Britain’s crime company to increase probe into HBOS fraud allegations

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s National Crime Agency is increasing a evaluate into fraud allegations at HBOS, a part of Lloyds Banking Group, that have already led to the jailing of six individuals in a rip-off that pushed business homeowners to rent a expensive turnaround consultancy.

FILE PHOTO: An indication is seen outdoors the National Crime Agency (NCA) headquarters in London October 7, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The NCA mentioned on Monday it was following up a request from Thames Valley police, who carried out the investigation that led to the unique convictions, with a view to a wider investigation into allegations of fraud and cash laundering.

A spokesman for Lloyds mentioned the financial institution welcomed the recent evaluate and would cooperate absolutely.

The NCA mentioned its evaluate would look into allegations falling outdoors the scope of the unique investigation, and that it ought to take six months.

The NCA additionally mentioned the allegations included asset stripping, by using corrupt consultants in addition to allegations of fraud and cash laundering. The sums of cash concerned might be important, working to many thousands and thousands, it mentioned.

The Agency mentioned the evaluate would decide whether or not a full prison investigation was wanted.

The preliminary investigation and prosecution was accomplished in January 2017 and associated to a rip-off carried out between 2003 to 2008. HBOS turned a part of Lloyds throughout the monetary disaster.

Lloyds has unveiled a 100 million pound compensation scheme for victims of the fraud, who had complained the financial institution reacted too slowly to their complaints.

The six jailed for his or her involvement within the authentic rip-off have been despatched to jail for a complete of 47-and-a-half years, among the many hardest sentences handed out for high-profile, white collar fraud in Britain in recent times.

The bankers had requested struggling business homeowners to make use of a turnaround consultancy as a situation for getting a mortgage they usually have been then obliged to pay the consultancy excessive charges for providers and, in some circumstances, hand over possession.

Reporting By Lawrence White, modifying by Silvia Aloisi and Jane Merriman

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