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THE OPEN LETTER TO ANTONY JENKINS CHIEF EXECUTIVE BARCLAYS BANK
sent on 11th September 2013


Alan Suttie
27 Spring Grove
Mitcham,
Surrey
CR4 2NN
07856 662 143
alan.suttie6@gmail.com

11 September 2013

To: Antony Jenkins, Chief Executive Barclays Bank

An open letter of warning to all current and prospective customers – that of all the socially useless failed High Street Banks, Barclays Bank is the one to avoid at all cost. I write this having just stubbed a toe, floundering to catch the umpteenth call this week from increasingly intrusive PPI claims industry parasites. Many of these lucrative, opportunist outfits are headed by the very same idiot, deadwood Bankers and corrupt financial advisers whose duplicitous, fraudulent, commission fuelled dealing perpetrated the problems in the first place. Barclay’s rejects certainly included.

If you have been chosen to receive this letter, you either feature within it or would certainly benefit from reading it.

The following is not merely a tale of the shamefully ubiquitous PPI scam, on the contrary it is a personal account of just how Barclay’s conspired at every level to ‘cheat‘ one who voluntarily purchased Loan Protection Insurance in good faith as a sensible, considered option but then had the great misfortune 18 months later, following a serious traffic accident to naively trust Barclays to honour said policy. At the time and now in rather embarrassingly clear retrospect, I actually believed Barclays to be a legitimate and honourable company.

Read on to better understand how Barclays, in particular, routinely treat ordinary decent customers, duped and seduced by typically slick and expensive marketing campaigns, once again shamelessly infesting every available media opportunity.

To slightly parody Barclay’s latest, laughably disingenuous offering, (For all life’s little surprises, you can always rely on Barclays Bank to kick you when you are down!)

With fairness in mind, I challenge Barclays to please now at least have the decency to contest anything I say, i.e. their treatment of me, and my family, their dreadful behaviour, forensically and in open court as surely you would want to. Otherwise just take it on the chin guys, no mealy mouthed statements of not commenting on individual cases, or promising that you have learned lessons and have changed your ways following some spurious moral epiphany. You haven’t!! and we know it. Your culture from the very top is as institutionally crooked as ever it was and no amount of expedient, cynical humble pie will change this hard won reputation.
You and other banks are now squealing and bleating to those inept enough to listen, i.e. the fatally crippled invertebrate regulators, that the, ‘for now’ 20 billion you are having to set aside to cover the mass fraud you all so enthusiastically indulged in, is too high a price to bear.  What crass blinkered ignorance of near Bullingdon proportions. This sum is simply a futile, last-ditch attempt to claw back a fraction of the ill-gotten proceeds of your own almost unquantifiable crimes. These same regulators were all but run ragged for years by Dame Angela Knight of the BBA, Bankers chief apologists and moral smokescreen. This highly ethical lady has now been purchased by ‘kindred spirits’ – Energy UK to weave her dubious magic for this honourable bunch.

Just wait till the new, go faster regulators discover, (or should I say acknowledge) the extent of the glorified Ponzi Schemes, and the toxic dealings you and your fellow Bankers have exported throughout Europe and the alarming resultant potential cost to this county’s taxpayers once again. Your interest rate swap scams in Spain as just one example and merely the tip of a very large and scary iceberg.

Your problem, of course, with such as me, ‘the little guy’ the insignificant customer, sadly, is that you cannot easily or effectively sue a chap for simply telling the truth, can you? Anyway, how could I possibly defame those who themselves admit to no discernable moral compass? With the possible exception of course of the excellent ‘Mr Rich Ricci’ of ‘Fatcatinthehat’ fame, an ‘honourable man’ and a worthy role model for all at Barclays I’m sure.

“From 2005 until almost 2010, Barclays Bank were a largely corrupt organisation, routinely engaged in systemic dishonesty, manipulation and utter contempt for the ordinary decent customer.” Not my words, but incredibly those of Martin Taylor, Barclays Ex Chief Executive.

