A version of this edited letter has been Posted on the comments page of the UK paper the Guardian.The letter was written in response to an article published in the Guardian,by Joris Luyendijk.
Joris Luyendijk’s article,published 27 December 2011 is headed;-
“WHERE ARE THE WHISTLEBLOWERS?”
SEE BELOW FOR THE ARTICLE
The Guardian is a world respected quality UK paper who lead on important social justice issues.
This is my edited posted comment;-
A good article and timely too.
However you will be interested to know there is a Whistle Blower who worked for Lloyds Private Bank and Wealth Division, who has a website dedicated to relating his experiences whilst working at Lloyds,2005-2010.
This whistle blower is me,and should you want further information- then please contact me.
The site can be found by searching Lloyds Bank ethics.The site is a public interest site.
In 2012,I plan to disclose the actions and identities of certain Senior Directors-which will be done in a legal manner and such disclosures,will not breach any UK or US publishing laws.The disclosures will be supported by hard facts and letters and e-mails from Lloyds Bank will be faithfully reproduced.Any opinions will be honestly held.
In late 2009 and early 2010,I submitted evidence to Lloyds Bank,examples of what I believe are instances of Bank staff acting in a dishonest manner contrary to UK law.I also submitted examples of what I believe are incidences of widespread mis-selling in the retail branches of Lloyds TSB contrary to UK regulatory law.
This mis-selling has been caused by a sales system which can be seemingly manipulated by dishonest sales staff and their managers.This sales system is also inherently unfair and non-transparent to the Banks Retail clients and therefore breaches UK regulatory law -the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
My Complaints were escalated up the hierarchy of the bank from Divisional Sales Directors,to the Divisional Managing Director,onto the Group Compliance Directors,the Executive Board and CEO. Each and everyone of the Senior Directors who were approached and thus became involved because of the bank’s processes and Compliance System– have refused to properly investigate my Formal Complaints.This is despite such Senior Directors being provided with robust evidence of allegations of dishonest staff and managers-abusing the trust of the Banks retail clients-the British public.
Also robust evidence has been presented to these Senior Directors about the sales system the bank applies throughtout it’s network of Lloyds TSB branches-as being unfair ,non-transparent and which allows,seemingly,easy manipulation by Bank staff of the Bank’s clients.
Such manipulation by unscrupulous bank staff may result in overcharging,and the provision of inappropriate advice to clients of LLoyds TSB across the UK.
I also have robust evidence which points to the fact that the Bank uses such a system to maximise charges and hence bonuses for staff,in a unfair and non-transparent;contrary to UK Law embedded in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
I have thus presented the CEO and Senior Compliance Directors with such robust evidence and proof of Senior Directors obstructing me and then acting in a bullying and intimidating manner-whilst I was making such Formal complaints concerning these alleged breaches in UK Regulatory Law.
The Bank have offered to settle with me on at least 2 occasions , implying that I drop my complaints.I refused to consider a settlement-unless my Complaints were properly dealt with.I also decided not to seek redress through an employment tribunal,because this dispute is about the abuse of clients and not about the employment issues.
My Member of Parliament,Theresa May,has written 4 times to the CEO,who refuses to properly investigate my formal complaints.
There is also evidence that staff at Theresa May’s office have been subject to intimidation by a senior Lloyds Bank staffer.
There is also evidence that a senior Lloyds Bank staffer replied to a letter from Theresa May MP in a misleading manner and in such a way I believe,which suggests a deliberate attempt to conceal major breaches in UK law.I have the evidence of this behaviour in the letters and e-mails,which staff and Senior Directors at Lloyds Bank sent to the Member of Parliament.
Advice has been sought from the regulators-the Financial Services Authority(FSA);and complaints submitted to the FSA-concerning the actions and conduct of Senior Lloyds Directors,will be lawfully posted on the website.This to my knowledge has never been done before.
Should you wish to have further contact with me about this alarming example of corporate behaviour in UK banking then please contact me via the site.You should be aware that 2 national press editors have been in touch,as has a news producer from a major UK news channel.All have been watching this story unfold.
I read the Guardian everyday and it is a paper I respect to tell the truth.
THE GUARDIAN’S ARTICLE
Where are the financial whistleblowers?
People in finance are under-protected and overpaid – and they are trapped in a lifestyle that makes it easy to buy their silence
Where is the internal revolt in finance? Let me explain why this is not such a strange question.
Over the past months I have interviewed dozens of people in finance. I had always thought of “the bankers” as one homogeneous group, but finance turns out to be a vast and extremely diverse sector. A director in mergers and acquisitions involved in buying and selling of companies is very far indeed from subprime and sovereign debt.
However, if the sector is so diverse, why do those in the “safe” parts allow the risk-takers to play with fire? Think of all those people at Lehman Brothers who were in divisions that had nothing to do with the crisis. They still lost their jobs when it collapsed. Is it not in the naked self-interest of insiders to raise the alarm about those at their bank, or other banks, who risked – and may still be risking – the house?
After four months of interviews this is my theory: people in finance are under-protected and overpaid, and trapped in a lifestyle that makes it easy to buy their silence.
“People just disappear. They’re called in, fired and led out of the building by security. And you don’t get info on who has been made redundant… ” That’s how a major American bank in London lays people off, in the words of an IT analyst there. This is how it goes at the trading floor of another London bank, says the human resources manager: “When the call comes, people know right away. It is amazing how fast news of a round of redundancies spreads. It’s like this tidal wave of panic washes across a trading floor.”
Not only can you be fired on five minutes’ notice, there are periodic “cullings of the herd”. A reputation for cutting costs is a big plus in finance. When new senior management comes in, a round of lay-offs often follows, even when the bank or firm is doing OK – which these days it rarely is. Every quarter human resources may sit down with senior management to put crosses next to names. In the words of the IT analyst: “You need to worry constantly if something you say can be taken out of context. People are manoeuvring all the time. If somebody has made a mistake you can have these feeding frenzies.”
Not really a nurturing environment, she added with classic English understatement. But once they’re kicked out, why don’t more people come forward? An answer may be their severance package. Says the HR manager: “We offer people more than [the standard] £400 for each year [worked], and in exchange they sign this document that they’re not going to sue. It’s blackmail and we call it ‘enhanced severance’.”
Obviously, going public means losing your package, perhaps even getting sued. This is why bankers who volunteer for an interview insist on anonymity. Identification will mean dismissal, either immediately or at the next round of “head count reductions”.
There’s a big stick hanging over people in finance. And a big carrot. The HR manager quoted earlier had worked in other industries: “[Some] people who might make £20,000 elsewhere get £80,000 at the bank. This for someone with the equivalent skill set of a clerk or secretary.”
An external IT consultant had this to say: “What gets me is that in banking everyone is making so much more [than in other industries]. I got a 50% pay rise.”
There appears to be a premium simply for working for a bank, even when the nature of the job is quite generic. As a result whistleblowers are unlikely to find employment in another industry at the same level of remuneration. Those with specific skills have even less incentive to rock the boat – what do you do, as a 45-year-old parent of three children, with a huge mortgage, vast school fees and a set of non-transferable skills?
Said a programmer at a hedge fund: “Key is not to let your lifestyle grow with your income because downshifting will be hard. But then I have to choose a school. Do I send my kids to the best and most expensive one, which I can afford, or to one that is not as good but cheaper – so I could still afford it without this job?”
Gotcha, says the trap, and there you are. The financial sector is huge, and this theory is exactly that, a theory. Crucial elements must be missing. Indeed, if you are a financial insider, please comment on the thread below to refute or refine the argument. Your human resources department will never know it was you.