Hello. I am Linda Dobbs. I am a former High Court Judge. I am heading up the independent Review into how Lloyds Banking Group dealt with the HBOS Reading scandal.
The purpose of this message is to ask you, if you were caught up in the HBOS Reading affair or you know anyone who has information about what happened, to come forward and give evidence to the Review. We need your input in order to do a thorough job.
Let me tell you about the Dobbs Review.
It was set up in 2017 after two former HBOS executives and four consultants were convicted of fraud and sent to prison.
Our brief is to investigate whether issues of fraud and/or corruption in relation to Halifax/Bank of Scotland’s Reading branch were handled appropriately by Lloyds following its take-over of HBOS.
We are looking into whether Lloyds met its regulatory and legal obligations. Did it report matters appropriately to the relevant authorities? Was there a cover up?
In particular, we want to know not only what Lloyds knew but also what it should reasonably have known about the fraud.
The Review covers the eight years from January 2009, when Lloyds took over HBOS, until January 2017 when the criminal trial ended.
We will also – and this is very important – we will also examine evidence in the years before the takeover because this is directly relevant to the issue of what Lloyds should reasonably have known.
We are already taking evidence from many witnesses who were affected by the HBOS Reading incident. But we know that there are still a significant number of you who have not yet contacted the Review.
We need you to do so.
This is a chance for you to tell your story about how you were treated. It is very important that we can fully assess how you were dealt with in your communications with Lloyds.
Ultimately, the strength and thoroughness of the Review – and the soundness of our findings – will only be as good as the evidence we receive. So we want to talk to as many of you as possible.
I know some of you have been uncertain whether you fall within the Scope of the Dobbs Review. If you have any doubts, we can help clarify that by conducting a preliminary interview.
I am also conscious that some of you receiving compensation under the Griggs Review have been worrying that you might be legally prevented from talking to us.
I can assure you there is nothing to stop you. Lloyds has written to everyone involved in the Griggs Review making it clear that none of you is prevented from assisting our Review.
This message is really a final call to potential witnesses to come forward to assist me and the team.
I can promise you that the Review will be robust and detailed. We are not going to leave any stone unturned. We have nothing to do with the Griggs Review. We are completely independent.
But we do need your help to get to the bottom of this. So please get in touch if you think you might have any relevant information.
I know it can be stressful being interviewed but I can promise you that you will be treated with respect, courtesy and understanding. You are not being investigated. We want to talk you potential witnesses.
We will arrange meetings with members of my team to suit you – both time and location wise. The meetings are private and informal, although recorded.
The deadline to contact the Review is 18th April. You can find further details of the Review on this website and you can contact me via email@example.com. I very much hope to hear from you shortly.