Banking StandardsWritten evidence from I Hawkins

This statement is made by Ms I. Hawkins with regard to the inquiry by the parliamentary select committee on banking standards. The following issues are matters dating from 1990 till 2012.

In 1990 I decided to re-mortgage my business with Citibank Trust Ltd who had approached me with an offer of very low interest rates. They valued my home a Georgian Mansion for 1.1million and agreed to advance me the sum of £880,000 to develop the property into a nursing home. Their brokers and solicitors conducting the conveyance were very quick to complete the re-mortgage. Subsequently I discovered that the offer of £880,000 was not forthcoming and I was informed it was to be £770,000. Upon completion my solicitors informed me that the £770,000 was incomplete and consequently I did not sign the deeds and a dispute arose whereupon the Chairman of the commercial division came and visited me at my home and insisted that I borrow more money in sum of £350,000. I refused as I did not wish to be indebted for such a large sum which I did not require. I received a letter from the executive chairman of the bank who threatened me with bankruptcy if I did not accept their offer, so being helpless, I signed the offer letter which was placed on a deadline and I unable to take independent advice upon the matter. Once I had signed the offer letter for the sum of £350,000 the money was retained by their lawyers and not given to me.

In 1994, Citibank Trust was renamed Citibank International Plc, part of Citibank Corporation NA.

Two of the bank’s executives would visit me and keep demanding that I pay higher interest rates and they informed me that I should I pay as much as possible and they would give me back £1.00 for each £1.00 I paid so that the debt of 1.3 million would be cleared quicker. I disputed that the amount loaned to me at 12% interest was incorrect but they continued to harass me and told me that I had to make my repayments in cash each month and a person would come and collect the sums of £8,000 to £15,000. No receipt was ever given by the persons collecting the money. At times the two senior executives would collect the money and no receipts were given. I asked for my bank statements and this was promised but never set up. In 1996 they alleged that I was in arrears, but an expert report showed that I had paid my repayments for up to four years ahead according to the bank’s agreement. At this time the property had been turned into a nursing home but could not complete the building works due to defects and the banking executive decided to arbitrate on the building works issues and would not give me the money I had been forced to sign for by way of a further advance. He also threatened me not to go to court. The building matter went into arbitration and then to the High Court where the Judge declared that the Arbitrator has misconducted himself as he refused to allow me to attend my arbitration hearing. However, the Judge said he was to conduct a rehearing and that has never been done.

In 1996 I went on holiday to Portugal and returned two weeks later to discover that the bank had sold my property by forging the charge deeds. I learnt about it by accident through third parties. Then they sent their same solicitor with bogus receivership documents signed by a banks director who did not exist. I issued counter proceedings and when the matter went to County court for repossession I was informed by the judge I could recover the property back or have compensation in damages. He decided that I could have the compensation as the property had been “sold”, the same solicitor sold the property in an auction by sealed bid sale to himself through his holding agents for conversion. In fact I had bid for the property and my bid was the highest but it was ignored. Citibank valued the property in 1989 for 1.1million, they say they spent the additional £350,000 bringing it to 1.2million and they sold it to themselves for £450,000 through their agents by forging my signature. Hence the judge gave directions that I was to put in my counterclaim in excess of 2.8 million. The same solicitor then went to court and obtained and injunction against me and also obtained an ex-parte bankruptcy order and when I appealed they went to the court for the appeal hearing without the court notifying me of any hearing and got further ex-parte judgments which were given freely and without question by the court. The same solicitor then picked another solicitor and his friend to be my trustee in bankruptcy and the trustee and his solicitors continued to harass and asset strip me leaving me penniless. I told the trustee and the official receiver and the judges but all except a few turned a blind eye to the multimillion frauds.

When I made applications to the High Court a very senior judge allowed my permission appeal the ex-parte bankruptcy order but the same solicitor and the same barrister came and asked another junior judge to put a restraining order on me so that I could not proceed with the appeal. Therefore all fraud by the banks and their solicitors are concealed by injunctions and restraining orders. I have been unable to find a solicitor on legal aid to assist me further. Fraud is not allowed to be mentioned in the courts especially against banks, the penalty is a restraining order or injunctions and costs and bankruptcy orders against the victims. This is standard procedure; in fact court staff appears to take pride in concealing such crimes. When one judge saw the forged deeds he said he would not switch the transcription machine on. When I told another judge that my deeds had been forged he said, “We live in the real world don’t we?” he was a deputy judge and a Queen Counsel!

I have complained to the Serious Fraud Office, the Police, the Land registry, the Citizens Advise ,Law Centres and the law society and other professionals who pretend to be deaf when the above issues are mentioned. Since the above matters arose I have been informed from the banks own people that the same solicitor is used to carry out their instructions involving larger institutions, hotels, other nursing homes and various other money institutions. I believe the operation is vast and has been going on since Citibank Trust Ltd came to this country in 1974 according to the company house documents.

Since the above I have been informed by Citibank International Plc that they have never heard of me or my bank account numbers. I have the evidence should you be interested in this matter. In this case it is not only fraud but forgery, perjury, false accounting, misrepresentation, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, misleading the court just to name a few.

I have given a very brief description here. Hence I would like to provide further better written or oral evidence and I would like to attend as a witness as I can provide the evidence if the select committee is really serious about cleaning the banking industry.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information.

“Evil will triumph when good men do nothing”

24th August 2012

Prepared 19th June 2013