Sir David Foskett has been appointed to chair the independent Re-Review Panel (also known as the Foskett Panel) to reassess the direct and consequential (‘D & C’) losses suffered by victims of the fraud committed at the ‘HBOS Impaired Assets unit based at Reading and Bishopsgate (‘IAR’)’. Sir David is joined on the independent Panel by Philippa Hill and Andrew Hildebrand.
The work of the Panel arises from the conclusions of Sir Ross Cranston’s report, known as ‘The Cranston Review’, published in December 2019. The Cranston Review concluded that the way Lloyds Bank had dealt with D & C claims in its original Customer Review was unsatisfactory and did not achieve the purpose of delivering fair and reasonable offers of compensation. He recommended that the process of assessing direct and consequential losses should be carried out again, but this time in a fair and proper manner. In a second report, published in April 2020, he suggested how the reassessment exercise might be carried out.
The Panel has completed its work on part of its Scope and Methodology Statement which can be found here, and has published guidance notes entitled ‘IAR Fraud and the Causation of Loss’ and ‘Quantifying D & C losses’.
Some weeks ago, after widening our approach to ensure that we no longer have to focus solely on the involvement of QCS when considering “the IAR Fraud” and its impact, we started work on cases in the first priority group.
That has involved (in all the cases so far) considering very considerable documentation going back many years, discussing it in (virtual) meetings with the Customer, exchanging queries and responses by email, and considering additional material the Customer has wanted us to take into account. Customers have been extremely helpful in providing us with a better understanding of their cases for D&C losses, and hearing first-hand accounts of the effect of what occurred has been very valuable.
We are acutely aware of how frustrating and painful it is (in many cases for the third or fourth time) to have to recollect and piece together what happened so long ago, but I cannot stress enough how important it is for us to have as much help as a Customer is able to give. We are grateful for the patience and goodwill that those Customers who have met us already have shown and we remain grateful to those who, whilst anxious to proceed as soon as possible, have expressed understanding of the challenges of our task.
I have emphasised before that until we receive information from the Customer and from the Bank, it is not possible for us to gain a proper appreciation of the complexity of the issues involved in a Customer’s case. That is why we find it so difficult to give an accurate prediction of how long the whole Re-Review process might take. We understand completely the desire of everyone finally to draw a line under this entire affair. While we have absolutely no wish for there to be unreasonable delays, we remain committed to carrying out a careful and conscientious review of every Customer’s case and that does unfortunately take time.
Our current expectation is that our work on the second group of urgent priority cases is likely to commence around February of next year, and the third group around April/May. It is our intention to write to individual Customers in the second group early next year to give them notice when we are preparing to review their case.
Our approach is designed to ensure that the most urgent cases are assessed earlier in the process. This does mean that those not in the highest priority groups may not hear from us in relation to their case until later next year. We appreciate that this may be unwelcome news, but we have endeavoured to explain the reasons why. It is quite possible that, once we have dealt with the first group of priority cases, we will have developed a momentum that may speed up the process for subsequent cases.
We have had several questions asking whether the Panel has adequate resources at our disposal and whether increasing our resources would speed up the Panel’s work. Our current assessment is that we do have adequate resources to assist us with the task (though we can increase them if necessary), but since the three of us on the Panel have the responsibility for making the decisions, the major constraint on our progress is the time it takes us to pursue, digest, examine and analyse all the information, documentary and otherwise, we receive during the process.
Where there are connections between businesses, our general approach is, where possible, to review related cases at a similar time. We are particularly grateful to those Customers who have allowed information about the fraud on their business to be used when considering connected cases.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank you once again for your patience as the Panel progresses with its work and look forward to “meeting” you (if you wish) in due course. In the meantime, on behalf of the Panel and our teams, may I wish you a good Christmas and New Year break in these very unusual and difficult times.
Sir David Foskett
Chair of the Re-review Panel
If you have any questions or comments in the meantime, please contact email@example.com.