Fountain Court QC prepares to bring Lloyds TSB to book

Winckworth Sherwood partner Jim Rai has instructed Fountain Court silk Brian Doctor QC to ­represent a group of former Lloyds TSB shareholders in their legal battle against the bank.

The shareholder group, Lloyds Action Now, has accumulated more than 4,000 members, who have contributed to a ­fighting fund to pay for the action.

It is understood that an official claim will be launched against the bank in the coming weeks.

The group is pursuing a number of actions against Lloyds TSB after its ­directors admitted openly that the bank’s merger with HBOS, agreed in ­September 2008, went ahead without reasonable due diligence.

Following the merger Lloyds TSB discovered toxic debts in HBOS’s accounts totalling £15.8bn. This caused the collapse of the bank’s share value and forced the Government to take up to a 70 per cent stake in the merged bank. The Government then ­suspended all dividend ­payouts until its preference shares had been bought out.

Claims against the bank are likely to include allegations of misrepresentation by the bank prior to its takeover of HBOS.

Last week Lloyds TSB announced that it had entered into a voluntary agreement with the FSA to repay £500m to customers who had bought mortgages from its subsidiary Halifax between 2004 and 2007 after the bank had failed to make clear how much ­interest they were paying on the mortgages.