Proof of collusion between HSBC and FCA

Joel Benjamin of Move Your Money has received an email today from David Culberson, Deputy Head Customer Relations at HSBC in reply to his follow up email after the AGM when he asked awkward questions about this fraud. The email contained the following paragraphs:

“Prior to 2010, when HFC sent an account to solicitors to recover outstanding debts (e.g. on personal loans, credit and store cards), it added a charge to
reflect the costs of the recovery. HFC’s agreements with customers gave it the right to do this and the fee was added after the customer had defaulted on the
loan/credit card payments.

In November 2010, following a review by the OFT of Industry debt collection practices, the OFT imposed Requirements on a number of firms, including HFC.
The Requirements on HFC were imposed under s.33A of the Consumer Credit Act and required HFC to change various aspects of its collection
practices. As a result, and to ensure that a consistent approach was taken on this practice across all HSBC brands in the UK, HFC removed all of these
charges from its then existing book and has not added the charge to any new accounts.”

On 10 April I received an email from the Information Access Team at the FCA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, with these paragraphs:

 

Prior to 2010, when HFC sent an account to solicitors to recover outstanding debts (e.g. on personal loans, credit and store cards), it added a charge to reflect the costs of the recovery.  HFC’s agreements with customers gave it the right to do this and the fee was added after the customer had defaulted on the loan/credit card payments.

Whilst we did not forward your complaint to the OFT at that time, we are aware that, in November 2010, following a review by the OFT of Industry debt collection practices, the OFT imposed Requirements on a number of firms, including HFC.  The Requirements on HFC were imposed under section 33A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and required HFC to change various aspects of its collection practices.  As a result, HFC removed all of these charges from its then existing book and has not added the charge to any new accounts.

Sound familiar? The wording, punctuation and everything is identical. A classic cut and paste job; there are even 2 different fonts!

Both of the first paragraphs are untrue and state the exact opposite of what the OFT ruled against the bank; that they were NOT entitled to add the charge unless they changed their agreements:

st1 Proof that HSBC and the Financial Conduct Authority are colluding to cover up £1bn fraud.