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    • Thank you for this. The first thing to be say is that this means that you are winning. It is pretty well unheard of in my experience for the bank to give way and finally return the money. The fact that they have done this under the threat of a judgement for breach of statutory duty indicates even more that they are worried about their position. Nowhere have they indicated that they have complied with the requirements of the Proceeds of Crime Act and inform the National crime agency. I don't believe they have and this is a very serious breach of statutory duty. Not only that it is a very serious breach of the FCA BCOBS regulations in that they are required to treat you fairly. Treating you fairly in this case means that they must comply with the rest of their statutory duties. It appears that they really haven't done this at all and that they have acted in an arbitrary way in disregard of the law and that they are hoping to get away with it. I find myself wondering how many other hundreds of people have been treated in exactly the same way – and you are probably the first ever to have stood up to them and to get them worried. I think I've already indicated that a press contact of mine in the Sunday Times would be very interested in this story. He has already run stories about the very poor standards applied by banks when deciding that their customers are involved in some fraudulent behaviour. The first thing to say about the letter which you have received is that they are trying to apply conditions to releasing your own money. It's your money and there should be no conditions and my suggestion is that you object to this. Secondly, not only are they threatening to continue to withhold your own money – but also they are saying that if they release it to you you will simply have the net figure without any kind of interest or compensation. It's clear that while they have had your money, they have invested it and earn money on it. They have probably been lending it out at between 16% and 20% and although the usual rate of interest is 8%, it seems to me that justice can only be served by repaying you your money plus the commercial rate of interest – at a compound rate. Normally the 8% is calculated at simple. Thirdly, they are not offering to pay you any compensation and clearly they are hoping to get away with it without any kind of sanction or not even a slap on the wrist.   Fourthly, they had the nerve to impose a seven day deadline. Don't worry about their deadline. It's a load of huff and puff. This is all part of their bluff game designed to intimidate you. At the end of seven days – what? Are they then going to insist on going to court? You can be certain that these people do not want to go to court. In fact they probably wish they had never started. Finally, they want the matter to be kept confidential – and I can't say I blame them. I would be ashamed if people knew that I had treated somebody else in this way and I'm sure they are worried about reputational damage. I'm also sure that there are extremely worried about what will happen if you get a judgement against them for breach of statutory duty. It will have to be reported to the FCA. It will have to be reported to the NCA. And of course it should be reported to the newspapers because people need to know what is going on. If you want, you can simply accept their proposal – get your money back, given confidentiality – and that's the end of the matter. However, you have no idea how this will impact on your record in the future. I imagine that they will bar you from ever opening an account with them again. – But at least you will have your money and you can get on with your life. However, if you want you can stand your ground and make it clear to them that you are going to be mucked around and treated like this and that you are prepared to go to court if they won't make a proper offer. I understand that you need to pay a court fee of about £350 in the next seven days. I expect that the bank is making this offer now hoping to dissuade you from spending any more money and hoping that you will back down. If you have the money to proceed then I would suggest very strongly that it will be a very serious sign of strength that you tell the bank that you're not interested in that you are paying the fee for the next stage of the court process. If the bank knows that you've called their bluff on this and that you have been prepared to invest further money in moving this legal action forward, then they will start to reflect and I can perfectly well imagine that they will make you another more interesting offer – once again on conditions of confidentiality. Without seeing the offer, I'm suggesting already that you will probably be best off turning it down. In any event, I would remind you going back several months that I already predicted that the bank would make you confidential offer – and that has happened. I'm not saying that I'm always going to be right here – but I think that now basically the bank have pretty well admitted that they need to pay you your money, there is no chance of you losing it. You will get your money and it really is just a question of how much else you will get in addition. If you'd like to continue then let me know and I will suggest a draft response to them.
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Bit of a mess with SKy!


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A little bit of a complex one this but I am really hoping that someone can advise!


We are managers at a pub. We work for another company who hold the tenancy, deal with all of the utilities etc and organise the TV. Basically, we are responsible for the day to day running with no responsibilty or say so on finances, contracts etc We get paid for this (self employed basis), along with our accommodation as part of the deal.


We organise TV, broadband and 'phone for the private acommodation only.


