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Abbey&#39s Tugendhat in storm over EDM denial

Abbey National chairman Lord Tugendhat has walked into a storm of

controversy after telling shareholders that he had no knowledge of a

Parliamentary early day motion which attacked the bank&#39s repossession

tactics.

Liberal Democrat MP Michael Hancock tabled an EDM on debt recovery last

October – signed by 52 MPs – criticising Abbey for using “unacceptable”

methods of trying to force settlements on debts which it failed to

substantiate properly.

As a result, Tugendhat sent a letter – obtained by Money Marketing – to

Hancock acknowledging the EDM and its accusations against Abbey. Despite

the correspondence, Tugendhat publicly told a shareholder at the bank&#39s AGM

in April, where he was seeking re-election, that he was “una-ware” of the

motion.

Tugendhat&#39s letter, one of several sent to Hancock, states that the bank

had “recently made a number of changes” to its debt recovery procedures to

treat borrowers more fairly.

The letter goes on to say that Abbey was introducing a guarantee that it

would seek to recover shortfall debt only based on the valuation at the

time of possession, regardless of the sale price achieved.

Tugendhat even offers Hancock a meeting with the bank&#39s director of retail

development, Ambrose McGinn, at the House of Commons.

An Abbey spokeswoman says: “The EDM was not at the front of his mind at

the time although we accept

that correspondence has taken place.”

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