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TSC chair Andrew Tyrie attacks Lloyds over ‘misleading’ debt letters

Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie has attacked Lloyds Banking Group for issuing debt collection letters that are “calculated to mislead”.

Lloyds is the latest in string of institutions to face criticism for issuing debt collection letters apparently from legal firms. Last month, Wonga was ordered to pay £2.6m in compensation for “unfair and misleading” debt collection practices, including sending letters from non-existent law firms.

In Lloyds’ case the letters were sent from a law firm which had been set up by the firm’s internal litigation team, but appeared to come from an independent company.

Tyrie says: “This is very concerning. The sample letter seem calculated to mislead. Lloyds failed to convince us that this was not the case, or to provide any satisfactory explanation as to why it issued letters in this form, but at least this practice has been brought to an end.

“Banks have repeatedly assured Parliament that they are raising standards and now have robust procedures in place to bring consumer detriment to an end. But examples of bad practice like this keep on surfacing.”

Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has written to the committee to confirm the bank issued letters aimed at collecting debt under the name Sechiari Clark & Mitchell since the late 1980s.

The letter says: “In the 1980s, solicitors within Lloyds Bank formed a law firm, Sechiari Clark &Mitchell to conduct debt collection on behalf of the bank, changing its name to SCM Solicitors in 2009.

“Until 2011, it was registered as a law firm with the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. In July 2011 the partnership was resolved. The name SCM Solicitors was kept and its status as part of the in-house litigation team was disclosed on the correspondence.” 



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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. These are repeats of the inherent problems at LloydsTSB Group – and serious failures of Directors – and their ” negotiated settlements ” when caught out – again ! It would need only one Director EG Finance Director to be placed under arrest, Prosecuted in a Court of Law . . . .for justice not only to be done, but to be seen to be done ! It is interesting how huge amounts of money paid to MP’s and other worthies – for their silence and willingness to accept Corruption – Deceit – and Fruad ( serious Organised crime ) – against clients and consumers . . . .who pay the price – and the SLOTH of Shareholders ( institutional Investment Houses and individuals ) – who cover up the FRAUD by their lack of governance – or Ethics . . . . . who permit such travesties of justice. For example why does any financial institution wish to purchase shares of Lloyds or Edinburgh TSB – after they have committed FRUAD and Libor Rigging and destruction of companies ? Let any Fund Manager stand up and tell us ?

  2. Disgusted, however not at all surprised.

  3. Don’t believe for one second that this practice is limited, I would hope the FCA look in to every lender, be it bank, credit card, loan company and payday lender !

  4. Why is Andrew Tyrie having to bring these topics to light. Where are the police and the Regulators? Apparently the police are seriously under resourced (so the could be useful recipients of the FCA fines for dubious behaviour). The FCA can’t complain of being under resourced. In their case it is always the Nelson Syndrome – I can’t see any crimes – so let’s have a nice themic review so we can say our staff is fully engaged.
    Perhaps it isn’t just bankers who should be threatened with jail time, but Regulators who are always looking in the wrong direction and thereby causing major financial pileups.

  5. This is organised Crime – by the Bankers at the highest levels – who have no Business ethics and do not operate under the Code of Conduct of the FCA or any Code of Ethics. False claims and lies – for marketing purposes – and lack of any proper complaints procedures – a reliance on poor quality people untrained and incompetent – running amok – whilst the Boards of Directors ( executive and non executive directors ) – and the Chairman – permit and cover up fraud and corruption – without interrogation or interruption form the FCA – or the Police – or the Serious Crime Squad. High street gangsters bullying and intimidation Police and Regulators !

  6. Anthony Badaloo 17th July 2014 at 10:44 pm

    We do get a lot of these debt issues with clients being misled in various ways by these firms. Seems to be a very common thing. FCA need to act to protect consumers whom are facing a lot of pressure from many institutions. Money is being extracted unlawfully. People need to be treated honestly and fairly with their debts. How was it allowed to get to this extreme?

    AAnthony Badaloo is Principal at Church Hill Finance

  7. @Anthony Badaloo . . . .unless yoru clients have not entered any Bank ( a Bad Bank or a really destructive Bank ) they may not have been misled . . .or misguided . . .! However for the many millions who have entered LloydsTSB ( Halifax Bank of Scotland C&G etc., ) RBS – the Robbing Bank for Scotland , Barclays or HSBC – there is a very high risk they have been misinformed misled misguided and in many cases force to purchase high charged – unsuitable products – for no good reason other than racketeering and profiteering by these high street lenders. For example endowments pensions and PPI. Libor rate rigging inter bank lending etc – without any controls form the Company – the Bank of England or the Regulator. When caught – they negotiate a deal – a fine or a penalty ( or as a cynical person might say – an ” inducement ” a ” bung ” or a ” backhander ” made almost legal . . . . . .under Captain Cameron and his chums in Parliament. This is not sleaze it is hypocrisy ( deceit and Deception – at the highest levels in Government ) – and racketeering by those at the highest levels in company and Government – and the most sinister .. .. Breach of Public Trust and Public Duty . . . . to look after the affairs of State with any Trust . . .without any . . . .Integrity . . . . .without any Ethics – and no one is willing to challenge them.

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