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.
It is now two months since the launch of our changes to the Re-Review, which saw the introduction of Victim Status Decisions and the Fixed Sum Award option, alongside several other important changes to our process.
This is our first update since then, and we appreciate that many Customers have been in touch asking about the rate of progress and when individual cases will be assessed. We have waited until now to provide an update with a meaningful assessment of the impact that the changes have had.
In short, we have been able to improve significantly the rate at which we are issuing decisions. Below we have set out further information regarding these points and other related matters.
|Re-Review Decisions Issued|
|Total since the start of the Re-Review (up to 4 October 2022)||69|
|From 3 August 2022 – 4 October 2022||50|
|Customers yet to receive a decision from the Panel||141|
For the purposes of the table above, a ‘decision’ refers to a Victim Status Decision, ‘Minded-to’ Decision, or a Final Decision issued to a Customer.
We issued our first decisions in February 2021, having started active work on cases in November 2020. In the 18-month period from February 2021 to July 2022, we issued decisions to 19 Customers. The difficulties we faced during that period were described in various updates, culminating in the significant changes we introduced in August this year following discussions with LBG and the stakeholder groups that we initiated in March.
The number of decisions in the two-month period from August 2022 through to today, as detailed above, is considerably more than double that number. We hope to continue issuing decisions at a similar rate over the next two months, though this is dependent on Customers and their advisers responding to any enquiries we may have on a timely basis.
This increased rate is largely a result of our being able to focus solely on the question of ‘victim status’.
In cases where we can conclude that a Customer was a victim of the IAR Fraud (as defined here), a Victim Status Decision will be issued to that effect. This cannot be challenged by the Bank, except in the case of “manifest error”.
In cases where we cannot conclude that a Customer is a victim (as defined), we will issue a ‘Minded-to’ Decision (‘MTD’) that the Customer can challenge.
To date, 45 Customers have now exited the Re-Review process, following a Final Decision or acceptance of the Fixed Sum Award option.
As we have mentioned in our updates, we are continuing to work through cases in priority order. This means continuing to work on the most urgent cases first, taking into account the health, financial circumstances and age of Customers.
One of the most frequent questions that we have been asked by Customers throughout the Re-Review process is, ‘when will my case be assessed?’. We entirely understand that it must be frustrating for those Customers who have not yet been contacted to have little information as to when they might hear from us.
We would, of course, like to provide timelines for all Customers. However, given the nature of the Re-Review, this remains an impossible task. Any estimate for individual cases would be wholly unreliable, given the number of variables that can affect the timings, many of which are outside of our control. However, where work is very advanced and a decision is expected to be issued within a short period, our team will contact Customers to give an indication of the likely timeline.
Several Customers have written to us to tell us that it should be straightforward to issue a Victim Status Decision in their case and questioning why a decision has not been immediately issued. While we understand why some Customers may have this view, not every case is as straightforward as some customers believe and there is, in any event, a limit to the number of cases we can consider at any one time.
For the purposes of the Re-Review, we need, in each case, to consider whether a Customer was a victim of the IAR Fraud. This involves considering carefully all the information available to us and, where necessary, seeking a Customer’s input. It takes time for us to ensure that we are considering all cases in a consistent manner, which is another reason why we cannot simply issue all decisions at once.
Our primary motivation when introducing the changes to the Re-Review process was to speed up our work and to improve the experience for Customers.
While we share Customers’ frustration that we are not further along with our work, we hope that the increased rate of progress gives some indication of the improvements that have been made to the Re-Review. This has been reflected in some of the Customer feedback that we have received from individuals who have experienced the revised process in recent weeks which (with the permission of those Customers) we wanted to share:
“I have been impressed with the neutrality and professionalism shown by the panel throughout the process, and have just received from Lloyds my final settlement. This will allow me to dispose of circa 16 years of records (mainly legal documentation), and recover some storage space, all of which I am truly grateful.”
“I was from the start struck by the courtesy and respect that you all showed me during what was in effect a significant interview, allowing me time to answer your questions. The written word cannot always replace or indeed convey that sense of empathy. You all keyed so well into my case.”
We will continue to provide status updates on the progress of the Re-Review, including the number of decisions issued, every two months. Our next update will be in December.
In the meantime, please be assured that when we are ready to contact you about your case, one of our team will be in touch. We understand that the wait can be difficult, but we do believe that there is now the possibility of more rapid progress as recent experience has shown.
It remains our objective to finish our task as quickly and as fairly as we can and we thank you for your continued patience.
For the FAQ videos referenced in the above update, please click here.
If you have any questions or comments in the meantime, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.