Dear Mr Hollinrake
You saw my tweets yesterday. I wish to make it clear that I am not accusing you of anything. However, quite simply, you are compromised in your role as co-chair of APPG Banking because of your business relationship with HSBC. Your company is indebted to them in the sum of £4m and they have a fixed an floating charge over all assets. Effectively your salary is paid by HSBC. I use compromised in the sense that you are vulnerable. HSBC is one of the most criminal banks in the world.
I looked into your background because I was surprised that your letter to the FCA on their failures, did not mention anything about HSBC, nor does the APPG website. In the last year one of the most prominent SME complaints has been HSBC closing down their accounts, without warning.Of course the APPG is to be applauded for its work on behalf of RBS and HBOS victims, and I wholly support the creation of a tribunal to hear banking disputes. However, APPG twitter account told me yesterday that the letter reflects the banks that most complaints have been made against. I do not accept that this does not include HSBC.
I was also surprised to note that your paper on Fair Banking, written under the auspices of the ALL PARTY parliamentary group was published by the Centre for Policy Studies, a right wing think tank with undisclosed funding, which has HSBC’s Douglas Flint on its board.
Your response to my tweets implied that you think I have a personal issue with HSBC and that you would talk to my MP about it. This is not the case. I have been campaigning against HSBC fraud, amounting in total to over £1bn, since 2003. I blew the whistle on my solicitor employers for adding illegal charges to accounts and as a result I have lost everything, survive on benefits and am constantly fighting to stave off possession proceedings by bailed out, government owned NRAM. During this period HSBC have agreed to “voluntarily” repay £4m of the illegal charges.
I had a meeting with the FCA in February 2007 when I presented evidence to them that the true amount that HSBC should be repaying is in excess of £100m. The FCA have refused to look at this evidence because it was leaked to me. However, it is public domain information, being the register of county court judgments. They assure me that they are continuing to investigate however, having had the complaint since 2012, at the time of the FSA.
The matter has been dealt with by the Treasury Select Committee on four occasions. The Complains Commissioner stated that my complaint about FCA handling the matter was the worst case he had handled; the FCA has apologised to me, but after agreeing to reopen their investigation, immediately employed NEDs from 2 of the companies under investigation, HSBC and John Lewis.
The FCA are protecting HSBC just as they have with RBS and HBOS. i would urge you to please look into this. I know the remit of the APPG is not consumer matters, but this is fundamentally about the FCA now, and their collusion with HSBC.
So whilst you are personally compromised when it comes to HSBC, I have been reassured by many people on Twitter that you are an honourable person and that this would have no effect on your work, I would request you to look into this long outstanding injustice. I would be prepared to draft a letter to the FCA, fully evidenced, for your use if that would be helpful.