Media celebrity Noel Edmonds has accused Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) of dragging its feet in compensating victims of a fraud at its HBOS business, Sky News has reported. The fraud, which took place before the FTSE 100 group acquired the unit, saw the two corrupt employees of the bank impose a firm of turnaround consultants on their small business customers in exchange for bribes.
Lloyds’ share price has jumped in London in today’s session, having added 0.97 percent to 70.06p as of 10:23 BST. The lender’s shares, which have added just under 12 percent to their value over the past year, continue to trade marginally below the government’s break-even price of 73.6p.
Sky News reported yesterday that Noel Edmonds, the former host of TV’s Deal Or No Deal, had confirmed that he was seeking £50 million in compensation from Lloyds, claiming he had suffered ‘immense economic loss’ and ‘public humiliation’. He argues that his former business, Unique Group, was among firms affected by the fraud scheme run by HBOS employees in Reading who were jailed earlier this year.
Sky News reported that Edmonds was demanding to meet Lloyds’ chairman, Lord Blackwell, to discuss his claim and had been left disappointed by the bank’s response, accusing it of ‘foot dragging’ for four years.
The bailed-out lender recently vowed to provide “fair, swift and appropriate compensation” for the fraud at the hands of former staff of the unit in Reading, and expects that compensation for economic losses, distress and inconvenience will be in the region of £100 million.
Sky News quoted Lloyds as saying that it remained “on track to begin making the first compensation offers before the end of May and anticipate making compensation offers by the end of June to all customers who have confirmed their participation in the review”.