Bankrupted customers of ‘007 bank’ Dunbar back call for new tribunal

Alex Hawkes For The Mail On Sunday

Bankrupted customers of a lender co-founded by Sean Connery are pushing for historic complaints to be covered by a new tribunal for disputes involving small firms.

More than 100 entrepreneurs who were backed by Dunbar Bank were made bankrupt in 2011, in what victims say was a savage unwinding of the bank, set up in the late Sixties by the James Bond star and other investors.

The bank is accused of inducing borrowers to sign away their homes as guarantees. It seized the properties a year later.

Action: Bond star Sean Connery has co-founded Dunbar Bank

Action: Bond star Sean Connery has co-founded Dunbar Bank

Action: Bond star Sean Connery has co-founded Dunbar Bank

Dozens of customers, many running buy-to-let businesses, were bankrupted. One compared Dunbar to Royal Bank of Scotland’s GRG unit which preyed on thousands of small business clients. ‘They made GRG look like girl guides,’ he said. 

Victims hope for redress if a new tribunal system is set up that allows the existing six-year time limit for claims to be set aside. Many could not bring claims because they had no money.

Alongside MPs on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, The Mail on Sunday has campaigned for a simpler, cheaper means of bringing complaints against banks than the UK courts system.

The APPG plans to raise the issue in a Commons debate. Connery has had nothing to do with the bank for many years. It was owned by insurer Zurich when it was wound down. Zurich denied wrongdoing.

It added: ‘In a recent High Court case, suggestions Dunbar has behaved improperly in recovering debts were rejected in strong terms, with the Judge describing aspects of that claim as “fanciful” and “incredible”.’



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