This man is J Eric Daniels, Lloyds Banking Group Chief Executive. There has been much comment in the press and media regarding Lloyds takeover of HBOS, but herewith a brief reprise of the situation vis-à-vis Lloyds Bank and the mess it is in.
Lloyds Bank is about to be instructed by the EU Competition Commissioner to sell off around one sixth of its market share in the UK which will result in a large number of branch closures and/or sales. This is after the time when HBOS, the company which Lloyds bank took over, was literally on the verge of bankruptcy.
This of course was carried out at the urging of Messrs. Brown and Darling. Many feel this has been a disaster for Lloyds Bank and Lloyds Bank shareholders, many of whom are taking legal action against the UK government.
Lloyds Bank was a well run bank, not a bit like HBOS. Lloyds got into the mess it is in when its Chairman Sir Victor Blank and Mr Daniels the Chief Executive were enticed by Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling into taking over the bankrupt HBOS. Messrs. Brown and Darling told them that they would see to it that competition restrictions would be waived. Although the mendacious duo Brown and Darling were referring to the U.K. competition authorities, they knew that in the event of “state aid” which was inevitable, the Imperial government of the E.U. would have the final say.
Therefore the promise of no competition overview was of course a lie. Brown and Darling knew that they could no more deliver on that promise than the writer of this article could deliver on a promise that he could secure a “romantic weekend for two” at the George V (a 5 star hotel in Paris) with Angelina Jolie (below) for any male reader of this article!
The biggest “con” of course was that these two treasonous con men duped the two bankers into believing that they were the heads of a sovereign government – when they were not. Brown and Darling knew that the decision on whether or not Lloyds would be allowed to take over HBOS – on the terms agreed – was not in the gift of the U.K. (provincial) government but in the gift of the EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes (below).
Of course, it may be that Brown and Darling offered Sir Victor and Mr Daniels an undertaking that Lloyds Bank and its shareholders would be compensated if the EU blocked or imposed adverse terms on the merger – so far as their disclosures to Lloyds Bank is concerned. We do not know this however.
A long time ago (well it seems like it – 1978) the writer was a Field Sales Representative selling a product known as a Telex Silencing Cover. This was in the days of the GPO, before the days of faxes and the internet. Then the electronic text communication of choice was the Telex Machine. At the time the state run General Post Office was the monopolist supplier of same. The customer had little choice. The GPO telex machine was a bulky and noisy rattling machine. When fitted to the GPO’s telex machine the covers reduced the noise significantly and as result was very popular with the office staff who had to work nearby it. These office workers were not the ones who could make the purchasing decision. This was a manager who invariably worked in an office out of earshot of the telex. The writer’s job was to persuade this manager to part with the money. The writer was quite successful as he was told early on by his boss that the salesman had two important tasks: the first was to identify the person responsible for making the [purchasing] decision: the second was to ask for the order – “will you buy it ?” is a nice direct close.
One wonders if Sir Victor and Mr Daniels – applied this in their negotiations!
Of course the two con-men, Brown and Darling will not be facing prosecution for misrepresentation and fraud.