As we are only managers, we have to abide by our gaffers decisions and rules or be out of a job and home.


We've had Sky for years in various pub jobs around the country and the varied private accommodations that go with that.


Our gaffer chooses to use an alternative supplier for the commercial areas and here the problems begin. A Sky inspector visited and saw a match being allegedly being screened (we were not aware of this until a week later when our domestic Sky TV service suddenly ceased without warning late one evening).


We rang Sky the following day and were initially told that we had telephoned them and cancelled it. As we had not, we told them this. Several people later we were told of the above and that it had been passed to the Business Compliance Team and that broadband and 'phone was going to also be disconnected on 3rd March, and that Sky had also cancelled our direct debit as we have broken terms of the contract by using a domestic card in a commercial setting (which we haven't).


At this point we were also told that the inspector had seen our viewing card number on the screen in the bar. This is 100% NOT the case as our cards have not moved out of the boxes and our gaffer, whatever our thoughts on the matter, has chosen to use an alternative provider. We have informed Sky that we do not deal with the commercial side, and that it is absolutely incorrect that the card # was on screen, and that we will refute this all the way. We've also informed them that we have a letter from our employer stating that we do not control the TV supplier and that if we refuse to show what we are instructed to that we will lose both our job and home. They are not interested.


The broadband and 'phone was eventually cut-off on 2nd March ( a day earlier than it was supposed to be) and we have now had various letters and calls from them, mostly asking why we have chosen to leave and asking if there is anything to do to keep us as we are longterm customers!!!!! Also 1 letter demanding payment of £97 outstanding (despite THEM ancelling the DD that fell due 2/3/15 and despite the fact that no adjustments have yet been credited to the account. The advisor early in the row told us that next month, when the computers caught up, credits would be applied to the account to reflect the fact there was no longer a service being supplied, confirmed that Sky had cancelled the DD and told us we didn't owe anything).


We this morning got a signed for letter from Acumen Investigation Services. It states


"One of our enforcement officers has attended the above premises and witnessed Sky Exclusive Programming being shown in commercial areas that are accessible to the public. "


Then the bumpf about the relevant legislation then it continues


"may result in a criminal conviction, fines of up to £5000 per offence, legal costs and forfeiture of your personal license. Our clients also have the right to take civil action against you. Previous civil actions have resulted in payments of up to £65000 being made.


Our client requires that you do one of the following within 14 days: 1. Enter into a pubs and clubs agreement which permits the broadcasting of [sky] in the commercial areas of your premises 2. In the event that you do not wish to continue to broadcast [sky] ...you are required to complete the enclosed cease and desist form and return it to us or 3. Return any and all Sky Domestic viewing cards being used to facilitate these broadcasts. (Sky's viewing cards remain the property of Sky at all times).


We will continue to monitor your premises and will also be sending an enforcement agent to speak with you about copyright theft. If we do not hear from you within 14 days we reserve the right to take further action without further notice to you"


The cease and desist form and various bits of bumpf including a Sky contract was pubs was enclosed.


Now we are a bit stuck here. At no point has our domestic Sky been used in the commercial area and we have no say in what the supplier is nor what is broadcast in the commercial area. We've lost all of our domestic Sky services.


If we refuse to broadcast what our gaffer says, we will be chucked out of our job, and our home with it, along with our kids. He is the one who controls the tenancy, finance, contracts etc and has told us to continue broadcasting, using equipment supplied by someone he has contracted, as it's him that Sky should go after, and it's his risk. He has given us a letter stating that it is him who controls it and that we will be terminated if we disobey direct orders. Sky simply aren't interested and have chosen to go after us instead.


We can't sign a commercial agreement as we do not have the authority (and doubt the gaffer will sign one, though the paperwork will be given to his agent on Monday), we are unable to sign the cease and desist notice (part of the wording is "not to assist any person to use any apparatus or device not authorised by [sky]") as we have to turn the TVs on daily and would obviously then breach this and we cannot return any Sky cards "being used to facilitate" as none have been! (Obviously we will return the Sky cards without this proviso, but are not going to at present as it then looks like we have used them commercially!)


Obviously doing none of the 3 leaves us open to prosecution, but equally we could be without a job and home if we disobey our gaffer. HELP!

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