EXCLUSIVE: Desperate RBS lobbying for tougher repossession laws

Taxpayer-owned bank in dire straits as Santander deal collapses; more customers reveal fraud evidence.

Bank contractor sources revealed over last weekend that Royal Bank of Scotland lobbyists are hammering hard on the Coalition’s door with a view to getting draconian repossession laws passed. With fraud suits and gagging orders flying in every direction, Stephen Hester uttered the euphemism of the year by telling the media that the failure of the Santander retail purchases deal to complete was ‘disappointing’. Yesterday, financial opinion leaders were aghast at the thought of RBS effectively having its systemic gangsterism legalised.

“If you won’t entertain debt forgiveness,” said the banking insider who contacted the Slog two days ago, “then managing bad debt is actually an expensive and time consuming activity.” Especially for the customer. The source continued:

“In essence, the objective is for banks to be able to seize assets and collateral much sooner and to a greater extent than they can at the moment. They also want the current bankruptcy laws reviewed, the view being ‘people mustn’t be allowed to escape their obligations’. At the moment RBS are also looking at taking a much more aggressive approach with tens of thousands of people on relatively low amount debt repayment plans.”

The Slog has ample evidence of pressure-switching from interest-only to full repayment loans….as well as attempts to foreclose fraudulently. This is effectively asking customers oversold debt by bankers from 2003-08 if they wouldn’t mind screwing themselves so Freddie Goodwin’s megalomania can be amortised. Nice. My contact concluded:

“RBS along with a number of other banks is lobbying for a reform of debt laws and regulations in this country. Essentially they’ll put the squeeze on people deep in debt but just coping.”

If RBS staff are allowed to go any harder on such policies, they might just as well dress up in red and start using the rack. But 90% of the time, these drones are of course merely following the orders coming from those far above the train-timetables-and-tendering-for-gas-pellets process. And now that the Santander deal has collapsed,  things can only get worse – for everyone: for the Spanish bank was going to take on 316 RBS branches in the U.K.

The knackered toxically insolvent bailed-out bank (82% owned by us and aren’t we thrilled about that) was required by the European Commission in 2009 to sell the branches as a condition for receiving state aid. Santander has backed out after two years of haggling, and once again every taxpayer is entitled to ask why.

Whenever anyone from an Arab wealth fund to a sovereign State gets to see the RBS books, they tend to reverse in the opposite direction in sixth gear. The Slog has been using RBS Group insiders for eighteen months now as the source of allegations that the real toxicity of the Group is way, way beyond anything the public has been told. Further, Freedom of Information (FOI) requests simply bounce off Stephen ‘I’m above the Law’ Hester, as the bank has been cleverly structured to ensure that the vast majority of the bank’s jiggery-pokery lies beyond the definition ‘State’ or ‘State owned’.*

The bank said in a statement Friday that it would continue to work on fulfilling its obligations to the European Commission, and vowed that the decision would not impact on ‘service to customers’. So if you have an account with RBS, you should be very afraid of being serviced bigtime in future by the Rogered Bowel Syndrome.

All of which brings us back full circle to those 1600 customers currently in dispute with the Great Monetiser. So removing all names, pack drill and possibilities for injucting, here are some telling excerpts from just a few victims’ accounts of being at war with the RBS:

‘…..given the circumstances surrounding the closure of our Personal Bank Account, and your own close links with the Accused, we are legitimately concerned that you were personally involved in the orchestrated closure of this Account…an act which we believe also constitutes the Criminal Act of Conspiring to Pervert the Course of Justice. We will deal with the matter of NatWest’s / RBS’s overall liability for our massive losses (i.e. as result of our improper & fateful introduction to XXX XXXXX) under separate cover…’

‘Upon discussing the case with the Banking Ombudsman, who was horrified at RBS’s conduct, we were told that this conduct seriously breached the Banking Code…’

‘The Joint Personal Account was closed, without even informing us until the week after, on a Friday afternoon (on the 2nd October ’09), before a vital Monday legal deadline (on the 5th October ’09) in relation to our Proceedings at the Royal Courts of Justice…Proceedings in which we have been forced to act as Litigants in Person, and having to prepare for substantive High Court submissions [because] we were left without access to money….’