In 2003 I enrolled on a Government (Nescot training scheme) at Epsom College in order to refresh my business skills, preliminary to creating the first establishment-backed portrait of Admiral Nelson for over 150 years. Barclays were the embedded sponsor Bank for this Government ‘initiative’.

The Nelson Triptych Portrait was selected and lauded by the college, publicly at the end of the scheme as the most viable proposal and most likely to succeed. I was actually chosen to speak in front of the Mayor and other dignitaries at the end of scheme awards.

Barclays then approached me and following the submission of a clear business plan, I was offered a loan of £12,000, specifically to research, create, market and otherwise fund the portrait. I had already achieved the full backing of HRH Prince Philip, the Society for Nautical Research, Greenwich Maritime Museum, Portsmouth Maritime Museum, Chatham Historic Dockyard, The Nelson Society, world expert i.e. Colin White, Mrs Anna Tribe OBE, Nelson’s great, great, great granddaughter, several Admirals and past and present Commanders of HMS Victory. Clearly Barclays were not exactly sticking their necks out.

I accepted the loan offer and agreed to repay this money over a 4-year period. ‘Loan Protection Insurance’ was fully agreed by myself and Barclays as a fair and sensible option and was duly costed into the loan package. All went extremely smoothly for more than a year, the portrait was progressing as planned and regular loan repayments made, including insurance instalments. Disastrously, in Sept 05 I was involved in a serious road accident whilst cycling back from an important JetSet Charity meeting in Wandsworth with the Rt. Hon. Dame Angela Rumbold, MP (chair) Prof. David Bellamy, (President) and Adam Hart-Davis, (Science Guru).

I was founder and Chief Executive of this nationally recognised, award winning socio eco charity in South London’s Wandle Valley. Lord Nelson purchased Merton Place on the banks of the river Wandle with Sir William and Lady (Emma) Hamilton. During my time in the valley I have carried out much important research on Nelson’s life in Merton. I am also a professional artist, hence the portrait.
Following the accident, my injuries and my health were such that I was unable to effectively complete, market or liaise in a way to seriously continue with the portrait. I was also forced to resign as JetSet chief executive, all with much regret. In January 2006 I informed Barclays that I could no longer work and could not continue the loan payments. I formally requested a claim pack in order to submit a claim on my policy. Barclays Insurance Dublin, (BID) acknowledged my request and forwarded this pack which I duly filled in with clear, supportive, documentary evidence of my accident and unequivocal proof of my medical condition. These completed forms were then returned by recorded delivery to ‘BID’ within days as requested.

On January 25th 2006 I received a letter from Barclays Bank Farnham branch, (letter enclosed) stating that I had defaulted on my agreement and that if I did not repay the outstanding £10,396.16 by the 3rd of Feb 2006, I would be charged £31.73 interest daily from that date until payment in full, with the clear threat of court proceedings. Initially I simply assumed that my insurance claim had not yet been processed, so was not too concerned. After much toing and froing and studied procrastination, I was devastated to then receive a letter from Barclays Head of Collections, Mike Bates, stating that my debt had been transferred to RMA Debt Collectors and that another £25 had been added to my account as a ‘file referral fee’ (see letter). I was told quite categorically that no further communication would be accepted from me, but to contact RMA as a matter of urgency. I was now extremely worried and this news did nothing at all to aid my recovery! Try as I might, no one at Barclays or BID would now agree to further discuss my situation. Barclays were now adamant that the debt belonged to RMA and to no one else.

In brief, their stance was that mine was a simple, unspecified business loan without PPI cover. They had no knowledge of the Nelson Portrait, of a related business plan or any relevant record of an association with Nescot Epsom or of their subsequent approach to me. Quite ludicrous of course, I had clear, unambiguous proof of all of this. But frighteningly when a bank the size of Barclays decides otherwise, flatly refuses any further communication, then sells your supposed debt to debt-collectors RMA, (a Barclays subsidiary?) you are in serious trouble. Remember, I was extremely unwell at this time, I had the added pressure of concurrent litigation against the chap who ran me over, a young family to consider and now the prospect of a £10,000+ debt plus swinging ongoing daily interest. Not good!

