UNFAIRPAK PAYPAL APPEAL

If you have a PayPal account, we are asking you to simply donate £1 to our HBOS Transcript Appeal.

So if you would like to donate:-

 

1.  Go to www.paypal.com to log into your account.

2.  Click on “Send Money”.

3.  Then enter our PayPal email which is info@unfairpak.co.uk and the amount you  wish to donate.

 

Your donation will help Farepak victims buy the transcript of the Farepak Hearing and get to the bottom of the bank’s (HBOS) conduct.  We are only asking for £1 as every £1 helps but you are more than welcome to donate more.  Any amount would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your assistance in this appeal and if you want to read more about it, you can here http://www.unfairpak.co.uk/2012/08/17/appeal/

 

APPEAL

Unfairpak have campaigned for truth and justice for Farepak victims for almost 6 long years now.

 

The case against the Directors of European Home Retail and Farepak Food & Gifts Limited collapsed spectacularly earlier on this year and Mr Justice Peter Smith slated the way that HBOS had acted in the whole debacle.

 

There are still questions to be answered regarding the collapse of the Group and Unfairpak believe HBOS hold those answers.

 

Unfairpak were well aware that Park II could have rescued Christmas, not only for 116,429 savers but also for Farepak Food & Gifts Limited itself.  However, HBOS, at its most senior level and having initially called it a “neat solution” then proceeded to ‘sit’ on it for 6 weeks before pulling the plug on the entire Group. Peter Cummings was quoted by Mr Justice Peter Smith as being the “ultimate arbiter”. The moment his decision was made he knowingly allowed extra subscriptions to be received when he also knew those receipts would be exclusively destined for his bank, without warning to the depositors.

 

This is NOT the first time HBOS have acted in this way.  The people involved in this debacle must be exposed.  Farepak savers were known as “Doris”, they are not the only ones to be called that by HBOS.

 

Back in February of this year, our National Campaign Coordinator wrote an article in the Times wherein she stated “The outcry over politicians’ expenses and bankers’ bonuses shows that society is no longer willing to sit back and let the “fat cats” get away with it any more. We are becoming a classless, less deferential society and the Farepak fight back is another example of how the voices of the “little people” will be heard. If any good can come from the debacle, this could be it. This week a loud message has been sent: no one is above the law and, though it may take time, justice will prevail.”  Suzy Hall 17th February 2011.

 

Unfairpak were originally told that it would cost £15,000 to obtain the transcripts from the trial.  The majority of Farepak savers were women on low incomes and simply could not afford this amount. We have since been informed copy transcripts will cost considerably less and probably hundred as opposed to thousands of pounds.

 

Accordingly, we are asking anyone who feels inclined to help us continue the fight for justice, to support us in our quest to obtain these transcripts which may help to further highlight potentially illicit activity at HBOS. We need as many people as possible to donate £1 (or more) to our PayPal www.paypal.com account info@unfairpak.co.uk in order to obtain the transcripts and give us a fighting fund to investigate HBOS’s role further. We might even be able to get legal advice on how to proceed. We will keep a running account of what is received and how it is disbursed, on the Unfairpak site http://www.unfairpak.co.uk/ .

 

Many thanks.

 

What our supporters have to say:-

“What happened with Farepak is absolutely outrageous and I’m not even sure it’s legal. But regardless of legalities, HBOS should pay back every penny to the victims”…Paul Moore, HBOS Whistleblower 17th August 2012

“HBOS’s handling of the Farepak and European Home Retail situation in September and October 2006 confirms that, two years prior to its own narrowly averted collapse, the bank had become congenitally incapable of acting honourably, morally or ethically — especially in view of the fact it continued to take in ‘deposits’ in September and October 2006, in the full knowledge that Farepak and EHR were headed for insolvency.”…Ian Fraser, Financial Journalist 17th August 2012

It is crucial to the future of UK banking that all the ‘baggage’ about HBOS is exposed, dealt with appropriately and that such behaviour is banished from the UK financial system before we become a laughing stock. Of all the HBOS scandals, this may not have been the biggest but it was certainly one of the shoddiest. One wonders if the HBOS bosses enjoyed their Christmas dinners in 2006? Even Scrooge may have found this one a step too far? Positively “ill founded and misconceived.”…Paul Turner 17th August 2012.

