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Noel Edmonds suing Lloyds Banking Group for €336 million

Edmonds claims that his business collapsed due to fraud committed by bank staff at HBOS.

Image: Tim Ireland/PA Images

TV PRESENTER NOEL Edmonds is taking legal action against Lloyds Banking Group, as he seeks to secure £300 million (€336 million) due to alleged fraud carried out by staff at HBOS.

The former Deal or No Deal host alleges that his former business, Unique Group, suffered was destroyed by the £245 million (€274 million) loans scam carried out by staff at HBOS Reading staff in the mid-2000s.

A number of former staff members were jailed this year, after allegations they had spent the profits from their fraud on luxury holidays and high-end prostitutes.

Edmonds had been engaged in mediation with Lloyds, but he and his legal team walked out last week amid fears it would not stick to its promise of dealing with fraud victims “swiftly, fairly and appropriately”.

His lawyer Jonathan Coad said: “One reason for our confidence is that, back in 2008, when the bank sued Noel on its personal guarantee, such was the adverse legal advice it was getting from its then-lawyers that it bribed Noel’s business partner to the tune of around £1m to stop him supporting Noel’s defence.

Since then the bank’s primary witness has been jailed, which greatly weakens its position.

Lloyds had set aside £100 million for the victims of the fraud.

A spokeswoman told Sky News that it rejected Edmonds’ claim. She said: “Despite Lloyds Banking Group’s determined efforts to reach a consensual resolution with Mr Edmonds through mediation, this has not been possible. As a result, a formal litigation process has begun.

We recognise Mr Edmonds suffered personal distress and inconvenience as a result of him interacting almost a decade ago with an ex-HBOS employee convicted earlier this year in relation to criminal conduct at HBOS Reading Impaired Assets office. However, we strongly refute that this caused his business to collapse.

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