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It’s always nice to be able to help

It's always nice to be able to help


Date published

We recently had the satisfaction of being able to help a client with an unusual request…

A couple of decades ago, several HBOS (Halifax Bank of Scotland) employees committed a series of frauds which resulted in many people losing their businesses and, ultimately, the perpetrators going to jail. In short, bank managers deliberately and fraudulently mismanaged companies they were supposed to be helping, resulting in the failure of those businesses.

One of those businesses was a longstanding Gibson Lamb client. I remember them clearly as I used to visit their factory and was always in awe of the size of the place and the vast amount of goods they produced. They were also forerunners in outsourcing production to China, long before it became commonplace. In fact, moving production to China was so commercially sensitive that their insurance policies showed a fake manufacturing location – in Europe I think – in case the information was seen by a rival. The underwriters knew the reality but agreed to obscure it on the official paperwork.

Anyway, back to us being able to help. To cut a very long story short, several years ago the government forced Lloyds Bank (who now own HBOS) to set up a compensation scheme for those who had been impacted by the fraud. We helped our client prepare their submission and assumed the matter was closed.

 More recently, the government has concluded that Lloyds didn’t act in good faith with the compensation settlements and has demanded they review each case again. This means we’ve been asked to look back at our records and prepare further supporting documentation about how the fraud impacted our client’s ability to make contributions to pensions and other savings such as ISAs.

Thankfully, we’ve been saving documents electronically since the late 1990s, so we have a treasure trove of information about the firm and the family directly impacted by the fraud at our fingertips.

We can only hope that this time Lloyds do the right thing and pay appropriate compensation for the terrible behaviour of their employees. And for Gibson Lamb? It’s nice to be able to help a longstanding client and to reconfirm that our decision all those years ago to start keeping documents electronically was a good one.