Unfairpak’s Response to £8 million from Lloyds

It would have cost roughly £3 to £5 million for HBOS to ‘save’ Farepak but HBOS wanted their money back and they got it, leaving 116,439 customers with claims totalling £37 million out of pocket and facing a miserable Christmas in 2006.

Unfairpak held a demonstration outside HBOS’s HQ in Edinburgh on 11 December 2006 with a large media presence.  We had our fantastic laminated ‘UNFAIRPAK’, banner and Colin Fox, former MSP, came up with the wonderful slogan ‘Hand Back Our Savings’!

We also had a petition with thousands of signatures and many emails from MSP’s stating that they would not be attending the Champagne Reception that HBOS were holding on that very cold December night.

Unfairpak knew then that HBOS had our savings and we wanted them back.  The bank, on the other hand, decided, very kindly, to give us Shane O’Riordain with an ‘open’ letter to Unfairpak which our National Campaign Co-ordinator read to the demonstrators.

Shane very quickly became known and called as ‘Shame on Shane’ and it was truly ‘shame on Shane’ as he was the one sent out to spin HBOS’s poor, pathetic attempt at discrediting Unfairpak and in fact Suzy herself.  HBOS were “very disappointed” that Suzy stated that the £2 million donation, being the single largest donation, to the Farepak Response Fund (if we heard that once, we heard it one hundred times from Shame on Shane) “disgusted her”.  HBOS went onto state that they “broke the golden rule of banking” as banks hardly ever made a charitable donation to companies that had collapsed and they had provided finance to same.  However, that is exactly what it was, a charitable, guilty donation and now Lloyds wish to ‘top it up’ by £8 million to the £10 million suggested in court by Mr Justice Peter Smith.

Lloyds are now ‘responsible’ for HBOS’s greed due to the fact that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lloyds Banking Group.  However, don’t feel sorry for Lloyds, as they were later, along with other banks, to be bailed out by the taxpayer and owes said taxpayer around £20 billion – YES £20 BILLION!

Unfairpak firmly believe that Lloyds should actually be paying £10,251,000.  We reach this figure as this is the amount that was swept up from Farepak to HBOS from suspension of EHR’s shares on 23 August 2006 until the Group’s collapse.  If you look at Woolworths as a comparison, when they suspended their shares they put the firm into administration, EHR, on the other hand, continued to trade.  This is the date that Unfairpak feel we can say categorically that EHR should have been put into administration but was not.

Now some people will read this and think “£10,251,000, are you crazy……”?  What we have to remember is that HBOS did NOT act illegally.  They did however act wholly immorally especially with the Park II rescue plan, which, as Unfairpak stated at the beginning of this post, would have cost HBOS £3 to £5 million to ‘save’ Farepak.  HBOS ‘sat on’ Park II for 6 weeks, initially calling it a “neat solution…..” only later to pull the plug completely on the Group.

Suzy Hall along with Yvonne Fovargue and Ian McCartney are meeting with Mr Vince Cable on Thursday 12 July 2012 to discuss “the case”.  Mr Cable has stated today that “My department and Lloyds will work to make sure this money gets to the victims as quickly as possible.”  There are several ways this can be done, the simplest being through BDO.  Now some people are going to get a little tetchy that Unfairpak should even dare mention BDO and money in the same sentence.  What people have to realise is that they have no idea what goes on behind the scenes of an administration/liquidation and Unfairpak appreciate that must be extremely frustrating.  However, BDO are the best equipped to deal with distributing the funds.   BDO actually waived their fee in respect of dealing with the Farepak Response Fund.  Unfairpak are NOT suggesting that BDO would waive a fee dealing with Lloyds but we are pointing out that they have done so before.

To bring this blog to a close, Unfairpak would urge Lloyds to up their offer to £10,251,000 and lastly, we expect and shall demand that ALL senior management of HBOS from 2006 involved with Farepak are brought before the Treasury Select Committee to answer questions on their actions.  They have called our savings “Doris” that comment may prove to be “Deadly” especially when they are fighting a group that completely deserved Scottish Herald Politician Campaign of the Year Award in 2007.

