LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) said it on Friday it was close to making compensation offers to 30 of the 67 customers impacted by one of Britain’s biggest banking frauds after criticism about the pace of redress.
Britain’s biggest mortgage lender missed a self-imposed deadline of the end of June for making offers to most victims of the fraud and has said it was disappointed that the process was taking so long.
Two former bankers with Lloyds’ HBOS unit in the English town of Reading were among those jailed for their involvement in the scam, which affected 67 people including Noel Edmonds, a TV presenter and former disc jockey.
Lloyds said in a statement it has made offers to 16 customers and is in the final stages of assessment to make 14 more, although only 5 offers have been accepted.
“We are continuing to make progress in getting offers to victims of the HBOS Reading fraud,” said Adrian White, Lloyds’ chief operating officer for commercial banking.
Lloyds announced the deadline for its 100 million-pound ($130 million) compensation scheme in April after six people were jailed in February for a scam that involved siphoning money from struggling businesses.
Victims of the fraud have accused the bank of dragging out the compensation process and underestimating the final amount it will have to pay.
The jailed bankers pushed struggling business owners to employ a costly turnaround consultancy as a condition for receiving loans and, in some cases, hand over ownership.
Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Keith Weir