I would stress that, before reaching any conclusions about the above content, readers should remember that:

1. The above extracts could be a pack of lies; but

2. Some of the behaviour mentioned in there rings true….and sounds familiar.

*Those so keen on the Branson acquisition of NHS primary care services should note that the same thing applies there.

*    *    *    *    *    *

If you had asked me two years ago whether ‘financial repression’ was a reality or a blogosphere-invented conspiracy theory, I would’ve said the latter. But surveying the pending Court cases relating to UK retail banking at the moment, there is a veritable Alpine mountain range of evidence to demonstrate that at least four banks are actively involved – with senior management approval – in fraudulent asset repossession and thinly disguised extortion.

It’s also clearly doing it with the full approval of HM Treasury.

This tells you all you need to know about how bad our fiscal and banking situation is here in Great Britain…and how amoral the politico-banking axis has become. It also explains why ‘glitz bricks’ prices are heading for the Moon, and gold is almost certainly having a brief rest before powering well beyond the magic $1800 an ounce.

Over the coming year, I will be holding the very minimum possible in cash. What you do is your affair. In the meantime, I would suggest that – without massive passive resistance to banks and tax inspectors, we’re all going to be fleeced yet again.

See also: the multimillionaire Greek banker who regulates himself

53 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Desperate RBS lobbying for tougher repossession laws

  1. Here is a counter-cyclical tale. It’s from around twenty years ago when there were thugs in the banking sector but they did not always prevail. A friend was manager of a local animal feed firm which, from time to time, made use of overdraft facilities with Bank A. An area manager of the bank overruled the branch manager and reduced these considerably. The firm’s owner knew a director of the bank and was able to get this reversed.

    Two years later my friend had an urgent call from their friendly local manager, saying “I want you to go and see the manager at Bank B and agree with everything he says. It’s urgent”. So he did. He found that Bank B knew all about his firm’s requirements and said ” Sign here,here and here. congratulations. You are now our customer”.

    He wondered what it was all about and got to see his old friend, the Manager at Bank A, who showed him a letter from the man who had tried to choke off their credit two years before. He was now an area director and had instructed the branch to withdraw all overdraft facilities at once. Their cheques would have bounced and their work people have remained unpaid until the mess was sorted out – although the firm was perfectly sound.

    Bank A’s manager said, “I can now reply. “No account held at this branch”.

    So there used to be some decent chaps in banking but the thugs are not just loriding it locally but right at the top now.


  2. Sorry John that bit flew straight over my bonce….
    “Over the coming year, I will be holding the very minimum possible in cash…”

    Kind of thought that apart from ‘Geli’s Gold”, cash was the best option?
    …but it is 0700ish and I ain’t yet fully congnisomething or corpusomething.


  3. “…without massive passive resistance to banks and tax inspectors, we’re all going to be fleeced yet again.”

    Over the last year I for one have been refining my ‘passive resistance’ methods and now ‘use’ my banks a lot more than they ‘use’ me as a result of minimising the way I use them at all. If everyone has or does reduce their activity through banks to the same extent it must start to hurt the banks.

    The problem with this is of course that the banks will become ever more desperate to make money and in the ways that they do.


  4. @ J

    Now I’m confused, why would prices of gold ingots that aren’t gold ingots shoot up as against the real stuff?


  5. These tough new laws/regulations on bankruptcy .. would it be overly presumptuous of me to enquire whether they would apply to the banks themselves?

    Oh I see. It would. I’m so sorry.


  6. Now, funnily two things have happened this last couple of days of which I am suspicious.
    First, on getting diesel at my local BP, I always keep the minimum amount I need for the week in the tank and, I always pay cash, with this in mind I needed about £30 so, I stopped the pump at £29.98 not wishing to have to break another note for the sake of a couple of pence. I put the nozzle back in the holder checked the amount and walked to the desk to pay. When I arrived there I was informed I owed exactly £30!!! I paid as I had no choice and walked back to the pump to check the amount and, lo and behold the pump said £30 exaclty!
    Secondly, I have an MBNA credit card which I use occasionally, and I generally pay the balance in full at the end of the month, this time around I didn’t, the balance was only £90ish and my direct debit is setup to pay a minimum of £25 so, I wasn’t worried, only to find out this morning that they have reduced my minimum to their minimum so, they only took £5ish.
    I don’t believe these two incidents are by accident. Both sharp practice.


