My inspiration for this blog entry are two websites that I found by chance when searching for other things. Both relate, coincidently, to complaints about banks and both document the lengths that a person has gone to try and get that resolution and closure. The first of these is Ian Taplin the "Lloyds Bank Whistleblower" and what I have deduced from his blog is thus; whilst working in the Private and Wealth division of Lloyds, a colleague he disliked made a sale that he perceived should have gone to him. Mr. Taplin then bitterly complained to management about this and eventually his behaviour led to him being dismissed from the bank for gross misconduct. What exactly he did is not made clear but I suspect that the relationship between employer and employee had irretrievably broken down and as such, his position was untenable. There is also a separate allegation relating to what he believes to be mis-selling of investment products to his parents. This, he believes demonstrates systemic fraud and corruption in the bank which is being covered up by senior management, all the way up to board level. He also states that he has support from his MP Theresa May and has evidence to back up all allegations made. None of this has of course been published.
I struggled to work my way through Mr. Taplin's blog; it is repetitive, rambles, is oddly written in the third person, and doesn't reach any obvious conclusions. It is not clear what a satisfactory resolution would look like for him, although I suspect that his blog is more letting off steam than anything else. Involving MPs and getting the attention of the police due to his actions have moved him into crusade territory and show that his obsession has moved up a step though. According to his latest blog entry, he was involved in a reasonably serious road traffic accident and I wish him a speedy recovery from that.
Mr. Taplin's obsessiveness pales into insignificance when compared to that of disgruntled Natwest customer Ruby Cooper. Ms. Cooper's website is a collection of emails, transcripts, statements, and court documents, almost entirely in Comic Sans and peppered with random highlights, underlining, and ALL CAPS. It isn't particularly well ordered but I think that I've got the main points now and I believe that the story goes something like this; a misdirected phone call to Natwest by Ms. Cooper led to a person, who was perhaps or perhaps not trying to be helpful, dealing with a complaint regarding her mortgage application when he shouldn't have done. They spoke several times on the phone and at one point, the Natwest worker Mr. Mileham referred to Ms. Cooper as sounding "gorgeous". It was after then that they arranged to meet. I'm sensing that Ms. Cooper was hoping for some kind of romantic encounter but when he turned up at her house, Mr. Mileham was not the handsome, dashing thing she expected and all bets were off. When she eventually found out that he shouldn't have been dealing with her complaint she hit the roof and accusations of stalking were made to the bank and the police. These were accompanied with a demand for compensation from the bank as the stress from the alleged stalking had delayed the launch of a new business venture. No action was taken by the police and no compensation was forthcoming from the bank. It is unclear what happened to Mr. Mileham. What has transpired since is truly extraordinary, particular highlights being:
- She has sent literally hundreds of letters, emails, and faxes making complaints, demands, and accusations of conspiracy to senior bank staff, newspaper editors, the Met and City police, the CPS, and all levels of government up to and including the Prime Minister. Oh, and Jeremy Paxman.
- Her behaviour has got her arrested six times and convicted for three of those offences.
- She alleges that the police, the CPS, Natwest, Financial Ombudsman, and the "Nu Labour" government all conspired against her to ruin her good name.
- Spectacular fall-outs with her legal team, accusing them of being part of the conspiracy against her, at one point firing none other than Cherie Booth (Blair) as her barrister.
- Claims she was driven to exile in France due to threats from Natwest.
- Is now demanding that the son of a former, now deceased chairman of Natwest tell her what he knows about the conspiracy.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about this is that the whole sorry saga has been going on for over 18 years meaning that more than one third of Ms. Cooper's life has been dedicated to this crusade. These are not the actions of someone acting reasonably or logically and I fully expect that I'll be in for a bit of stick from her should she by some chance discover this blog. I initially had a good laugh at some of the documents that she had posted but the more that I read, the more I built up a picture of someone slowly descending into the hell that they created for themselves out of an obsession. It's actually quite tragic and I hope that she gets the help that she clearly needs, although I doubt that she will go voluntarily.