A BUSINESSMAN who went on hunger strike over his alleged mistreatment by a major bank has suspended his protest after holding talks with the bank’s bosses.
John Guidi claimed that he was made bankrupt and faced losing his home after being mis-sold loans by Clydesdale Bank.
However a spokesman for CYBG, which owns Clydesdale Bank, said the bank had taken no action against Mr Guidi in relation to his house and other parties involved in this process are not acting on behalf of the bank.
The spokesman said: “Our chief executive (David Duffy) did meet with Mr Guidi to discuss his case on Friday.
“We understand Mr Guidi’s trustee in bankruptcy has put the court action in respect of his house on hold, pending the outcome of related court proceedings.
“With this in mind, for his safety and well-being, we urged Mr Guidi to stop his extreme personal protests and we are pleased he has suspended his actions.
“We remain open to constructive dialogue and to do what we can to help him resolve his current issues with the third parties involved as quickly as possible. Separately, Mr Guidi has previously raised complaints with the bank.
“We are confident these historic complaints have been properly reviewed, including the fact our decisions have been subject to external and independent review.”
Mr Guidi’s case was raised in the House of Commons by his MP, Angela Crawley, who represents Lanark.
In response, John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said the banks needed to make sure that customers were treated fairly, even when they have sold on their debt to third parties.
Mr Glen said he was pleased that the sale of loan portfolios to third parties was now covered by standard lending practice.
Mr Glen stated that Clydesdale were required to ensure “that third parties that buy loans have demonstrated that customers will be treated fairly”.
The banks must also allow customers to complain to the original lender if there is a dispute that cannot be resolved, he added
Mr Glen added: “The Government are not complacent about this serious matter.
He continued: “We will monitor the implementation of these new or expanded dispute resolution schemes, and we will continue to remind banks of the importance of restoring SMEs’ (small and medium-sized enterprises) trust in them.”
The sale of debt to so-called “vulture funds” is an area of intense concern, according to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking (APPG)
In a statement, the APPG said: “It is clear that we do not have appropriate measures in place to deal with the sale of debt to third parties, leaving many unable to acces justice.”
“A number of other key points were raised in the session including our calls for a moratorium period, the eligibility for the historic compensation scheme and the need for a Financial Services tribunal.”