It has taken me some time to come to terms with this extraordinary letter received from the Financial Conduct Authority in which they admit that they colluded with HSBC by copying and pasting text received from HSBC (see Ian Fraser‘s blog) but deny that they colluded with HSBC! The letter was written to Ben Tomeo, who had very kindly made the complaint on my behalf, as I was at the end of my tether with the FCA, in my fragile state.
But more extraordinary for me is that the FCA seems to be trying to shift the blame on to me for their failure to take action. They say I should have gone to the police. I did, they wrote saying that since the FCA and Solicitors Regulation Authority hadn’t taken action they didn’t seem to think they needed to either. And they say I should have gone to the Office of Fair Trading. That really is bizarre – why would I do that when the OFT had already made a ruling against the bank in November 2010, telling them to stop adding illegal charges? I first told the bank’s solicitor that what they were doing was illegal in October 2003. They carried on until told to stop by the OFT in 2010, despite a ruling by the SRA in 2007 that the charges were illegal. That’s 7 years and approximately £308m later. I have been fighting in all for 12 years. How dare the FCA blame me.