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GaryH v Lloyds - ** WON **


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Due to the stubborn arrogance of our friends at Sechiari, Lloyds still owe me £100. Two charges that were imposed since the issue of my last claim that they would'nt include in the last settlement, plus a charge from 2004 that I somehow missed and left out of the previous claim. Am I going to let them get away with keeping so much as a penny of my money? Er.... NO!

 

Sending prelim to Martin Orton today along with this, which I just HAD to get out of my system!

Mr Martin Orton

Customer Service Recovery Centre

Lloyds TSB

125 Colmore Row

Birmingham

B3 3SF

 

 

10th December 2006

 

 

Dear Mr Orton,

 

Account Number: **-**-** ********

 

I write in relation to my claim for the return of unlawful penalty charges that were levied to my cash account between 2004 and 2006.

 

You may remember an exchange of correspondence between us in June this year relating to my complaint that the charges were in contravention of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the common law. Despite your unwavering insistence that the charges you imposed were fair and lawful, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that the claim was in fact settled last month by your in house legal team, Sechiari, Clark and Mitchell.

 

This settlement came after months of delaying tactics and veiled threats from both your department and your legal department.

 

My first request for the repayment of the charges came in May this year and was rebutted by your department with the threat to withdraw my banking facilities. Following a letter before action, you then issued your final response by insisting that the charges would stand, which left me with no alternative but to file a county court claim. Then followed our protracted but ultimately pointless exchange of correspondence in which you avoided giving direct or meaningful answers to the most fundamentally important issues that were put to you in relation to Lloyds TSB’s charges.

 

The court claim was then defended by your legal team at the 11th hour. An allocation questionnaire then had to be returned to the court by 8th August, a deadline which you exceeded by two weeks. The claim was then stayed for 6 months to await the result of a test case in which, incidentally, Lloyds TSB were the defendants (this was subsequently settled by you before a trial could take place). I objected to this stay and applied for its removal, for which a hearing was called which I attended on 19th October. The application was successful and directions to submit evidence were ordered by the district judge and a hearing date was set for 14th December.

 

My evidence bundle was filed and served in early November. Upon the approaching deadline for your legal team to submit theirs, I received a cheque for £364.03 in full and unconditional settlement of the claim.

 

In light of the above, I would ask you to be so kind as to expressly clarify Lloyds TSB’s policy with regard to dealing with these complaints.

 

As my case is typical of the hundreds of others settled in similar or identical circumstances, it seems reasonable to infer that Lloyds TSB had no intention of defending my claim, or any other, in court. If this is indeed the case, can you please explain why a defence was filed to the claim, or any other, at all?

 

How do you justify allowing claims to be dragged through 6 months of brinksmanship, prevarication and intimidation only for them to be settled without liability just weeks or even days away from the date of the hearing?

 

The County Court system is a publicly funded resource which you are seemingly intent on exploiting in an attempt at intimidating your customers and dissuading them from pursuing their legitimate right of seeking a judgement from a court. I am in possession of a list of nearly one hundred cases (including their claim numbers) in which Lloyds TSB are the defendants, which have been defended then settled in similar or identical circumstances to my own claim.

 

I’m sure the judiciary are drawing their own conclusions as to the motives behind your current litigation strategy, and I must say that I feel you are misguided and naive in your obvious belief that your methods are the most effective way of limiting the damage of these types of claims to your organisation.

 

The movement campaigning for the banks to act lawfully with regards to their penalty charging regimes is growing at an alarming and unforeseen rate and with it grows public awareness. All indications are that this issue will increasingly become a mainstream news story in the coming year. I feel that treating customers with the contempt as described above will certainly not endear Lloyds TSB to public opinion.

 

Additionally, by dragging claimants through the finer points of the legal process, you are in effect equipping them with the knowledge and experience which is then used to help many others to build and win their claims against you. This is evident to me every day as an active member of the Consumer Action Group. People are also far more likely to join the campaign if they feel angry that they have been treated badly and without any respect.

 

The above is similar in regard to your contention that your charges are not actually penalties, but contractual service charges. Whilst this argument may appear credible at first glance, upon closer inspection it is clear that it holds no merit whatsoever. A 'service' is a provision of knowledge, skill or other transferable facility that benefits the consumer, and one that the consumer agrees is at a reasonable market rate commensurable with the 'service' provided.

