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NI man fights attempt to stop case against Bank of England chief and FCA

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Andrew Bailey will be the central bank’s next chief (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Andrew Bailey will be the central bank’s next chief (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Andrew Bailey will be the central bank’s next chief (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A Northern Ireland businessman is fighting to have the new governor of the Bank of England kept in a multi-million legal action over loan restructuring moves.

Chris Gordon has issued proceedings against the Financial Conduct Authority and its former boss Andrew Bailey, alleging a failure to properly regulate the Ulster Bank and aligned RBS.

Mr Bailey headed the FCA until he took up his new post today as governor at the UK's central bank.

Attempts are being made to halt the case against him and the Authority as part of a wider action, on the basis that the claims have no merit.

But Mr Gordon, a former property developer, was at the High Court in Belfast today to resist the legal move.

His lawyers also contend that the case should be dealt with in Northern Ireland rather than England, because it relates to properties in the Portrush area.

A hearing to determine the issues was adjourned to May.

Mr Gordon and his development company Orianna Investments Ltd are suing Ulster Bank and RBS, alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence.

Backed by up to 50 others caught up in banking disputes following the 2008 financial crash, he has brought a test case which could lead to many more writs being issued.

The businessman, who also operates as an estate agent in north Antrim, claims he lost more than £1m after being moved into a Global Restructuring Group (GRG) which managed exposures and concerns about an account holder's ability to service loans.

Outside court he alleged that other firms also suffered.

"There were thousands of companies transferred into the GRG across Ireland," Mr Gordon said.

According to his case entry into the GRG was described as an attempt at reviving businesses after the banking collapse.

Instead, he claims, the banks put him into an interest rate swap on his loans which effectively destroyed his property development company.

In court papers Mr Gordon alleges that had regulators performed their role properly he would have been able to recoup losses earlier.

His claims are denied, with the defendants contending that nothing has been set out to show any actions by the FCA or Mr Bailey caused losses.

As proceedings were put back, Mr Gordon's solicitor, Kevin Winters, claimed there had been a wider toll on those affected by the loan restructuring.

The lawyer said: "This isn't just a commercial banking action, it's actually a human rights case. Many people lost their lives."

Belfast Telegraph