  7. It’s OK Branson will ride in, like a knight in shining armour, and rescue RBS.

    (I bet his private island has a very good CCTV installation btw)


  8. If/when the Scots become Independent, lets gift the Royal Bank of Scotland back over North of the border (from whence it came), and get shot of RBS once and for all !…..they can then print Scottish Bank notes to their hearts content and get shot of all those messy debts.

    This ‘lack of any state interference in the day to day running of our very dodgy Semi-Nationalised banks’ is starting to reek of some nasty chummy deals behind the scenes in the Corridors of Power or the City Wine Bars or both…….as a UK taxpayer, I’d like to seek a much more ‘hands on’ approach to these banks…..preferably around Stephen Hester’s neck.

    Is’nt it a bit of a worry (since I would not personally dream of touching a UK Bank account with Santander for fear of the impending ‘contagion’)….that these ‘RBS financial experts’ actually believed, (as late as this time last week), that ANY Spanish Bank would still be considering £1.6 Billion of Overseas Expansion right now??


  9. Get rid of MBNA, they are the worst of the worst always trying to increase your negative balances and increase their interest rates which can go up to 30 per cent pa. I got rid of mine 2 years ago. American thieves! I moved to Barclaycard. Easy to handle on line and ultra low interest rates if caught short.


  10. Bunch of thieves indeed. Another trick is to delay crediting payments to the account to charge late payment fees.

    No surprise to see that they are the bearded one’s partners in Virgin Credit Card.


  11. been with MBNA for years – only problem I have had is a sometimes over-zealous fraud department that stops payments. But their 24/7 call center (in Ireland) works well with staff that seem to know what they are doing to
    get things fixed.

    By contrast, B’card treated my daughter very shabbily with willful under collection and then harassing letters to deal with unpaid debt. We cut up all our B Cards …

    Just to give an alternative view.


  12. Off topic but i just read that your former glorious leader Gordon Brown is now the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education. WTF? In an unrelated question, how’s Special Envoy Tony Blair going in his search for Middle East peace? Nearly finished?


  13. @SMacA

    Thanks for that, I was overlooking JW’s wry humour input with the ‘prices go to the moon bit’ and missed the real point entirely.


    I should have known you were ahead of me, I thought you were having one of those before caffeine injection moments, but It was I, as they they.

    So, off to put the kettle on before I get another such moment.


  14. I don’t think it is just RBS that is in trouble, Lloyds are desperately looking for cash witness the 4% interest on current accounts they are touting at the moment.

    I am constantly getting calls from them asking if I am interested in ‘investment opportunities’ which I politely decline every time


  15. Are they stupid as well as criminal? House prices have been stabilised by (i) the banks avoiding repossessing residential property and (ii) the Government maintaining rent support. A change to either risks a collapse of house prices and a banking collapse.


  16. Pingback: NEWSCORP SPECIAL: Murdoch hires his own inhouse drug trafficker. | A diary of deception and distortion

  17. Thank God you are looking at this. The secret courts are having a field day, its the same ones involved in the secret family courts that are fleecing people of their homes.

    It would be a good idea for everyone to learn how to set up a rustic shelter and set up a bivvy. We’re all going to need them at this rate.Though why some people need 50 houses when others dont even have a room is beyond my understanding. Greed does strange things to people.


  18. Those that know the banking recoveries sector and that work with them know that the RBS team – “GRG or Global Restructuring Group” – are by far the most aggressive and unreasonable amongst the major banks.

    Few professional will publically admit this in case they don’t get RBS work. However there is growing evidence that RBS engaged in reckless commercial lending, misselling of interest rate products and now behaviour involving duress and threats in order to recover the money. There is a difference between legitimately seeking to recover difficult loans and seeking to take advantage of the situation. For a bank owned by the taxpayer it is a scandal waiting to break in my opinion.


  19. Pingback: John Ward – Exclusive : Desperate RBS Lobbying For Tougher Repossesion Laws – 15 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  20. My understanding is that most of the state banks are a refusing to repossess domestic property and are instead increasing forbearance. Many are not paying their mortgage and are on extended “payment holidays” until the economy improves. As the economy is the housing market methinks they will be on this holiday for a while.

    Can’t have the housing market in the UK collapsing, can we?


  21. JW

    As to ‘thinly disguised extortion’ I continue to be amazed at why companies like Wonga (apr 4214%), Peachey (16 K%) and others regularly advertising at over 2 K% are not pilloried and banned.

