The BBC is run by HSBC

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A supporter of mine  @eriksandberg82 wrote this to Rona Fairhead, HSBC director and Chair of the BBC Trustees on 11 January 2016:

Subject: Ms Fairhead – Interview Request & unlawful appointment

Hi there,
I’m emailing about a story that is due to break in the coming weeks about Ms Fairhead’s appointment to the BBC. I’d be keen to interview her in advance of this via a live-streamed Skype if possible as the accusations are somewhat damning. You might want to listen back to an interview published on our platform with regard to the claims:

I’d love to chat with her for half an hour or so to hear her side of the story to possibly quell these claims in advance – as I said, a major independent journalist is to publish something in the coming weeks.
My very best regards,
Erik Sandberg.

This was the first response he received:

From: “June Prunty” <>
Sent: Tuesday, 12 January, 2016 14:11
Subject: RE: Ms Fairhead – Interview Request & unlawful appointment
Dear Mr Sandberg,

Thank you for your email of 11 January.  I have forwarded it to HSBC as it is a matter for them. 

Best wishes


June Prunty
PA to Chairman
BBC Trust
180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ  

He then received this response. His email doesn’t even mention HSBC. Why on earth is BBC sending emails of this nature to HSBC? It was also probably a breach of the Data Protection Act.

From: “Katherine MacLeod-PRESS” <>
Sent: Wednesday, 20 January, 2016 16:56
To: “‘erik
Subject: Rona Fairhead

Dear Erik

Many thanks for your email which has been forwarded to me by the Chairman’s PA. As you know, we have also forwarded this to HSBC.

While any allegations relating to HSBC are clearly a matter for them, there were two allegations relating to Rona Fairhead’s role as BBC Chairman that I felt it was for us to respond to.

Rona was appointed as BBC Chairman by the DCMS and any questions about this should be directed to the DCMS press office.

On the allegation that the BBC has not been covering HSBC stories because Rona is BBC Chairman, the BBC Trust has no involvement in day to day editorial decisions, including individual news stories, and Rona has not had any discussions with the BBC – the Executive or editorial – regarding HSBC coverage.

I hope this addresses all the points made.

Best wishes

Katherine MacLeod
Head of Communications

BBC Trust
180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ
T. 020 3214 4945    M. 07341 070733

There have been no negative stories about HSBC on the BBC since February 2015 when Panorama covered the Swiss tax evasion scandal, which will have been in production probably before Fairhead started in October 2014.

Here is an exchange of emails I have had with the BBC following the above:


meI have now sent this email to Tony Hall, the BBC Director General:

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 20.36.58I have now received this response from Tony Hall’s office. So, back to square one:

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