Group in 2007.
Edmonds and his lawyers will now be beginning legal proceedings against the bank early in 2018.
“The next time we meet with the bank will be under completely different circumstances, and they will certainly not be able to settle at £10m,” said Jonathan Coad, Edmonds' lawyer at Keystone Law.
Six people have already been jailed for their role in the fraud, which involved piling clients with debt then asset-stripping them as they crumbled under the weight. Lloyds has set aside £100m to compensate the victims, under a scheme run by Professor Russel Griggs who oversaw an independent inquiry into the bank's handling of the claims.
Edmonds was initially seeking £300m from Lloyds, a sum which was arrived at in the initial claim against the bank before forensic accountants were appointed.
The case was put into mediation due to the significant compensation sought, and forensic accountants paid for by litigation funding were appointed and assessed that damages suffered by Edmonds were closer to £70m.
By the end of the mediation process, the TV presenter said he was willing to accept just £10m to drop the claim – but Lloyds' counter-offer was much lower.
“We recognise Mr Edmonds suffered personal distress and inconvenience as a result of him interacting almost a decade ago with an ex-HBOS employee convicted earlier this year in relation to criminal conduct at HBOS Reading Impaired Assets office,” said a Lloyds spokesperson. “However, we strongly refute that this caused his business to collapse.”