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Noel Edmonds likens Lloyds Bank boss to a cockroach as he enters jungle for I'm a Celebrity

'Hopefully I will stay in long enough that every time that I eat a cockroach millions of people will be thinking of Antonio Horta-Osorio,' TV presenter says

Ben Chapman
Thursday 22 November 2018 19:04 GMT
Noel Edmonds uses I'm a Celebrity programme to highlight Lloyds Bank battle

Noel Edmonds has likened the boss of LLoyds Bank to a cockroach, as he uses his appearance on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, to publicise his £60m legal claim against the lender.

Mr Edmonds is seeking redress for losses he says he suffered at the hands of HBOS, which LLoyds acquired during the financial crisis.

The Deal or No Deal star’s Unique Group collapsed after fraud perpetrated at HBOS’ Reading branch.

Mr Edmonds has suggested that Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio knew about misconduct, and on Wednesday claimed that the bank boss “wants to destroy me, he wants to crush me”.

“Hopefully I will stay in long enough that every time that I eat a cockroach millions of people will be thinking of Antonio Horta-Osorio,” Mr Edmonds said.

“And do you know what? I may even enjoy eating that cockroach.“

He added: “There are members of the board who are really worried about what is really going on and there are senior executives who don't want to have their collars felt.

“They don't want to be implicated when the warrants start to arrive, and they will arrive.“

Jonathan Coad, Mr Edmonds’ barrister, served Lloyds with a pre-case letter on Thursday with proceedings expected to begin as soon as next month.

The letter was sent as Mr Edmonds entered the jungle for ITV’s hit show which drew 11.6 million viewers when the latest series began on Saturday.

“It's not going to do any harm to be in the jungle on ITV at peak time every single day for a few weeks,” Mr Edmonds said.

The presenter is claiming damages resulting from fraud perpetrated by former HBOS bankers, Lynden Scourfield, 54 and businessmen David Mills, 60 and Michael Bancroft, 73

Mr Scourfield authorised millions of pounds of loans to struggling businesses, regardless of their ability to repay.

He then referred firms to “consultants Mr Mills and Mr Bancroft who who claimed to be turnaround specialists. Instead of providing assistance to the companies they bullied them, squeezed them for large fees and stripped them of assets.

Mr Mills arranged sex parties with prostitutes, holidays to Thailand and Barbados and other gifts for Mr Scourfield.

A spokesperson for LLoyds said: 'We have received Mr Edmonds’ legal letter and we will review the contents before responding.

“We fully understand the anguish he feels at the failure of his businesses, but on the information we have seen so far we simply cannot agree that this is the result of actions taken by the former HBOS business.

“We have engaged with Mr Edmonds and we made determined efforts to reach a consensual solution through mediation in 2017, though this was not possible. We note that Mr Edmonds is now planning to formally file his legal claim next month. We are content for the matter to be considered by a court if he pursues his legal action. However we cannot allow ourselves to be pressed into paying out money without cause just because an individual uses their celebrity status to attack us.

“We continue to make good progress compensating the 72 customers impacted by the fraud at the HBOS Impaired Assets office based in Reading. We have now provided outcomes to 71 customers in the review and 64 of these offers have been accepted.”

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