In due course I was put onto ‘incapacity benefit’ I did not request this, it was decided independently by the usual medical assessors. RMA now began to bombard me relentlessly with sometimes daily letters, endless phone calls, threats of home visits, bailiffs and eventual court action. I am ashamed to admit that in my weakened state RMA did manage to convince me to pay them £10 per week from the little money I was then receiving. These were very difficult times for all of us and for me actually quite frightening and humiliating. This depressing state of affairs continued for a year and a half with no apparent end and my physical and mental health deteriorated as a consequence.

In May 2007, I collapsed at home suffering a ‘Pulmonary Embolus’. This is a dangerous heart condition. I was rushed to St Georges Hospital by ambulance and subsequently spent 12 days in hospital under observation. During this harrowing time for me and my kids, RMA continued their relentless calls and letters, including a solicitors letter further threatening court action, (see letter) this caused further distress to all. I was now on Warfarin, Seroxat, Loperamide etc.

The relentless pressure from RMA, the prospect of somehow having to repay £10,000 plus another £10,000 in daily accrued interest, the real threat of bankruptcy all conspired to force me to a very poor decision, I resolved to somehow resurrect JetSet project work in a futile attempt to raise sufficient funds to escape this hellish predicament. I was not physically ready and clearly not in any mental state to viably attempt this and was told so.

Regrettably, a very dark future and RMA’s increasing pressure forced my hand. I used my precious interim accident damages money to finance this ‘folly’ but all was sadly squandered when quite predictably my ill health ended all plans. The fact that Barclays had also falsely destroyed my previously spotless credit rating with suppliers did absolutely nothing to help matters. Unlike Barclays I depended on my reputation.

‘Direct Action’ was now my only option. I was desperate and Barclays continued to arrogantly refuse all contact. On 17th April 2008 I arranged a ‘covert’ manager’s appointment in my local Barclays, Mitcham. After preliminary niceties, I advised the pleasant unsuspecting lady that “I was here in a last ditch attempt to force Barclays to recognise the wrong they had done me and that I would not leave her office until they recognised the legitimacy of my loan insurance policy.” I told her to call the police if she felt threatened in any way and that I wanted to make a public scene to force the spotlight onto Barclays ‘criminal’ behaviour towards me. Clearly, I had all the proof necessary but no one at Barclays would listen to me. (I have this good lady’s name and proof of this standoff meeting for court scrutiny if needed.)

The Manageress, though rather taken aback, was very calm, very professional and actually quite sympathetic. She got onto the phone to Barclays Insurance Dublin and following about half an hour’s sometimes heated conversation, armed with clear evidence and documentation ‘I had always had to show’ she assured me that BID had confirmed all I said and yes, I was and always had been insured, and urgent steps would be taken now to end this damaging farce. ‘Just a bit late though!’ Remember this was long before these criminal PPI scams were recognised by all and sundry.

In the final year of RMA’s stewardship of my spurious debt, every month or so they would offer to settle for a lesser amount in the end £6,000. My finances were such that I could not take advantage even of this so kind offer. In any case, I owed them nothing! When at last Barclays Insurance Dublin did deign to talk to me, after my ‘showdown’ in Mitcham, (they phoned me!) they very contritely agreed that I had obviously been treated absolutely dreadfully for almost three years. They voiced all possible ludicrous and embarrassing excuses to justify their clearly fraudulent behaviour. It was almost cringeworthy to listen to, even for me.
Most significantly and reassuringly, (I have names and details) BID agreed with me that because this so called debt was now exclusively RMA’s and nothing at all to do with Barclays (on Barclay’s own insistence) a suitable and just move in the circumstances would be for ‘BID’ to forward the insurance cheque directly to me so that I could then pay RMA the £6000 they were so ecstatic to accept and I would keep the difference. The lady at ‘BID dealing with my case (Orla) thought this a most suitable and ethical outcome. On my request they put this proposal to Barclay’s head office and they too agreed. I then contacted RMA and they were more than happy at the prospect of receiving £6000 in settlement. They probably purchased the debt for far less.
Would it surprise you at all to hear that a week later, ‘BID’ sent this cheque for the full £10,396.16p directly to RMA? I received not one brass penny of the money BID had unambiguously agreed to send me as a gesture of ‘part’ damages. True to form, Barclays now refuted all knowledge of this arrangement as if I had imagined the conversation with BID or that I was simply lying. Barclays in my personal experience you are a shameless bunch of unprincipled usurers and I say this quite calmly and with maximum prejudice. Again, you can’t easily sue a chap for simply telling the truth and Barclays know full well who the cheap liars are and I for one can prove it.