 

 

 

 

Vince Cable’s Statement Lloyds £8 million to Farepak

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has today responded to the Lloyds Banking Group statement on their decision to make an ex-gratia payment of £8 million for Farepak’s former customers. Dr Cable wrote to Lloyds on 28 June asking for their views on the comments made about the bank by Justice Peter Smith. Lloyds Banking Group has today responded.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

 

“The result of the legal proceedings case against the former directors was disappointing but this increased compensation will go some way in helping those who were left considerably out of pocket by Farepak’s collapse. My department and Lloyds will work to make sure this money gets to the victims as quickly as possible. I will be meeting a group of Farepak’s creditors and MPs next week to discuss the case.”

HBOS, FAREPAK AND EHR DIRECTORS

Having only had time to skim read Mr Justice Peter Smith’s statement, we will make the following comments.

Regarding Mr Peter Johnson to be the only person to criticise the Farepak model due to the fact that Park Group Plc ringfence customers’ monies, Park were put in the position of ringfencing customers’ monies due to the collapse of Farepak.  We obviously agree with customers’s monies being ringfenced and the Christmas Pre-payment Association has now traded successfully for almost 6 years.

Regarding what the Directors of EHR/Farepak should have done earlier is basically given the creditors the truth.  The directors advised us of the collapse of Choice but informed us that a new agreement with Grass Roots had been made for Bonusbond vouchers.  Yes, a new agreement had been reached but said agreement required payment up front.  The directors of Farepak must have known they would not have had enough money to pay for the vouchers up front.

Farepak customers were never given a choice over what to do.  We were not told of cashflow problems, we were not told that when Choice collapsed, Farepak would have to pay up front for vouchers and the significance of this fact.  We were not told that EHR’s shares were suspended on 23 August 2006.  If we had been told these very important points, how many of us would have wished our money back?  We suspect practically every single saver and Farepak would have known that also and known that they would never be able to repay us due to the fact HBOS had our money as it was swept up daily from the Farepak account into the EHR account and then directly to HBOS.

Unfairpak still believe to this day that the directors do have questions which require to be answered and we will now not get those answers.  We note Mr Justice Peter Smith has stated that the evidence will be made available for any interested party wishing to read same.  We can confirm that Unfairpak will request said evidence and it does not matter how long it takes us to read same, we will do it and we shall report on it.

Now to matters relating to HBOS.  HBOS is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group.  Accordingly, Unfairpak will now be launching a new campaign and that is to have the money that HBOS took from us, returned.

We note that they are refusing to return any money stating they paid 2 million into the Farepak Response Fund.  This is not good enough! Unfairpak demonstrated, quite correctly, at HBOS in 2006 whilst they sipped champagne inside the HQ in Edinburgh.  We were presented with a letter criticising our campaign and criticising our National Campaign Co-ordinator, Suzy Hall.  This letter can be seen on our forum and also on You Tube you can see Suzy reading out the letter to demonstrators.

Colin Fox, then an MSP was a fantastic ambassador to the cause and came up with the slogan for HBOS of “Hand Back Our Savings”.  That is what we are demanding now.  We want our savings back.  We are, at the present time, ascertaining how much money was swept up to HBOS following suspension of EHR’s shares on 23 August 2006.  Once we have said figure, we shall be demanding same back from Lloyds.

We will fight hard, just as we did in 2006, to get justice for Farepak creditors.  We will not give up this fight until Lloyds repay monies owed morally to Farepak creditors.  HBOS lied and made a mockery of our campaign.  Again, Mr Peter Johnson of Park Group Plc was ‘on the ball’ so far as HBOS was concerned.  He wrote to the Chairman (who we believe to be Andy Hornby) expressing his extreme concern that the rescue package Park II was still sitting with HBOS.  In total it sat with HBOS for 6 weeks.  At first HBOS stated that Park II could be a “neat solution……” yet on 10 October 2006 they rejected said rescue plan and as we all know the entire Group fell into administration.

