Ian Taplin,the Lloyds Bank has received an approach from the Executive Producer of a mainstream UK news channel.
The Executive Producer,in his research for a documentary,came across Ian Taplin’s “You Tube” clips which were filmed when Mr Taplin was visiting the London Occupy movement at St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Executive Producer asked Ian Taplin 3 questions about his public interest campaign ;-
1.”What made you support the occupy movement?”
2.“What is your view of the British Banking system ,particularly with regard to the way they operate?”
3.”What do you hope to achieve with your campaign?”
This is how Ian Taplin responded;-
Dear Executive Producer,
Thank-you for your interest.
1.My own story would make a fascinating documentary all by itself. It is a classic tale of David versus Goliath;the story of how an individual is using a website,lawfully,to expose what he believes is corporate malpractice at Britain’s biggest bank.
2.I have myself commissioned a short film which should be posted on the website and on “You Tube”-hopefully by the end of November.
3.What is my motivation?
A genuine shock at how a British Bank,which is meant to be regulated,can treat it’s customers and it’s staff.
Alarm-at how I was treated when I reported what I believe, are examples of fraud and corruption being tolerated by Senior Directors of Lloyds Bank.
I come from a non- Banking background having been trained by a leading IFA .I joined Lloyds Private Bank believing I would be joining a top company;I was naïve.
Previously I worked in Book Publishing and was a InfantryPlatoon Commnader in the British Army.
I was with Lloyds Bank 2005-2010.I was a Regulated Investment Adviser in the Lloyds Private Bank and Wealth Division.
I should add that in 2010-Lloyds Bank twice offered to settle with me.I refused to drop my Complaints and because of my refusal they refused to continue discussions.
Later the Senior Leadership even denied any such offers had been made; but then they later contradicted themselves and admitted they had made offers of settlement on commercial grounds.
Such an admittance was unwise as they have thus admitted their commercial concerns are more important than their obligations in UK law.
As to your questions.
Question 1 What made you support the occupy movement?
1.I recognised an international movement,loosely united by shared objectives,which was raising awareness on the issues of corporate greed,lack of economic opportunity,the lack of reform in the banking sector;and the disproportionate power of finance and the banking sector in our democracy and around the world. The protestors who occupied St Paul’s represent a widespread public resentment of how UK banks have behaved and indeed how the City of London has conducted itself.
2.Also,I believe that the Protestors are representative of the majority of the UK public who feel that this Government has neither punished those who wrecked our economy or that they will take any effective action to properly regulate the banking sector.Any detailed analysis of the Independent Commission on Banking’s recent interim report will show that not a lot will change even if the ICB’s recommendations are taken up.
My own experience.
1.So there is an overlap between the protesters’grievances and my own concerns.
The example set by Senior Directors at Lloyds Bank in the way they were rewarded -is immoral and unethical. Eric Daniels,the former CEO accumulated over £20 million in total rewards but managed to bankrupt Lloyds Bank.
Helen Weir,the previous Retail Director accumulated more than £10 million in total rewards;and she was apparently responsible for the PPI mis-selling.
The previous Chairman and Executive Board Members of Lloyds Bank have been handsomely rewarded for abject failures in properly managing the bank in a lawful manner and failing to protect the shareholders’ interests in Lloyds Banks subsequent collapse.
2.UK retail banks,including Lloyds Bank, ignored UK regulatory law in their distribution and promotion of the PPI contracts.It is mycontention that Lloyds Bank continues to ignore UK Regulatory law;and such laws are designed to protect the interests of the British public.
It is the manner in which Lloyds organise their sales forces and sell retail investment and insurance products in such a way ,I contend. which is grossly unfair to the British public and is done in a misleading and non transparent fashion.
Their sales practices,I believe,break UK regulatory law and breach the Financial Services Authority Principles of fairness honesty,integrity,and transparency.
3.My own story and experience demonstrates what happens to an individual who reported allegations of fraudulent behaviour and dishonest staff being tolerated by the senior leadership; and then being subjected to bullying intimidation and then,unlawfully fired.
4. What is more radical and interesting about my campaign is that I am using the internet to highlight Banking behaviours-using a lawful public interest website.
In the same way the Arab Spring,and the global Occupy movement has used social networks and the digital media to bring attention to their messages.
Question two.What is your view of the British banking system particularly with regard to the way they operate?
1.Since the banking crisis of 2008 the UK retail banking sector has become less competitive and still represent the moral hazard of “too big to fail”.The British UK retail banks have disproportionate power of a non-democratic nature in our democracy.
2. The banking crisis has resulted in a 10% depletion in our national wealth and we have lost over 800,000 jobs.The coalition government have embarked on massive public spending cuts amounting to 20% over the life of the Parliament.The cost of the bailout is estimated to be at least £290 billion.There is no proper measure as to the soical costs of wrecked lives.
These cuts are hitting the most vulnerable elements of our society;the very people any civilised country should be supporting.Meanwhile the bankers have kept their bonuses and now resume paying themselves excessively again while the UK Taxpayers find themselves continuing to underwrite their activtities.
3.Much of the riskier activities that banks were engaged in -were conducted from the City of London as the City was regarded as being less restrictive(in regulations) than Wall Street .For example -AIGFP- the derivatives arm of the giant US insurance firm- American International Group was based in London.AIG was bailed out with $180bn of US taxpayers money mainly because of the speculative and high risk underwriting activities of AIGFP based in London.
4.Other US Investment Banks have large operations in London and from their London base were producing ever increasingly risky derivative products and selling them on.
5.In the US the regulator the SEC has been challenging, successfully,the Investment Banks’conduct as being unlawful (eg JP Morgan,Goldman Sachs).
Yet in the UK,neither the Government,the Serious Fraud Office, nor the FSA,has yet to start proceedings against any one bank or individual for unlawful conduct;or any regulatory breaches.
