Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Barclay's Fundamentals - this is how it all began....

The email you see below is what began a life changing journey for my family from a position of security, stability and happiness to one of anxiety, concern, stress and fear. We had built up a portfolio of 42 individual commercial properties over twenty years. We started with nothing and worked hard to establish a strong and highly profitable portfolio which would support our family and provide long-term security and stability. Barclays Bank provided a loan facility but in 2005 we were advised to transfer the lending over to Barclays Capital which we did.If anyone had told me then that we would be in the postion we find ourselves in today, I would never have believed them; a bank is surely an institution that you can trust, one that is dependable and honest? Not so in my world; Barclays Capital blatantly engineered a default in my husbands loan facility that allowed them to foreclose on the loan one day, appoint Official Receivers the next and sell the day after, at significant undervalue, to a company that had extremely close links to the bank itself . This all happened in less than 48 hours despite the fact that the loan had NEVER been in arrears!

There are several questions I need answers to and below are just a few of them:

  • Why did this happen when the portfolio was not and had never been in arrears? 
  • Why did the Receiver act as the banks agent in the sale; there is no way a 'proper price' can be achieved or a sale initiated and completed in less than 24 hours?
  • Why did the bank refuse all communication in the six months prior to the foreclosure?
  • Why was the Receivers valuation £6-8 million less than the two we have in our possession; one by a large national surveying company, the other by a local independent with expert regional knowledge?
  • Is there not a potential conflict of interest when the same company was appointed as Receiver who acted as the portfolio valuer on behalf of the bank?
  • What happened to the banks commitment to ''Treating Customers Fairly' ...apparently it is 'fundamental to the way Barclays does business' and Barclays 'aspires to the timeless values of integrity, trust, fairness and openness'.

We have had several meetings with Barclays officers over the past eleven months, most of which have come to nothing. We have tried to get the officers involved and their superiors to justify their actions and explain the reasons behind them to no avail.

I am angered that our government offers no support structure  for people in our position? We could complain to the FSA but have been told that, if they did initiate an investigation, we would never know the outcome. Surely this is wrong, we should have the right to know what decisions are made by institutions that are funded by the tax-payer. Does this not allow the banks to pillage small businesses safe in the knowledge that their actions will never be disclosed and the likelihood of any public repercussion is minimal?
We could go to court, and have every intention of doing so but, should my husband be declared bankrupt prior to the end of the trial, the whole case will fall due to his financial position. This is probably what the bank is waiting for, no case. The bank, fully aware of individuals/companies financial circumstances, behaves in an immoral or illegal manner and can do so, safe in the knowledge that there will be no repercussions as they have left their victims with debt, no income and no choice but to declare themselves bankrupt which then robs them of any right to persue legal action.

Barclays Bank may have its own 'Code of Conduct'  but it appears to be more of a PR Tool than something that its staff respect and follow.

I would like to hear from other small businesses who have been left in a similar position.

This blog  is my way of putting this in the public domain as I want to know the public opinion....legally, a judge has yet to decide but ethically, we must be right.

I will be updating this blog and adding further details regularly and look forward to hearing your thoughts, opinions and experiences.


  1. I find it staggering and beyond belief that a British High Street Bank can behave in this way. It 'smacks' of the Banking sectors' greed which is often spoken about and always strenuously denied by the Banks themselves.

    It also serves to remind us that behind every statistic there are people involved with lives which are unequivocally altered.

  2. I never trusted banks and this made me even more suspicious - I'm baffled that an alleged reputable institution like BarCap in the face of a financial crisis goes about ruining these people's life. It reeks of greed, insider trading, conflict of interest, nastiness and I could go on. What has become clear is why Merchant Banker is indeed cockney rhyming slang for wanker.... Good luck and hang these monsters out to dry! They deserve no pity.

  3. disgusting, banks are still getting away with the rape and pillaging of small business' knowing that there is little to no chance of any repercussion. Surely when we now know that they are not institutions that we can trust and depend on, the government need to offer some form of support to their victim's that is not dependant on having shed loads of cash? It stinks and needs to be addressed, I hope you spread awareness, win and let me know what I can do other than spread the message and call for some form of class action........shame on them...

  4. You need to join boycott big business on facebook and you need to send a link to this story. People are immune to the effects of how big business behaves until it happens to them. I hope you are with the Cooperative bank now.

  5. Smells like a stitch up to me. I won't be shopping at Barclays.

  6. Is this how Barclays makes its millions???

  7. How can someone buy all those properties in 24 hours? The paperwork on our house sale is taking weeks!

  8. I am appalled that a so called 'trustworthy High Street Bank could behave in such a manner. David Cameron needs to stop the millions of pounds of bonus payments to these crooks and urgently use this money to set up legal and financial support for people like yourselves so you are in a position to fight for justice.

  9. when are the next details comming, names of other parties involved?

  10. I am shocked that a so called reputable institution would act in such an unjust and underhanded manner. It is all about the bonus.

  11. If bankers put us on the brink of a global financial collapse, why aren't they held accountable? When rogue trader Nick Leeson, whose unchecked risk-taking caused the collapse of Barings Bank, then the UK's oldest investment bank, was caught, he was sent to prison....How come neither of these money grabbing bucaneers are punished for their crimes?

  12. Barclays think they're invincible because they didn't receive government bailout.... Not from the UK maybe. But they did from the US taxpayers: In March 2009 it was reported that in 2008, Barclays received billions of dollars from its insurance arrangements with AIG, including $8.5bn from funds provided by the United States taxpayers to bail out AIG...

  13. just read about the bonuses these animals are to recieve, how can the nation allow this behaviour to continue?

  14. If you are confident of your ground it may be worth taking this to the media. In particular Watchdog type programs, Moneybox on Radio 4 would be a good one as well. There is always risk that the media will turn on you so you do need to be sure of how you stand.

    You could ask people to re-tweet this, that may build up numbers more quickly.

    Have you obtained an independent financial analysis of this from a trusted accountant or similar.

  15. If I was a scottish Radio 4 presenter i might say these guys were members of the 'Cambridge University Netball Team'.


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