Well known celebrity and TV star Noel Edmonds, presenter of Channel 4’s hit show ‘Deal or No Deal’, has reached a financial settlement with Lloyds Banking Group (‘LBG’) following a long and protracted legal action.

Edmonds, 70, originally sued LBG for £60m after his Unique Group business was destroyed as a result of a large scale, systemic fraud between 2003 and 2007 at an HBOS branch in Reading. LBG, which acquired HBOS in 2009, has not revealed details of the settlement but it is believed to be around £5m. LBG has issued an apology for the distress caused to Edmonds as a result of the £245m loans fraud at the HBOS branch. After a lengthy investigation, six former HBOS staff were jailed in 2017 for their involvement in destroying a number of small businesses and illegally spending the proceeds of their scam on prostitutes and luxury holidays.

In a written statement on behalf of both parties, LBG said:

Mr Edmonds and Lloyds Banking Group have reached an agreement in their dispute. "Lloyds Banking Group very much regrets and apologises for the distress suffered by Mr Edmonds as a result of the HBOS Reading fraud."Both parties will continue to assist the ongoing Thames Valley police investigation into matters relating to Unique Group and HBOS Reading."Both parties also agree to place their trust in the independent inquiry chaired by Dame Linda Dobbs, which is considering whether issues relating to HBOS Reading were properly investigated and appropriately reported to the relevant authorities by LBG, following its acquisition of HBOS in 2009."

The Dame Linda inquiry will also be looking into whether anyone at Lloyds tried to cover up information on the fraud when it bought HBOS in the middle of the financial crisis. Edmonds himself set up a website attacking LBG and its chief executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio, as part of his high-profile campaign against the banking group.

In 2017, he described how his business being wiped out had brought him to the "brink of emotional annihilation”, saying:

I seek no sympathy and feel no shame in admitting that on the evening of January 18 2005 I attempted to end the overwhelming mental pain which had consumed my whole being…the fact that I did not become another suicide statistic is solely due to the swift response of a Devon ambulance crew and the compassionate support of the Priory in Bristol."

Innovative Litigation Funding for Businesses

If you are thinking about suing another company but are worried about the costs of resolving the dispute or going to court, Advantage Litigation Services can help. We have vast experience navigating the different ways of funding commercial dispute resolution and are best placed to help you identify the most appropriate funding option and litigation protection that will best benefit you and your business. Click here to contact us or call 0800 160 1298 to discuss how we can help you manage the risks and find a funding option that works for you.