Noel Edmonds seeks 50m damages for HBOS fraud – BBC News

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Noel Edmonds is seeking half of a 100m compensation pot that Lloyds Banking Group has set aside for victims of a major HBOS fraud.

The Deal or No Deal host claimed he has suffered "deep distress and public humiliation" because of the scandal.

He alleges that Mark Dobson, a HBOS manager who was jailed, helped destroy his business called Unique Group.

Mr Edmonds's lawyers have written to Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of HBOS owner Lloyds, seeking payment.

Two former employees at HBOS's Reading office were part of a 245m loans scam that cheated small business customers by insisting that they use a specific turnaround firm.

The HBOS managers were then compensated with bribes including cash and prostitutes. They were eventually jailed along with four other people involved in the scam.

Lloyds subsequently set up a 100m fund to compensate 64 victims of the fraud.

Mr Edmonds's lawyer Jonathan Coad, from Keystone Law, said he would be pressing for half that amount to go to his client.

"We expect half of the 100m to go to my client, and we expect Lloyds will have to increase their provision substantially," Mr Coad said.

Lloyds has said it would increase the amount of compensation if a review found that to be necessary.

The letter to Mr Horta-Osorio says that Mr Edmonds' "reputation as a successful business entrepreneur was destroyed by humiliating media coverage of the collapse of his business empire".

Mr Edmonds confirmed that his lawyers had sent a letter. He said: "I am now trusting that Mr Horta-Osorio is true to his word and ensures that I am 'fairly, swiftly and appropriately' compensated for both the destruction of my businesses and the significant damage to my reputation.

"If he is not, then I will pursue my claim against Lloyds via the courts."

His lawyer said Mr Edmonds had litigation funding in place should legal action proceed.

Lloyds said last month it would start making compensation offers to HBOS fraud victims in May, with payments expected to begin in June.

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