Barclays, HBOS face £850m law suit

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  • So Wrong

    This article epitomises much of what is wrong with lawyers and society. The owners were consenting adults. They made a bargain which with hindsight proved commercially to be poor. So they want the courts to release them. The same people of course would have congratulated themselves on being so clever had house prices risen by only a few percentage points per year (and the Banks would have honoured the resulting bad bargain).

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  • More scroungers

    Yet another group of scroungers who want to have their cake and eat it.

    Why is it that people who sign up to a deal that seems to be in their favour at the time should expect to wriggle out of it if the gamble goes wrong. Should I be claiming compensation because my horse didn't win the Grand National?

    I sincerely hope they get nowhere.

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  • Barclays, HBOS face £850m law suit

    I understood SAFE, (Struggle Against Financial Exploitation), the All Party Pariamentary Group Secretariat is, and has been for some years representing holder of SAMs, indeed I some time ago I attended a meeting in Westminster which they set up. SAFE web site shows a link/connection to this Class Action but there is not one related to the story. Before I subscribe to the Class action can somebody clear what the situation is ?

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  • Barclays, HBOS face £850m law suit

    Confusion regarding the Shared Appreciation Mortgages (SAMs), and the relationship between SAFE and Hillary Messer of RWP Solicitors.

    SAFE, (Struggle Against Financial Exploitation Ltd), has worked closely with Hillary Messer/RWP Solicitors for several years on a number of matters. Hilary Messer attended and advised at the SAMs meeting SAFE arranged in Westminster, (SAFE is the Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Financial Exploitation, and also negotiated the SAMs Hardship Scheme with Barclays Bank Plc).

    More recently in harmony with SAMAG a legal opinion was commissioned, by SAFE, via RWP, to investigate the opportunity of potential legal redress for the invidious situation the SAM holders find themselves in.

    Many of you will know from our news letter and website www.safe-online.org the Opinion was very positive and is the catalyst for the potential ‘CLASS ACTION’ against HBOS & Barclays using a leading QC with Hilary Messer/RWP as the instructing Solicitors.

    In order to give as many SAM holders as possible an opportunity to be represented in the Action all avenues are being promoted to inform the several thousand SAM holders who may want to be represented.

    SAFE is arranging regional meetings around the country and another in the Palace of Westminster shortly, where we will be happy to meet with interested parties.

    Robert Owen ~ Director SAFE

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  • Barclays, HBOS face £850m law suit

    I can only agree with the postings:
    ‘More scroungers’ from Mr Responsible who objects to: “people who sign up to a deal that seems to be in their favour at the time should expect to wriggle out of it if the gamble goes wrong.”

    Similarly the posting, ‘So Wrong’ from: Anonymous, who comments:-

    “The owners were consenting adults. They made a bargain which with hindsight proved commercially to be poor.”

    So let us come down equally hard on the bankers/industry who have caused a financial Armageddon and expect respective governments/taxpayers to bail them out with impunity and bonuses in tact.

    Hoof Hearted.

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  • NOT scroungers!

    Careful reading of 'Your Questions Answered' on the SAFE website re Shared Appreciation mortgages makes clear that the action against HBOS and Barclays follows fresh changes in consumer protection law. The changes are retrospective, so the action by affected pensioners is perfectly legitimate. The banking industry pulled a fast one on some of the more vulnerable members of society, yet again. I for one - a non-beneficiary - wish the SAM victims success!

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  • Further information for SAM holders

    SAM holders seeking further information on the Group Action should visit www.samgroupaction.com.

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  • I'LL TAKE THE GRAND NATIONAL BET!

    I DON'T BELIEVE THE BARCLAYS SHARED APPRECIATION MORTGAGE SCHEME WAS ADVERTISED AS A GAMBLE.

    I'M SURE THE TEAM OF EXPERTS THE BANK WOULD HAVE EMPLOYED AT THE TIME COULD PREDICT HOW THIS WAS GOING TO TURN OUT, FAR MORE ACCURATELY THAN THE UNFORTUNATE PEOPLE WHO FELT THE NEED TO TAKE ON THE SCHEME. AFTER ALL, THE SCHEME WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED HAD THERE BEEN A DOUBT THAT THE BANKS WOULD NOT BENEFIT.

    THE WRITER 'ANONYMOUS' LIKENS THE SITUATION TO LOSING IN THE 'GRAND NATIONAL'. WITH THE GRAND NATIONAL, YOU WOULD, AT LEAST, STAND A CHANCE OF WINNING.

    COULD IT BE THAT MESSRS. RESPONSIBLE, ANONYMOUS, & CO. WITH THEIR 'HELPFUL' COMMENTS WORK FOR BANKS?

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  • average house prices

    For those who think that banks are simply misunderstood innocent providers of a service should take a look at the average house price graph: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/graphs-average-house-price.php

    you'll notice that at the time that these mortgages were sold, 1997/1998, average house prices in the uk were well below trend. It is a common defence that the banks could have lost if house prices had fallen. In fact the odds were stacked in the banks favour that house prices would rise again to at least meet the trend line once again. Was this information known by the banks - of course. Was this information given to the elderly victims of SAMS? I think not.

