The ever supportive Joel Benjamin (@Gian_Tcatt) attended the HSBC AGM today in London. Once again he asked Chairman Douglas Flint about the bank’s provisions for the fraud revealed on these pages. Once again the bank’s dismissive response was “we don’t agree with Mr Wilson”. Do they also disagree with the Office of Fair Trading and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, both of whom have ruled against the charges?
This is exactly what Flint said last year. However, a year on and the FCA has been before the Treasury Select Committee answering questions about their collusion with HSBC to cover-up the fraud, and the bank has made a $1bn contingency in its accounts for unspecified breaches of the Consumer Credit Act.
Furthermore, Douglas Flint states that the bank never sought to influence editorial decisions of media outlets. This was a simple lie. The bank suspended its advertising with the Guardian when that paper was about to reveal the Swiss Leaks tax avoidance scandal. And recently Peter Oborne resigned from the Telegraph stating that their refusal to publish adverse stories about HSBC because of advertising revenue constituted a fraud on the public and that democracy is in peril.
In the second clip below Flint states that the bank’s auditors KPMG were well aware of my allegations and that he would ensure their new auditors PWC would be made aware too. It would be nice to think that the bank was properly audited – why did the auditors not previously notice a £50m black hole in the annual accounts where costs for debt recovery should be? And why have auditors never questioned the VAT arrangements on the illegal charges, which I believe may also be criminal?
How much longer do shareholders and the British public have to put up with this thoroughly dishonest bank? Maybe not for much longer as they also announced at the AGM that they were looking to locate their HQ elsewhere. Good riddance.