 

Your charges are penalties, despite what you may care to call them. They are punitive by their very nature. The law is concerned with the cause and effect of contract terms, not their superficial aesthetics. To present this point in rather crude terms - “if it looks like a penalty, smells like a penalty and acts like a penalty…. then it is a penalty!” (cheers Booky - stole that line from you;))

 

Case law summery dating back to the early 1900’s contains many references to the “cloaking” of penalties. Historically, contractual parties have regularly attempted to disguise penalties in this way and the courts are fully aware of this tactic. Further, the OFT has also reached its conclusion on this. I refer you to their April 2006 report and specifically section 4.21 “Disguised Penalties”.

 

I hope you will clarify the issues I have raised by answering my direct questions with direct, meaningful and sincere answers.

 

I also write to urge you to reconsider your policy with regard to the way you handle these complaints. Under the fiduciary relationship, you have a duty to act with sincerity and in utmost good faith in all dealings with your customers. Your customers rely on your expertise and deserve to be treated with due respect. Customers should not be forced through 4 or more months of stressful and time consuming litigation in order that you finally repay the money which you had no legal right to take in the first place.

 

The customers worst effected by your regime of punitive charges are by definition those who can least afford to pay them. By penalising customers with charges in excess of £30 each time they exceed their limit - often by as little as a few pence - is to compound the financial problems of those in society who are least likely to be able to afford them. For those on tight budgets, the cumulative snowball effect of these charges can be absolutely devastating – not only to finances but also to peoples entire lives.

 

In light of the recent statement by the Chief Financial Ombudsman, which stated that these claims should be either paid in full at the preliminary stages or defended in court, I hope Lloyds TSB will now take the lead on this issue by initiating positive action which would benefit yourselves and your customers.

 

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.

 

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

 

 

GaryH

 

Copies to;

 

Mr Eric Daniels, Chief executive Lloyds TSB

Walter Merricks, Financial Ombudsman Service

Office of Fair Trading

Financial Services Authority

District Judge Karron, Swindon County Court

Alistair Darling MP, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry

Ann Snelgrove, MP for Swindon South

BBC Watchdog

BBC Money Programme

The Daily Mail

Swindon Evening Advertiser

 

AHHHHHHH......... Thats better!:)

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive or arrogant enough to think that one half decent letter will do anything to change their policy, but it does help to increase the pressure if we all keep on their backs. Especially by writing to the OFT and local MP, etc, which is what I'm going to do tommorow enclosing a copy of the above. I think we need to take advantage of the recent publicity now and start to turn the screw. If you have'nt written to the OFT and your MP yet - DO IT NOW!!!!

 

It'll be very interesting to see if they pay up without having to file a claim actually. You'd think they'd save themselves the work, but then again Lloyds and common sence are'nt really compatable are they. We'll see.

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Well, they've been asking for it and now you've given it to them with both barrels! Excellent letter and I especially like the 'copy to' list.:D

 

Elsinore

BANK CHARGES CAMPAIGN CONTINUES - PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

 

Aktiv Kapital £300.00 SETTLED IN FULL

Capital One £741.47 SETTLED IN FULL

Citi Cards £1221.00 SETTLED IN FULL

LTSB(personal) £3854.28 SETTLED IN FULL

LTSB(business) £7487.97 SETTLED IN FULL

 

What poor education I have received has been gained in the University of Life

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Fantastic, just got statement today, they are taking £210 on December 1st, currently waiting for SAR's for Barclaycards for me and hubby, will start that one, then number 2 for Lloyds. won't need to be buying any books over Christmas will we!!!

Truth fears no questions.

MyzeeJon88 ;)

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Thanks all:)

 

Funnily enough MB, there is a Christmas card going in with that - one with a scrooge on the front and with a slightly tongue in cheek message about the season of goodwill, etc. Could'nt resist it! I was going to suggest we do a CAG xmas card actually and send it to all the CEO's, but I only thought of it the other day so it would've been too late.