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  • SAM commission

    I'd be very interested to know if financial advisors were incentivised to push this product above any other product on the market at the time. As my mother was a victim of a shared appreciation mortgage, and paid a financial advisor for the privilege, we wrote and asked the bank. Although they acknowledged that commission was paid to the financial advisor, they apparently didn't have any details regarding the precise payment. Are there any guilty financial advisors out there who could shed any light on this?

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  • I am a S.A.M holder and went in with my eyes open and being given the nod by a solicitor .But no way was it envisaged that the house prices would rise at such a rate.

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  • NOT SCROUNGERS

    This was NOT an investment product, but a MORTGAGE. It was a service, provided for a fee. If there was a gain for the pensioner there was a remote chance the house price rise might be lower than an interest repayment. But the upside potential for this was extremely small.

    By contrast, the banks would have known that the upside potential on theior side was almost without limit - at the expense of the elderly customer.


    These were elderly pensioners with no access to borrowing by other means because their incomes were so low - some borrowing for health treatment.


    Whilst they could clearly understand the bank would be repaid from the equity, the devil is not in the nature of the arrangements but in the detail of the gearing.


    A pensioner may well not have foreseen the circumstances in which that this gearing would suck most the value out of the house, leaving them a minority share. A bank most certainly would.

    A responsible retail bank should have introduced caps into the terms to safeguard its customers.

    The fee is massively out of proportion to the service provided. The banks have not earned this level of remuneraton. Their case may be based on having obtained a signature - but so was Shylock's.

    Are retail banks to behave as service providers or con men?

    In which of these manners were they behaving when they sold these mortgages?

    The generation to which these products were sold respected bank managers the same way they did vicars and doctors.

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  • THE DREADED SAMS (Shared Appreciation Mortgages)
    Twelve years ago I arranged a SAM, a BOSSAM No 6
    Recently I decided to look into 'getting out' of the BOSSAM.
    Having made a few enquiries about current equity release schemes and lifetime mortgages i have now, thru very helpful agencies, satisfactorily refinanced myself, redeemed the BOSSAM and obtained some further living capital.
    At this time because of the recent fall in house prices (valuations) and interest rates the whole excersise has beem achieved with better results than may have been expected.
    These SAMS have come in for considerable 'stick' over recent years not in the least due to SAFE whipping up much fervant opposition to the schemes.
    I must say that I agree to some extent with the view that when people went into these schemes they should have had their eyes open and if it wasn't for them should have spotted any socalled pitfalls and stayed out. For me, although the eventual borrowing rate turned out higher than expected, the whole process has come to a satisfactory conclusion.
    With regards to SAFE and in my own case they were particularly unhelpful and unresposive. They are more interested in obtaining contributions (very small ones in my case thank goodness) to their tacky organisation than investigating the extraction possibilities from the schemes.
    The recent request for BOSSAM holders (approx. 7000?) to lob in £5000 each to enter a questionable lengthy litigation astounded and appalled me.
    The only ones who will see a return from this will be the legals with vast fees and the probability of no successful outcome for the SAM holders
    Additionally it will be years before any government will do even the minimum to assist those holders.
    BOSSAM holders should now come out of SAFE and look at the alternatives and not put any more £5000's in or bung any more cash to SAFE. Their latest bullitin now admits that they are heavily out of pocket by going down the legal route.

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  • These mortgages were sold to elderly people who grew up trusting bank managers as they did vicars and doctors (and probably lawyers). The implications of these terms over time was unclear not because of the sharing - which is easily understood - but of the pernicious gearing assigned to the sharing which requires careful scenario projections. It is clear from the case studies that intelligent people trusted reputable banks to have constructed a fair product only to discover the relationship was otherwise. The banks were prepared to offer products that severely disadvantaged purchasers with usurous rates. If they could get the signature, that's all their consciences required. Shakespearean parellels come to mind.

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  • I am a victim of the SAM ( Bank of Scotland) aged 83 years who was persuaded by the Bank Manager to use the SAM loan arrangement to meet a Personal Guarantee to the extent of £ 25,000 which the Bank were extremely anxious to reduce, despite the fact that the value of our detached villa was six times that amount at least ! The manager concerned advised me personally to use this medium as it was an attractive proposition, but the tragedy of it all was that no " pamphlet or leaflet" explaining the detail of the actual scheme was given to me at the time . I have evidence of a letter written to the Bank of Scotland at a later stage in regarad to the house property ( in line with my undertaking to keep the Bank informed of any proposed changes in the situation) whereby I clearly confirm to the bank that I would honour my understanding that the bank would benefit from " their share of 25% of the appreciation of the price" ( not it will be noted 75% of the apprectiation !) and yet the bank did not write to me to question the validity of these two figures and I was obviously at that point unaware of the possibility that the figure might be as high as 75% of the appreciation !

    I truly believe that I was mis-sold this Loan Scheme all the more so because at the time of the documentary work I had placed on the valuation of the house a " modest valuation" since the loan concerned was only £ 25,000 by comparison . I believe the Banks have been guilty of "Usuary"since the actual potential rate of interest charged is at the moment 600% over the last 17 years !

    I am willing to negotiate a "fair" return of interest and continue to give the bank its " comfort-cover " on the same property which has been maintained in an excellent state of repeair at all times.

    What would any reasonable reader's comment be to such a situation ?

    Bruce Burns HS1 2PY

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