Noel Edmonds agrees deal with Lloyds over bank fraud case | UK News

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Noel Edmonds has reached an agreement with Lloyds Banking Group worth a reported £5m after his former business was destroyed following fraud at one of its branches.

The TV star had been in a long-running court battle with the bank and originally sought compensation of more than £60m.


As well as the payout, the bank apologised for the distress caused to Edmonds – who previously said he had tried to kill himself after his business was ruined by the scam.

Staff at the HBOS branch in Reading ran the £245m loans fraud between 2003 and 2007.

It wiped out several small businesses and they used the profits on things such as luxury holidays and high-end prostitutes. Six staff were jailed in 2017.

Edmonds, 70, sued Lloyds – which took over HBOS in 2009 – after his Unique Group business was destroyed.

Lloyds did not disclose financial details, but the Daily Mail reported that Edmonds is thought to have received around £5 million.

Image:
Six people were jailed over the fraud: Mark Dobson, Michael Bancroft, Alison Mills, Lynden Scourfield, John Cartright, David Mills

A statement from Lloyds Banking Group, on behalf of both parties, said: “Mr Edmonds and Lloyds Banking Group have reached an agreement in their dispute.

“Lloyds Banking Group very much regrets and apologises for the distress suffered by Mr Edmonds as a result of the HBOS Reading fraud.

“Both parties will continue to assist the ongoing Thames Valley police investigation into matters relating to Unique Group and HBOS Reading.

“Both parties also agree to place their trust in the independent inquiry chaired by Dame Linda Dobbs, which is considering whether issues relating to HBOS Reading were properly investigated and appropriately reported to the relevant authorities by LBG, following its acquisition of HBOS in 2009.”

Dame Linda’s inquiry is also looking into whether anyone at Lloyds tried to cover up information on the fraud when it bought HBOS in the middle of the financial crisis.

The bank established a £100m for victims of the fraud.

Edmonds set up a website attacking Lloyds and its chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, as part of his high-profile campaign against the banking group.

In 2017, he described how his business being wiped out had brought him to the “brink of emotional annihilation”.

“I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of January 18 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being,” he said.

“The fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol.”

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.


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