    Currently the UK government say these roaches are providing a service in preventing poor people going to ‘loan sharks’!

    Recently Max Keiser (he who is never knowingly under stated) said that loan sharks (US style) were charging an outrageous 40,50 and even 60% rates).

    This is Kleptocracy at its most heinous, scavenging on the poorest in society!


  22. What about that wonga.com then ? Used by more and more workers …

    “The payday loan company has a 4,214% representative APR. That means if you were able to borrow money from it, without repaying for a year, you’d owe just over 42 times the original amount. .. in reality you CANNOT borrow for a year with Wonga, its a short term lender. ”

    source: http://tinyurl.com/3u7mhue


  23. Surprisingly enough, the new breed of short term loan companies are not actually in the short term loans business.
    They are in the IPO business, they build up the loan book and will sell off the business just before the book peaks.


  24. On the petrol pumps: I have noticed something odd too.

    As I think most people do, I fill up in round pounds – slowing the fuel flow as the cost reaches the desired multiple of £10.

    But for the last year or so I have noticed that in explicably the digital readout does this:

    29.95,29.97,29.98,29.99,30.01 – WTF!!!

    I always keep a stash of pennies in the car now – but I expect that like I started to do, many people will go to the next £1 or even £5 (or is that just me?)


  25. True enough, Gerry, but The Royal Bank of Scotland only really established itself in England through a few acquisitions between the wars. In hindsight, more fool that our Governments of the day did so little to resist the beggers !

    I’m sure there will be a large number of companies that at independence would wish to re register under Scottish law and regulation. My suggestion remains that there might also be a good plan if some dodgy companies of Scottish origin were to be expelled Northwards back over Hadrians Wall by the UK Govt !

    Besides, Scotland will surely need its own bank and ‘expert’ bankers if there was a Yes vote. Any attempt to keep the Pound while diverging The Scottish economy from that of the UK, would be utter folly (as proved presently by the PIIGS deflation…..or the 2002-7 Celtic Tiger inflation…)

    The Scots could have their own currency or go for the Euro….(if they are nuts enough to want to stay in the EU)……but I sure agree with George Osbourne on this one……The Scots cannot take the Pound Sterling with them as their National Currency….it simply could not work for either country.


  26. Briefly it will until people realise it is also just fancy coloured paper, then it will be a case of keeping your stash of food safe alonmg with your precious metals as the Government will seek to confiscate it.


  27. “…it will be a case of keeping your stash of food safe along with your precious metals as the Government will seek to confiscate it.”

    Or others seek to *acquire* it. Whenever this happens and it will happen, holding on to what you have prudently stored will be the biggest issue. Particularly for those of us in the countryside, for it is those the gangs of city dwellers will plunder first. Delicate issues such as the alleged awakening of the UK Poly’s to the reasonableness of force in the defence of property will become largely irellevant. (Until of courser the rule of Law finally returns and the witch hunt follows for any who managed to survive.)

    One small benefit of being bloody old is that you genuinely don’t care what the consequences of the actions you regard as necessary are. It is very liberating. Having played by the rules whilst watching TPTB disregard them for over six decades I am actually looking forward to doing otherwise if challenged.


  28. Thanks Graham, at least you didn’t try and tell me the Bank of England was English. I don’t think that they intend to take the pound with them, but the intention may be to continue to use it in an interim period, they then have a number of possibilities while the financial markets do the arithmetic. Continue to use the pound ( No one can stop that – it is an international currency), Go with the Euro -(as you say not particularly attractive in the current climate but still an option for Scotland or England) or look to a Scottish Currency either self standing or linked to the Nordic ones. As well as the EU option, there’s also the EFTA option for them. Looks to me like there’s a lot of ways ahead for Scotland, but few for England. Won’t go any further on this as it’s John’s Blog, and the pro/cons of independence are being discussed elsewhere without reference to Hadrian’s wall – which incidentally is not the border between Scotland and England.


  29. Being a financial ‘adviser’, I see a lot of hard financial cases in the UK. Many of them are truly pitiful, people misled by banks, insurance companies, government officials and all the rest of the dubious groups jostling around out there. I also do bankruptcies. In the sense of impartiality, it’s a bit like being a barrister, except that the pay is somewhat lower…

    Of course I support my clients and many of them really need it. The courts have been exceptionally helpful to many individual moderately innocent debtors in recent years and the banks (being rather sensitive about the possibility that they might have to reveal the true nature of their collateral) have also been bending over backwards to help mortgagees who might have strayed into dodgy territory, led by those bonus-seeking ba*****s. So the cost of these awkward situations has been spread about society, and lost in the system. No bankers have been harmed in the evolution of this scenario.

