Thursday, 7 December 2006

Letter to trade unionists about HBOS protest

5th December 2006
Support ‘Un–Fairpak’ protest outside HBOS HQ December 11th at 5.30pm
As you will be aware, 150,000 customers of Farepak budgeting for Christmas via the company’s savings scheme have lost £45m as a result of the firm’s collapse.It is now clear that Farepak had been accepting deposits long after it became clear they were insolvent. And it has also emerged that the Halifax Bank of Scotland may have been aware a year ago the company was in difficulty. It is believed the bank foreclosed on a loan in October, precipitating Farepak’s collapse and has now taken the £45m for itself.Farepak customers have formed themselves into a protest group called ‘Unfairpak’ and are seeking to recover the £45m and fully compensate the savers, 90% of whom are low paid women workers.‘ Unfairpak’ has pressed the moral and economic case with the Halifax Bank of Scotland that they should release the money but to no avail. The bank has offered just £2m. We do not consider this to be acceptable, frankly it is adding insult to injury.We understand HBOS plans to hold a ‘Christmas Champagne Reception’ for top executives and VIP customers at its headquarters on December 11th. ‘Unfairpak’ intends to mount a peaceful protest at it and we would like you to join us. As the bank spends some of its £4.5bn profits from last year entertaining its guests we intend to focus public attention on what we feel are their social responsibilities. Fat cats sipping expensive champagne or low paid women workers seeking justice at Christmas, where do you stand?We are calling on people across the Lothians to join Farepak customers incensed by HBOS’s actions on the protest at HBOS headquarters at the Mound in Edinburgh at 6pm on Monday 11th December. We believe we can make our point effectively.Please bring your banners and send messages of support to -

Yours sincerely
Suzy Hall and Colin Fox MSP

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