If I was a burglar who routinely stole money and was finally apprehended because I was too stupid and too arrogant to even attempt to cover my tracks. ‘Bang to rights’ admitted to being an amoral career criminal, grown rich on the efforts and property of others, then asked for countless other crimes to be taken into account what could I expect? Would I be rewarded with a massive bonus, would I be allowed not only to keep the proceeds of my crimes but also to remain ‘at large’ and then receive taxpayer’s money to refinance my fraudulent activities? I don’t think so! This is the unique privilege and preserve of the banker. Not one of these parasites has ever been, or it seems ever will be sent to jail. After all they only destroyed the country’s finances and stole our children’s futures.
I’m no victim, Steven Davis from The Ministry of Justice, The Financial Ombudsman, even members of Barclays Insurance Dublin staff believe I have a cast iron case for proper compensation and damages, and not merely Barclay’s solution to simply return the money they tried to steal from me and the years of false payments they as RMA blackmailed me into paying. What about the effect on my family for the three years of your fraud?

Any lingering sense of injustice I might feel will be largely dissipated in the knowledge that I can share my experience as a warning to others. Banks don’t pay their debts or the dreadful cost of their burgeoning criminality they are somehow uniquely immune from the universal rules of capitalism. Bank debt now seems to be the accepted, eternal burden of the ordinary taxpayer and this will continue for as long as the greed fuelled revolving door of shady political collusion prevails. Many MPs and financial regulators have crawled fully-formed out of the banking swamp and many will slink back rebooted to enjoy the massive perks of insider trading, the old boy network, lobbying, privilege, entitlement, tax evasion and total impunity - business as usual.

So, what of the ‘supposedly mythical’ Nelson Portrait? Last year, a year of national celebration, the portrait was exhibited for the first time for a period of six months, next to Nelson’s tomb in St Pauls Cathedral Crypt. A very rare and great honour! Presently, it is the feature exhibit in the ‘Hearts of Oak’ exhibition at Chatham Historic Dockyard Museum and because of public demand the painting will remain at Chatham for a further year. Subsequently, the portrait is to be considered by the Tate for possible future display. This would undoubtedly greatly enhance the commercial value of the work but would have little bearing on it’s artistic merit. It is already accepted by those whose opinions really matter to be a new establishment portrait of the great man. Sandy Nairn of the National Portrait Gallery was chair of the St Pauls Cathedral Art/Works scrutiny panel.

Enough said! As for Barclays, their shoddy involvement in this important portrait has been utterly and cynically toxic at every level and a great embarrassment to all involved. (See triptych leaflet).

Respectfully yours
Alan Suttie

 

POSTSCRIPT

One month on from Mr Jenkins receiving this letter, Barclay’s confident stance is that yes they were guilty of defrauding me for over three years, but I should be grateful that my legitimate claim was eventually honoured. Why should I be so singularly greedy as to expect any compensation for their behavior and why should I be so arrogant to expect Barclays to be called to account? Customers such as me really are a mere irritant and are not to be taken at all seriously.

I would really love to take these amoral fools to court but haven’t the means. I wonder what level of compensation Mr Jenkins and his army of lawyers would demand if a bank had treated him as Barclays have treated me?

Please feel free to link this letter to relevant others, websites or individuals.

Many thanks
sig
A R Suttie
A man of little consequence