Banks are either at your throat screaming for their loan repayments, or they are on their knees begging for a bailout.
With David Lloyd, the Halifax Bank did the numbers. This particular customer was 62, he had terminal lung cancer, and he owed £800 on an overdraft. The debt arose when David stopped working and was waiting for an insurance payout. Since the poor man wasn't likely to contribute as a taxpayer, the Bank phoned him up 762 times in just seven months demanding repayment.
The bank also started to lean on this daughter, who wasn't even a bank customer. She received somewhere between 60 to 100 calls trying to get her to pressurize her dying father to cough up the cash before he died.
In May, David went to court and received an undertaking that the Halifax would stop the harassment. However, the law struggled to contain this feral beast. This week, the Halifax was back in court to answer a charge of contempt. The Bank again started to harasss David by demanding repayment.
Yesterday, when the full glare of the media was upon it, the Bank fell on its knees and began pleading. The bank's barrister, James Counsell, said: "The bank issues its wholehearted fulsome apology for the error and the serious breach of the undertaking which it very much regrets."
The Bank will be back in court in February when it will have answer for this harrassment at a full hearing. However, it is doubtful whether David will be there to see the Halifax answer for this reprehensible behaviour.
However, it is still not too late for the Halifax to redress this wrong. The bank could stand up, and with dignity fully admit its error. It should write off any outstanding debts, and offer generous compensation to Mr. Lloyd and his daughter for all the pain and distress it has caused.