    But there are others. Not a huge proportion, but it does exist. I mean those who are simply playing the system. Spend, spend, spend, go bankrupt, wait (up to) a year having paid out a few hundred in court costs and fees, and then start the whole thing again, ideally from a new address and a new name, or better, a new company. I would not allow such people to go bankrupt, but I would not crucify them financially. Repayment with interest at the inflation rate over 20 years would do. I can’t see why society tolerates that kind of deliberate misbehaviour by writing it off, but it does, sometimes in the guise of starting an SME.


  30. fried taxpayer,

    So that a shorter period of lending AT THE APR OF 4214%, or similar, is ok (even a 30 day loan at some hundred percent interest is ruinous for the poor desperate folk that use these types of lenders of last resort)?

    No wonder the UK is in the mess it is in if people use such flaccid logic to defend these sleazebags.


  31. Another sneaky trick, employed most often by ASDA but seen in other places, too – setting the pump speed higher than it ought to be. Even a super gentle squeeze of the trigger can easily throw 5-7 pence worth of juice down the filler, causing you to blow through the round fiver or tenner you were aiming for. And, naturally, a lot of people will then carry on pumping until they hit the next round figure. Or miss it, as is more likely.

    My strategy, upon being increasingly frustrated with this, is now to put in as near to £19.01 as possible, then pay with a 20 pound note. The kiosks often don’t have a lot of change on hand, so it’s not unusual to get let off with the odd penny. If everyone did the same, the need to keep masses of change on hand would soon start to p**s them off (though they’d probably retaliate by sticking a penny a litre on the fuel).

    And, since I drive a 406 HDi, about 40% of what’s in the tank at any given time is Makro’s finest catering-drum vegetable oil, anyway. Works out at about 86p per litre, at last purchase.


  32. Rustic shelter? Already have; 14′ x 7′ and 7′ high – two layers of rubberised tarp with ‘space blanket’ foil insulation between them. Even has a wood burning stove with a small oven attached. Including the chimney, the shelter breaks down into seven pieces (plus poles and guys) and weighs 11 1/2 pounds.

    Be prepared, that’s my motto.


  33. Being a Virgo rising sort of a chap (Leo actually) I like things to be just right so when I put £30.00 of fuel in my white van I want it to be “exactly” £30.00 otherwise I feel unease! Every electronic pump I use these days refuses to stop at £30.00 exactly regardless of how slight my trigger finger is, but jumps to £30.01. I think this is a ruse to get me to £40.00 in instead. As for MBNA, I’ve had some real barnies with them and their sharp practices. An example: offering an interest free balance transfer which you take up and then only have to pay a nominal repayment say £25 per month which you happen to put on auto pay from your account, then receiving a letter some months in which looks to all intents and purposes like more marketing bumph, but in fact is telling you that your they’ve moved the goalposts and your minimum repayment is to increase. If you miss this letter, you get an underpayment charge and lose your interest free period. Lovely. Or what about Barclaycard, I used to use my Platinum card to purchase goods to sell through my business and paid the balance off every month. They offered me an interest free loan which I took advantage of, but again was slightly uneasy, in Yorkshire “you don’t get ow’t for now’t”. Then I realised the scam, when I paid off my monthly purchases the payment would reduce my interest free and then I would be charged interest on my outstanding balance. When I took this up with the “Customer Services” I was told by one very helpful gentleman that “you should have read the small print”. I classed myself as a very good customer for them usually spending between £3k-£5k per month, but no I was just a price of s&&t to make money out of. They finally offered me the money interest free for 6 months when I escalated my complaint.

    My motto: Don’t trust them as far as you could throw them. They have no interest in you well-being only how much money they can make out of you whilst you’re still breathing.


  34. Seriously considering buying gold sovereigns and some silver myself. Mind you, I read that Roosevelt issued and executive order forbidding the holding of gold during the Depression, so I suppose there is nothing to stop HMG passing a similar emergency measure in the event that Sterling turns into toilet paper.


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