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's repossession
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
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's AGM
in April, where he was seeking re-election, that he was “una-ware” of the
Tugendhat's 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's 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.”