6.There has been no effective regulation of the British Banks and the Independent Commission on Banking recommendations-will not prevent another banking crisis.(The ICB was set up by the Government to investigate the causes of the Banking Collapse and to suggest better regulation.)
a.Since 2008 when the banks collapsed there has been a consolidation of the banking sector in the City of London and on Wall Street,which increases the risks posed by these banking giants.There is now more risk as more power is concentrtated in fewer Banks.
b.The ICB have made no meaningful suggestions on how to properly control excessive pay and bonuses when such excessive pay and bonuses produce excessive risk-taking.
c.The ICB makes no meaningful comments about the “privatisation of profits and the socialisation of debts.”
d.The ICB has no meaningful suggestions on how to regulate the Derivatives Markets whose actions can carry huge unknown risks which are often not disclosed on Bank’s Balance Sheets.
4.The power of the banking sector in the UK is corrupting our democratic institutions.In February 2011,The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that 50.8% of all Tory Party cash donations made in 2010, were from Financial Services Insitutions.
The Tory Party has received £42.7m from such institutions since 2000.
In 2005 Financial Services donations to the Tory party amounted to £2,748,527; in 2010 this totalled £11,420,974.
5.In the US from 1998 to 2008 -$5 billion was spent by the banking lobbyists,which resulted in the effective deregulation of Wall Street’s activities;and ensured there was no meaningful new regulation covering risk activities such as derivative products.
6.In the United Kingdom-there is no statutory register of lobbyists.There is no transparency in their activities.
If we are to have a workable democracy-we must ensure stronger regulation of the banking sector-to equip this democracy with the firepower to match the banking sector and it’s lobbying power.
Presently there is no contest.
Question 3.What you hope to achieve with your campaign?
1.In both the mainstream media and in the digital bloggosphere,there is no specific focus.Journalists, broadcasters,protestors and politicians talk and comment about the “banking sector”, “the banks”, “ the City”- and “Wall Street.”
It’s all a bit vague.
2.What I am able to do is to focus the public on the behaviour of one bank and provide valuable and fascinating insights into how Lloyds Bank operates in the retail sector.I am also able to provide examples of what I allege are widespread banking abuses and breaches of UK Regulatory Law.
3.On my website ;-
I can exactly describe the actions of certain Senior Directors within the Bank.
I can reproduce e-mails and letters sent to me by these Senior Directors.
I can relate how I believe Lloyds Bank ignores UK Regulatory Law and how the Senior Management seemingly knew that they were doing so;but in the pursuit of targets they carry on regardless seemingly treating UK law as a minor irritation rather than a statutory obligation.
3.I can with confidence provide specific examples of how I believe Lloyds Bank continues to break UK law and why this should concern the British public.
4.I can provide real life stories of how an employee is treated by Lloyds Bank when that employee reports allegations of fraud and corruption and abuse of the British public.I ask questions-that is it acceptable that an employee in properly reporting his concerns is then bullied,threatened and intimidated?
5.I can relate how Senior Directors have refused to properly investigate Formal Complaints which were properly submitted to the Bank; and these complaints contained substantial allegations of fraud and corruption being tolerated by Senior Directors within Lloyds Bank.
6.I can relate how my MP Theresa May has written on four occasions to the CEO who refuses to answer her questions.The replies she does receive from Senior Directors are dismissive, misleading and in one reply from a senior staffer is an example of a blatant untruth.
7.The website is designed so each week new revelations are revealed,which takes the reader on a journey through the questionable practices and behaviours in Lloyds Bank.
It’s a journey through a place,which I believe,is place of corruption,fraud,staff bullying,and the abuse of customers trust.
It is a journey which takes the reader through 7 layers of management to the top -the CEO and the Executive Board.
It is a story which involves billions pounds of invested capital and hundreds of thousands of Lloyds Bank clients.
It is not a pretty story with a happy ending.
8.The website will expose how Board level greed can corrupt a banks’workforce. The website will reveal how gross distortions of advice are produced by a bonus system which is based on sales growth rather than customer service.
9.The website will describe what happens when the regulators-the FSA are ineffective, or are being duped, or are asleep.
10.The website how will reveal how hundreds of thousands of the British public have,I maintain – been unfairly treated by the Lloyds Banking Group in massive nationwide breaches of UK regulatory law. These breaches are separate to the PPI scandal. As I say billions of pounds of invested capital are involved.
11.The website aims to make a meaningful contribution to the campaign,to enable this democracy to be able to reassert control over the banking sector.I am working to try and ensure,in my own way,in a lawful manner, that we can prevent a repeat of a banking collapse.And such a collapse has been deeply damaging to our nation’s wellbeing.
The banking sector is too powerful and in not being properly regulated still poses unacceptable risks to the UK economy and the welfare of the British people.
12.I have already submitted a Formal Complaint to the FSA in May 2011.The FSA have confirmed that their investigations are continuing and they are liaising with 2 other State Agencies-including the police.
13.I am currently in correspondence with the FSA on other related alleged regulatory breaches, described here, and will be submitting Formal Complaints,when I am satisfied with their guidance.
These Formal Complaints to the FSA will be posted on the website in edited form.
This has never been done before.
1.My website is a radical new way to apply pressure to the Banks,the Regulators,and the Politicians.
2.This public interest action lawfully carried out-adds a new dimension to public domain protest.
3.My website,in the public interest,will be disclosing the specific actions and names of certain Senior Directors whose e-mails and letters will be faithfully reproduced on the site.
4.The website will only produce facts and robust presentable evidence and any opinions expressed -are honestly held. The website adheres to all UK and US publishing law.
5.My story is gripping and will enthral and then alarm the British Public.
November 9th 2011.