Hi, I'm new and, until yesterday, when I read your Announcement about BCOBs, I didn't even know I was legally entitled to fair treatment by a bank!
In 2005 my sons and I took out a loan with HSBC to fit out and start a restaurant. As planned I took out a 60% mortgage on my house(interest only) to complete the startup. On the plan we were due to have paid everything back in three to five years.
We negotiated an additional loan in 2006 as we were starting to run up costs.
In 2007 I needed to go to the bank again. I had rewritten the business plan with actuals and you could see that if we had additional money we would be turning the corner at the end of 2007. The manager I'd always dealt with agreed in principle, then disappeared off the face of the earth.
Too many weeks later after numerous enquiries HSBC said he had gone on 'sickness leave' and there was no record of our discussion or the promise so we had to start again. I was turned down. Not only that, they sent someone from a team called special measures or similar to 'help' me. His 'help' included a threat that if I didn't go to an administration firm he would close the account: also that because he was a specialist all my charges would now be increased.
I went along to the firm he recommended who said they couldn't help me, the only route was bankruptcy.
For various reasons this was not an option so I managed to mortgage the rest of my house.
For their own reasons HSBC wanted my business closed. I was an old customer and immediately prior to this business loan, had successfully borrowed, used and paid back a £480,000 short term loan. I was also in parallel running another small business with an overdraft and business loan and had been with First Direct since it started. So it was nothing to do with my history, which had been impeccable.
The manager who 'went sick' had been working alongside me and helpfully advising, but once he disappeared the bully boy tactics started.
I did not go bankrupt but will have to work until 70, at which time I lose the roof as I sell up to pay the mortgage off.
While the above sorry tale was happening, I was obviously subject to the usual practices of bouncing payments, charging for that, then going overdrawn, then charging, then bouncing etc etc. They also threatened to plunder my other accounts which I rapidly changed.
Is there anything I can do - or is it all too late?