Lloyds Bank accused of ‘daylight robbery’ by MPs

The Times

James Hurley Enterprise Editor Published at 12:01AM, September 17 2015

Lloyds and Alder King have been ­accused of “daylight robbery”

MPs have called on the Serious Fraud Office to investigate Lloyds Banking Group and one of its property advisers over allegations that they conspired to abuse the insolvency process.

During a debate in parliament yesterday, Lloyds and Alder King, a firm of property valuers and receivers, were ­accused of “daylight robbery” by ­pushing small businesses to the wall as the bank sought to clean up its balance sheet after the financial crisis.

Last night, Lloyds and Alder King strenuously denied the allegations.

Jo Stevens, Labour MP for Cardiff Central, accused Lloyds of “colluding” with Alder King to manipulate the value of properties against which customers’ loans were secured.

It was claimed this was done to put the bank’s business customers in breach of the loan-to-value ratios on their secured debts. Ms Stevens suggested that these were “good customers allowed to borrow at low rates” who were subsequently deemed commercially unattractive in light of the banking crisis. She claimed these businesses were “targeted and eliminated” by Lloyds.

The bank and Alder King were also accused of not managing a “clear conflict of interest” in their relationship.

MPs referred to correspondence showing Julian Smith, an Alder King ­receiver, writing to accept an appointment to work on the foreclosure of ­affected borrowers’ property from Jonathan Miles, an Alder King asset ­recovery manager, who at the time was working on secondment within Lloyds’ restructuring department.

When Mr Smith was appointed as a receiver for this work, he was also working on a part-time secondment within Lloyds’ restructuring department.

Alder King was cleared of wrong­doing by its regulator, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

MPs called on the SFO to provide an update on the case, which follows ­complaints by Lloyds customers Kashif Shabir and ­Alun Richards.

A Lloyds spokesman said: “These customers have made allegations about our treatment of them, all of which are completely baseless.”

Alder King said: “Alder King and all of its partners and employees strenuously deny any allegations of wrongdoing or professional misconduct, let alone criminality.” He added ­allegations of undervaluing property were “totally false” and “spurious”.

Robert Buckland, QC, the solicitor-general, said the allegations about Lloyds and Alder King were under “active consideration” by the SFO. He indicated the threshold required to launch a formal investigation had not yet been passed.

4 Comments on “Lloyds Bank accused of ‘daylight robbery’ by MPs

    • Many thanks Fraser, your message has been tweeted to the SME Community. Regards SBCB

  1. Lloyds bank and Alderking colluded to defraud me of my property portfolio. Payments into my loan account totalling £9000 went astray ,only to be found upto 20 months later .The bank blamed these lost payments on a flood in a different branch(all in writing).I was forced into settlement but will support anybody who they have systematically defrauded .Come on Lloyds tell me i m wrong .Derrick Cullen 07714257007 ps Julian Smith from Alder king was also in charge of my dealings with Alderking .

  2. Alderking and Lloyds bank colluded to defraud me of my properties. Money went missing(For upto 20 months) from my account only to be blamed on a flood in another branch.(in writing).They said to my local Member of parlament that my relationship manager had left Lloyds (only to be located by a private investigator to be still with Lloyds albiet in another department) .I found these people to be lying , manipulative professionals.I was forced to settle my case but will support anybody who needs my support .Come on Lloyds or Alder king tell me i am wrong. Telephone 07714257004 Derrick Cullen . please note that Julian Smith of Alder king / Lloyds was also in charge of my properties.

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