HSBC’s mortgage woes could haunt the Co-operative’s chief

Tim Wallace
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BRITISH lender HSBC faces a legal case in the US which claims the bank mistreated mortgage customers who were foreclosing on their loans, at the time when new Co-op Bank chief executive Niall Booker worked there.

Booker led the North American unit through a tough period of restructuring, dealing with bad mortgage loans and cleaning up the lender.

But this week New York state attorney general Eric Schneiderman accused the bank of failing to promptly help up to 25,000 borrowers who foreclosed on their mortgages, racking up fees during the delays.

“Companies like HSBC are brazenly ignoring state law, leaving homeowners across New York stuck in a legal limbo,” said Schneiderman.

The suit could tarnish Booker’s previously very strong reputation with claims of poor service.

The Co-op Bank declined to comment. But a source close to the lender insisted Booker will remain well regarded as he successfully turned around the troubled unit.