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Funnily enough MB, there is a Christmas card going in with that

 

Now that is spooky, because at first I was going to suggest you slip the letter inside a Christmas card. You never know, he might even have a sense of humour and if he doesn't, so much the better.

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:lol::D:lol:
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eXCELLENT letter Gary! Really well written, insteresting to see if you get any kind of response to it!

I have a claim against lloyds for £35.00 that has reached allocation stage, can you believe it!! The sheer arrogance of these people and the pure intent to waste court time and resources must be stopped!

 

Keep us informed ;)

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Thats ridiculous Shaz - why do they bother dragging a claim through all the formalities for a measly £35? They're absolutely barmy. Unbeleivable! Fair play to you for pursuing it though - I would too!

 

I've done the first couple of covering letters for the 'copies to' list - finished the one for all the papers and media organisations so far and I'm working on the OFT and FSA, etc one. If anyone wants me to post them up here I will.

 

Found a cracking Christmas card to send with the CEO's copy too - very appropriate! I'll try to scan it and post it up if I can figure out how!:confused:

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Heres the Xmas cards I sent the letters in. Martin Ortons copy, along with a prelim - http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r234/GaryH_bucket/ltsbxmas.jpg?t=1166422121

 

And the CEO's - http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r234/GaryH_bucket/ltsbxmas2.jpg?t=1166422230

 

Quite appropriate, I thought.:D

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top work gary and dont forget the stake through the heart, this time;)

Newacre

LoydsTSB - £4,158.82 inc interest @16%

SARS request - July 06

Prelim letter - 19 Sept

Letter back saying how devastated all the lads at Head Office were to hear... - 31 Oct 06

LBA sent - 8th Nov 06(had to send a 2nd as Royal mail lost it)

Summons reg at CC 15th Dec 06

Nice letter saying that they would be refunding £750, no strings! 18 Dec 06

SC&M acknowledged service and will be defending claim in full - 4 Jan 07

25 Jan 07 transferred to mercantile Court with about 50 others

06 Feb 07 SETTLED IN FULL! - £4466(includes a bit extra interest)

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Lovely!

 

Regarding Shaz's £35. We had a bit of a breakthrough this week with Halifax. They had charged a friend of mine £39 because there was no money in his account to pay a standing order ON A SUNDAY! - he was expecting the SO and knew he was getting paid on the Monday (when did banks start working on Sundays?!) - anyway, one polite but firm letter later they repaid immedietely - perhaps the message is beginning to sink in. We can live in hope.

 

A merry (debt-free or at least reduced) Christmas to you all

Steven

 

Using CAG Toolbar will generate much needed income - Download Here

 

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My Wins

 GE Money Won unconditionally May 2007

NatWest Won unconditionally August 2007

Brighthouse Won unconditionally August 2007

Goldfish Won unconditionally April 2008 (including CI on the basis of Sempra)

Clydesdale Financial Services (now BPF) Won unconditionally February 2008

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. Do not take any legal action on my advice alone. Almost everything I know concerning the law I learned from this site.

 

Please note, I will not give advice by PM. Please send a link to your thread and I will do my best to answer there.

 

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Thats ridiculous Shaz - why do they bother dragging a claim through all the formalities for a measly £35? They're absolutely barmy. Unbeleivable! Fair play to you for pursuing it though - I would too!

 

I've done the first couple of covering letters for the 'copies to' list - finished the one for all the papers and media organisations so far and I'm working on the OFT and FSA, etc one. If anyone wants me to post them up here I will.

 

Found a cracking Christmas card to send with the CEO's copy too - very appropriate! I'll try to scan it and post it up if I can figure out how!:confused:

 

 

i am of a different opinion on this one

 

firstly no-one on this site will be surprised that the banks will let £35 go this far. after all, they are not getting punished for all the unlawful activities that they carry out, they just have to give the money back, and thats hardly likely to hurt them.

