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Banker of the week/year

Banker of the week

This page is used to highlight a particularly notable villainous act by a bank or building society and which deserves to be publicised. Each week, we will try and bring you a new example of villainy. Please email me with anything that you particularly think would merit inclusion on this page.

Then, at the end of 2007, we will put all the examples to the public to vote on who are the biggest bankers of the year.

My apologies for the gap in making these awards during March to May. Just too busy fighting cases to keep this up to date. Will try harder in future.

For a full listing of bankers of the week, see previous winners.

Sixth villain of 2007: HSBC Chief Executive, Mr Dyfrig John

This week's winner by a mile is chief executive of HSBC Bank plc. The bank has just announced its half year results and has had to admit that, in 6 months, it has paid out 120 million to customers claiming refunds of penalty charges. Bear in mind that this money is paid out because HSBC's customers have alleged that the bank has acted unlawfully in taking these charges out of their accounts. Would you pay out 120 million to people who said that you were acting unlawfully if you thought that you were not acting unlawfully?

But, listen to what Mr Dyfrig John says. He says, "We feel very strongly that we have been treating customers fairly." !!!

Is he referring to the estimated 70,000 customers who have had their illegal charges repaid? Or to the half a million customers who have been similarly ripped off, but, because they have not yet threatened to sue HSBC, have not received a penny back from this organisation?

Mr John has immediately become the bookies' favourite to take the coveted Bankbuster Banker of the Year award for 2007. It will take some doing for anyone else to outdo him this year.

But you never know. With the bunch of bankers running the financial institutions in this country, there could be amongst them someone who could top Mr John's performance.

And after all, Dyfrig has probably had the last laugh. On the day that HSBC made the announcement about their profits being down because of the penalty charge refunds, their share price went up 12 pence. In the City, ethics remains as a county somewhere east of Canary Wharf.

Published and promoted by Bob Egerton, TR2 4RS