by Brian Mahany
We don’t discuss offshore stories very much unless it involves taxes. Seeing one of Great Britain’s leading dinged by regulators is worth discussing, however.
Lloyd’s is one of the largest banks in Great Britain. Like some U.S. banks, Lloyds decided to offer payment protection insurance (PPI). This is the type insurance that is supposed to help you pay your bills and keep current on loans if you suddenly fall ill or lose your job. It’s also very profitable for the bank.
Like big banks on this side of the pond, Lloyds apparently lost touch with its customer base. The very people that relied on Llloyds PPI coverage found themselves broke and with no checks when times got bad. Apparently things got so bad that the British Financial Services Authority fined Lloyds several million pounds for its handling of their PPI program.
According to a BBC report, some 140,000 Lloyds customers did not receive their PPI payments promptly. Remember, these payments are claimed by people in financial crisis and who paid for the insurance. In some cases, payments were delayed 6 months. In other cases, the amounts were wrong or the payment simply not received.
In our humble opinion, big banks in general have simply become too large, too removed from consumers and too motivated by profit. In other words, big banks have become, “too big to care.”
We are not a consumer protection firm but will sue banks – big or small – for fraud. Our clients include both businesses and individuals. Last week we resolved a case against a small community bank that asked a 92 year old woman to sign a personal guaranty and pledge her property for her daughter’s failing business. That’s after the bank’s loan committee had already downgraded the loan to nonperforming.
In another case, we are representing a quadriplegic who faces the loss of home after Bank of America improperly imposed forced placed insurance causing his payments to go up and the loan to default.
If you are a business or individual and feel you have been improperly treated by a bank, give us a call. We are especially interested in cases where banks forced small business owners to suddenly sign personal guaranties and pledge their homes.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Tax Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California. Services available in many jurisdictions.
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