 

secondly as olliebear cannot lose, its another badge of honour - i mean, i love reading peoples sigs which say 'me vs evil greedy bank XX WON XXX'

 

the longer the sig the better

post office WON 12/11/06

 

abbey.LBA sent 30/10/06.MCOL claim submitted 8/11/06.allocation questionnaire sent 16/12/06.schedule of charges sent 16/12/06.WON

 

2nd abbey claim SAR sent 3/1/07.WON.complaint letter sent 18/1/08

 

alliance and Leicester.WON

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Hi Gary,

I've just received payment for my claim which I started back in June- a nice Christmas pressie of £2,7789! Thing is there's been another £404 taken in charges since then and I wasn't sure if it was a bit churlish to now claim for that after such a big payout, but reading your thread and others has spured me on to go for it- Thanks!! :D

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Hi Gary

 

Wonderful, wonderful letter - HUGE APPLAUSE!!!! Nearly laughed my t*ts off the whole way through - then opened the xmas card pics and that was it, they were gone... Brilliant, haven't had such a good laugh in ages :)

 

Am so glad you're continuing with your additional claim and am sure I type on behalf of many members of this forum in thanking you for sharing your eloquent, scathing and inspiring correspondance.

 

All the best

 

Miss S

15/2/07 Lloyds TSB number 1 account settled in full :D

20/2/07 5% donation to site :) thanks guys!!

My advice or opinion is offered in good faith but without prejudice or liability. It should not be considered as legal advice. If in doubt, seek advice from a qualified legal professional.

 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" - Marianne Williamson

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Aww, thanks squeezy - your making me blush!!:)

 

To be honest I'm enjoying getting my teeth into Lloyds - the way they treat people is unforgivable. Thats why I'm copying the media, in the hope that they one day they get highlighted as the vindictive, arrogant disgrace that they really are. Doubt they'll pick it up, but its worth a try.

Please remember to DONATE! Help CAG keep up the fight!

 

 

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Aww, thanks squeezy - your making me blush!!:)

 

To be honest I'm enjoying getting my teeth into Lloyds - the way they treat people is unforgivable. Thats why I'm copying the media, in the hope that they one day they get highlighted as the vindictive, arrogant disgrace that they really are. Doubt they'll pick it up, but its worth a try.

 

Wow - it's been a long time since I've made a MOTOS blush! :o You're too modest Gary, as are all the excellent peeps who keep this site going - you guys should apply for a lottery grant to help with the upkeep! In the meantime, I'll definitely be donating WHEN I get my money back.

 

Anyways, will be keeping a close eye on your thread for more updates - just submitted my AQ so waiting for a copy of [problem]'s and whatever follows from the courts. :)

15/2/07 Lloyds TSB number 1 account settled in full :D

20/2/07 5% donation to site :) thanks guys!!

My advice or opinion is offered in good faith but without prejudice or liability. It should not be considered as legal advice. If in doubt, seek advice from a qualified legal professional.

 

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure" - Marianne Williamson

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Backing up squeezy's comment. Thanks so much Gary. Without your constructive help. we'd probably have given up by now and laid down to be s**t on by LTSB. We've just added up our charges since May and it mounts to £977.11. Another claim methinks once we have settled this one.

thanks again Gary...no blushing now

Mick and Jo ;):D

(Mickey is awake now, his turn for the insomnia tonight!!)

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Thanks for the comments everyone, much appreciated.

 

Prelim along with above letter and Xmas cards were received by Lloyds yesterday. Sent a copy to James Coney at the daily mail as well + the sun. Still working on the OFT ans FSA, etc letters, I'll probably leave that untill after Xmas now.

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Got my first letter back from Martin Orton today. The usual - Thanking me for my letter and telling me I'll have a response to my complaint within 10 working days. Not sure which complaint he's referring to - the prelim or the other letter, or both perhaps!

 

I'm really looking forward to the full response, should be very interesting!

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Gary, a slight aside from your thread - but when i was browsing the threads i saw that Karens25 has had the directions Bankfodder set out in the newsletter - Bankfodder went on to say that they were drafted by a judge. Was the judge that drafted them from Chesterfield? What i mean is, have the new 'super' directions begun to take hold nationally - do you know

 

Regards

 

Paula

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Hi Paula,

 

I'm not aware which judge they came from or which court, but it does definately seem like they are becoming more widespread on their own initiative.

 

Swindon County court issued them in my case a few months back now, which was one of the first instances of them being ordered, although not the first I don't think.

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