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No Christmas cheer from HBOS cap cap: dd

By Jane Graham

Published 30/06/2012

For anyone still wondering if power and money corrupts (anybody out there?), details emerging this week of HBOS bank's behaviour during the collapse of the Farepak Christmas saving scheme should provide a clear answer.

Rather than safeguarding the Farepak payments - a relatively measly £4m - in a ring-fenced trust, HBOS chose to gobble them up to repay their own loan to the scheme. The bank effectively forced Farepak's directors to keep collecting payments - which HBOS managers contemptuously referred to as 'Doris money' - even in the scheme's death throes.

HBOS benefited to the tune of around £10m, while over 116,000 of the country's poorest families and pensioners - scraping together what they could to make sure their loved ones had a decent Christmas - were encouraged to keep contributing to a firm which was looking almost certain to let them down. What an inspiring story for anyone contemplating anarchy or even just a little light Communism.

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