Unfairpak also wish every single member of ‘higher management’ of HBOS in 2006, investigated by the Treasury Select Committee and made to answer questions on why they rejected every single proposal made to them especially Park II which while they sat on same, millions of pounds were pouring into HBOS’s bank account from the EHR sweep.

We will leave this post as it is just now as we are still awaiting more facts to push our campaign ahead.  Unfairpak won an award for Campaign of the Year in 2007 from the Scottish Herald Politician Awards.  We take that award seriously.  We were honoured to have received same and we shall not continue the work that began in 2006 until we reach a satisfactory conclusion.

 

Collapse of Farepak Directors Trial

Unfortunately I am out of the Country and shall not return until beginning of July.  I heard this news through a barrage of texts and emails which I received upon landing last night.

Unfairpak has always taken the stance since 2006 that HBOS had a case to answer to yet we were constantly fobbed off with “HBOS did NOT bank Farepak, we provided a loan to the Group”.  HBOS even wrote an open letter to the Unfairpak Forum which is on our forum and any member will be happy to point same out to anyone who wishes to read this.

Unfairpak presented a petition to HBOS at the demonstration prior to Christmas 2006 which many MSP’s boycotted due to HBOS’s role in the Farepak debacle.

It became clear very early on that the directors’ defence would hinge upon HBOS and again, sadly, we were right.  We still stand by the fact that the directors “should have known better”.  We still feel there has been a huge miscarriage of justice here.  Directors ought to know how their company is run and with the cashflow problems that Farepak faced, Unfairpak fully and firmly believe that the entire group of European Home Retail should have been put into administration much earlier on in 2006.  They should certainly have been put into administration upon suspension of EHR’s shares in August.  Take for example the Woolworths Group.  Upon suspension of their shares, they called in the administrations.  In Unfairpak’s opinion, Woolworths acted correctly.

For HBOS to refer to our savings as “Doris Money” is absolutely disgusting.  What do they [HBOS] think we are? Financially illiterate, bumbling fools who did not know what we were doing?  Farepak savers were clever, prudent people who saved for Christmas so as not to get into debt.  Referring to our savings as “Doris Money” just adds insult to injury and we are appalled to hear our savings described this way.

Peter Cummings, the “ultimate arbitrator” must answer questions now.  As must Andy Hornby who was CEO at the time of the collapse.  Unfairpak will tweet the open letter which is on You Tube.  Please followers re tweet same and let the UK know what “spin” HBOS gave us.

HBOS are one of the UK banks that were bailed out by the government!  Unfairpak still to this day do not believe that the government should bail out Farepak “victims”.  However, what we do believe now is that HBOS should repay, in full, the 38 million they successfully clawed back through the administration of the European Home Retail Group.

Upon my return, I will be ensuring that Mr Vince Cable and I meet to discuss matters further.  I will also be asking the Treasury Select Committee to look hard at HBOS.

What I would like to end with is this.  Ask yourself a question, if you bank with HBOS.  Do you really wish to put your money in a bank that refers to decent human being’s savings as “Doris Money”.  Do you think they actually care about anyone other than themselves?  Unfairpak would urge you to really think long and hard if you do bank with HBOS as to what your feelings are regarding the utter contempt they have shown for over 123,000 people whilst taking Christmas savings of approximately 38million pounds.  I certainly would not wish to bank with HBOS!

My final words until I get home “HBOS, shame on you”!

Farepak Directors Trial 19 June 2012

Taken from William Rollason and Stevan’s Fowler’s Skeleton Argument is the following:-

 

 

Mr Kelly’s email of 3 October 2006 said, “if Findel messes us around then we may end up going with the management plan. This is fairly unappetising in many respects given it doesn’t de-risk the Bank but it is probably preferable to a lengthy insolvency and workout with all the added risk this brings with it.”

 

Unfairpak can advise that Mr Kelly is from HBOS and was on the stand today.  We have been advised that he was being given a “pounding” by the defence team on “not raising concerns of possible administration with the directors earlier”.

 

Unfairpak believe that the directors defence may hinge on HBOS and the possibility that they led them [directors] to believe there may have been a solvent solution.