Finally I have some good news to report. The Complaints Commissioner has now given his final decision on my complaint against the Financial Conduct Authority for the way they handled my HSBC fraud report. The FCA have agree to re-open the case and the Commissioner has recommended a full apology to me. I am very grateful to Ben Tomeo who encouraged me to continue with the complaint, after I had lost heart, and for submitting the complaint on my behalf. There are articles about the decision in economia and The Times, The Guardian and the Financial Times.
Two important points on his decision. Firstly, the Commissioner did not find that the FCA colluded with HSBC. I disagree – my FoIA request was inquiring as to what action the FCA had taken on my complaint. It should not have been necessary to consult the bank on what action the regulator had taken. Second, the Commissioner appears to have accepted that only 4 consumers were affected by the bank’s behaviour based on the admittedly inadequate evidence obtained by the OFT. I estimate 600,000 consumers were affected. The person at the OFT who investigated the bank is now employed by HSBC.
The Commissioner’s Preliminary Decision sent to me for comment, was another whitewash and this extract is from my reply (I have published my full reply here). I informed him I would immediately apply for a Judicial Review if his final decision was in the same form.
Hopefully this new decision will lead to compensation for the fraud victims. HSBC has already set aside $1bn.
The full decision is here, but it’s a long, complicated read. [a small point on the decision, I have never alleged there was continuing over-charging, as stated in the penultimate paragraph] This is the final paragraph: