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Noel Edmonds seeks £50m compensation for HBOS fraud

Noel Edmonds Credit: PA

Noel Edmonds is demanding £50 million compensation from Lloyds Banking Group over the HBOS fraud scandal that saw former employees jailed for a total of 47 years earlier this year.

The TV presenter is seeking the damages to cover the "destruction" of his former business Unique and to his reputation as a public figure at the hands of the HBOS Reading arm.

The scam, which ran over five years from 2002, saw six bankers siphon £245 million from small and struggling businesses to fund luxury holidays, prostitutes and designer clothes.

A letter from Edmonds' lawyers to Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório claims "losses of tens of millions of pounds, along with his suffering deep distress and public humiliation."

Edmonds' business Unique Group, a production firm, went into receivership with debts of £3 million in 2007. In legal correspondence, the 68-year-old entertainer blames its collapse on now-jailed former employee Mark Dobson.

Top row (left to right): David Mills, Alison Mills, Lynden Scoufield. Bottom row: Mark Dobson, Michael Bancroft, John Cartwright.

He accuses Dobson of blocking the sales of shares in the firm and colluding with fellow convicts David Mills and Mills' wife Alison to force the business over to Mills' turnaround consultancy Quayside.

Edmonds said: "I confirm my lawyers have sent a detailed claim letter seeking compensation from Lloyds for the losses that I suffered as a result of fraud committed against me by one of its managers.

"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.”

Lawyers for the former Deal or No Deal presenter say Edmonds suffered "immense economic loss as well as (to put it very mildly) ‘distress and inconvenience’ at the hands of your bank as a direct result of the actions of these individuals."

Damage to Edmonds' business reputation and resulting loss of income from motivational speaking work are covered in the claim.

Noel has waited 10 years to see justice done after his business empire was brought down by Mr Dobson’s fraud, and if the Lloyds review process does not provide the recompense due to Noel then all the necessary ordinance, including litigation funding, is in place to start legal proceedings.

– Noel Edmonds' lawyer Jonathan Coad

Lloyds has set aside £100 million for compensation for the victims of the fraud, but the sum may need to be increased if Edmonds' claim is successful.

A spokesman for Lloyds would not confirm whether Edmonds was one of the 64 customers in the review but said it was reviewing the information provided in each case and would assess any compensation due.

“If the review determines that the level of compensation due requires us to increase the provision, then we will absolutely do so,” he said.