Noel Edmonds sets up countdown clock to pressure Lloyds into paying £100m compensation

The TV star sent an ultimatum to Lloyds in April demanding between £50m and £100m for the bank’s part in the collapse of his business empire

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The Independent Online

Noel Edmonds has ratcheted up the pressure in a £100m compensation battle with Lloyds Banking Group.

The TV star has set up an “honesty countdown” clock website that tracks how much time the lender has to pay him the money he says he is owed.

Mr Edmonds sent an ultimatum to Lloyds in April demanding between £50m and £100m for the bank’s part in the collapse of his business empire, Unique Group. 

He says his company was crushed by the fraudulent activity of former staff at HBOS’ Reading branch and their accomplices.

Lloyds, which now owns HBOS, has set aside £100m to compensate victims of the fraud and said it will make payments by the end of June. 

Mr Edmonds sent a further letter to Lloyds chairman Lord Blackwell earlier this month in which he wrote: “No urgency whatsoever has been exhibited by your organisation to right the grievous wrongs for which it is responsible. 

“The victims' group has experienced foot dragging by your organisation when it comes actually to paying out compensation which they are plainly due.”

The former Deal or No Deal presenter said he was speaking out on behalf of other victims because his fame allows him to make his “voice heard more loudly than the other fraud victims who do not enjoy [his] profile”.

The claim marks the latest twist in the HBOS fraud scandal. In January former HBOS bank managers Mark Dobson and Lynden Scourfield were jailed for their part in destroying customers’ small businesses.

The pair were found to have referred customers to their friends, David Mills and Michael Bancroft, who claimed to be turnaround consultants providing assistance struggling businesses.

The countdown set up by Noel Edmonds to pressure Lloyds Bank (PA)

Instead they bullied them, squeezed them for large fees and stripped them of assets. In exchange, Mr Mills arranged sex parties, cash and lavish gifts.

Sentencing in February, Judge Martin Beddoe said Mr Scourfield was an “utterly corrupt senior bank manager” who had “sold his soul” to Mr Mills in exchange for “sex”, “bling” and “for swag”.

Mr Edmonds’ claim is seeking £50m for the collapse of his business, Unique Group, as well as £10m for loss of income from motivational speaking fees which the presenter says he could no longer collect because of “irreparable damage to business reputation”. He is also demanding money for legal fees, interest and compensation for personal distress and humiliation.

Mr Edmonds’ lawyer, Jonathan Coad, of Keystone Law, wrote in the April letter: “My client has both suffered immense economic loss as well as (to put it very mildly) ‘distress and inconvenience’ at the hands of your bank as a direct result of the actions of these individuals.”

The presenter claims his business was “marred only as a result of the unlawful actions of rogue individuals” at HBOS.

Unique Group was placed into compulsory liquidation after HBOS refused to allow the company to sell shares to pay off its debts, according to the letter.

The letter went into detail about his, “long and distinguished career lasting over forty years as both a broadcaster and entrepreneur in the media industry,” which included a “plethora of very successful and high profile programmes such as Top of the Pops, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop... Noel’s House Party, Noel’s Christmas Presents and most recently the hugely successful Deal or No Deal".