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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Quickly & Quietly...






To engineer a default is not easy under normal circumstances however, in the midst of a global economic crisis, it's not hard. I will write about how it's done soon but today I thought I should demonstrate how Barclays Bank went about selling our portfolio within 24hours.



In October 2009 we tried to withdraw £150,000 of our own cash to fund an extension of a vacant unit in central Bristol. According to Knight Frank Commercial Valuers, this would increase the value of the property from £560,000 to £1,240,000 - quite a jump. A tenant was in place, ready to sign a contract once the extension had been agreed. 


£420,000 of our own money was sitting in our portfolio account but the bank refused to allow us access, they had no legal right to do this, our contract terms had been fulfilled. This was our surplus cash, overspill from rent after the loan repayments had been met.


Within three weeks there was a turnaround and the bank sent a team of surveyors to visit the whole portfolio on the pretext of 'finding ways to increase the rental income even further'. Unbeknown to us, these surveyors were actually viewing the portfolio and carrying out Due Diligence on behalf of the new purchasers who had been given £330 million by Barclays to purchase property on its behalf. Small world isn't it?

Had our portfolio not been so profitable, it would not have been so appealing to the bank. They would have left it to struggle on as there was no reason to sell; ours was strong, profitable and had a healthy yield, having lost only 6% of its value in the past year compared to an average of -19.3%, so was very tempting to any potential purchaser, especially one with such close links with the bank and all the cash and contacts it needed to purchase quickly and quietly. Easy.

Sound like a stitch up to you?



7 comments:

  1. If you have read this and currently bank with Barclays then please show your support and move.
    By continuing to bank with them you are endorsing their behaviour.
    The same could happen to you and your family and tear your world apart.
    Act now.

    Mel Richardson.

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  2. This is sounding more seedy by the second! I can't believe that a British Company can continue to behave like this with impunity.

    Checks now need to be put in place and I would like to second The comment above and urge people who bank with Barclays to go elsewhere.

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  3. Totally agree. These characters are getting away with murder, earning massive bonuses from money they haven't earned, but stolen.

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  4. wife, mother and business woman....13 November 2010 at 20:20

    I was shocked when I read your first blog, but I am now in a state of disbelief as the story continues to unfold.....I nervously await more updates, but feel angry tht when we live in a democracy and civalised society that we appear to be allowing this behaviour knowing that the banks are finacially crippling customers so they can do nothing about it. Thank god for the internet, it's the main tool that as innocent, hard working members of the public we can seek justice and public support....good luck I have fowarded to everyone I know in the hope they will support your battle....

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  5. here, here, my friend forwarded me your blog, and if what is been written is true then i am shocked and disgusted, i too await the next update and wish you all the luck in the world, hopefully your fight will not only be producive for you and your family, but will have a long term impact on how these organisations behave in the future. Good luck.

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  6. Appalling - how can they refuse to withdraw your own money? Banks think they can do whatever you like because they sit on our money. And then the 24 hour turnaround...man, money never sleeps, does it?

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  7. The latest in banker's world is that they are volontarily contemplating reducing the amount of new year's bonuses to be capped at £4 bn rather than £7 bn....WTF? How wonderful a gesture - will they use the rest to pay you damages or settle? Probably not yet; probably first invest more in dodgy companies with high yield. Threadneedle sounds like a good idea: they have a 24hr turnaround and guaranteed another bonus. And another portfolio mopped up and bust and another family in the shit.

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