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Thread: Holmesdale BS - what is all this about?

  1. #21
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    chuckieegg

    As mentioned upthread by HB.

    Many of us recall when 500 members of the Portman Building Society made a valid request their building society (which as members they owned) put demutualisation to a members's vote.

    The Portman then threw those 500 out of their own society without warning or compensation.

    The building society movement has shown itself to be self-serving to executives. An "anonymous" enquiry to the building society will be ignored - and arguably should be.

    Identifying oneself as a member carries an all too real risk of firstly not getting any answer but secondly getting chucked out. Which for those with a stamp collector approach to building society accounts (not to mention a basic sense of fair play) would be damaging.

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  2. #22
    HB
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    And £49k of recruitment fees? Who was this paid to?
    Apart from Mr Thompson's company, who else did the society recruit and what do they do at the society?
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  3. #23
    HB
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    I passed this on to an interested party in the press, but nothing seems to have come from it, and I get no responses to my emails.

    So it looks like they have "got away with it".
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  4. #24
    Expert planteria will become famous soon enough
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    good work regardless Happy

  5. #25
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    HB

    A great shame the press didn't go with it - although, who knows, perhaps they are still working on it and cannot reply to you for ethical, confidentiality reasons... Whatever!

    But thank you for at least trying.

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  6. #26
    HB
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    Pleasure. I will be looking closely at this one this year
    A pity it is such a distance or I'd be looking at the AGM
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  7. #27
    HB
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    Another £43k paid out in the 2014/2015 financial year.

    The Thompson's don't seem to be doing too badly out of this society
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  8. #28
    HB
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    Interestingly, he resigned as director at the start of 2016.

    Must have milked it as far as he could. Look out for him at another BS in the future
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  9. #29
    Junior Member fathippy
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    Have to first apologise for only just having read this thread. Only pop on the site once a year or so these days, and must have just ignored it previously. Fascinating work done on it so far, but I have some observations to add. This may double up on what other people have done, but from where I am standing it looks far more fraudulent than you guys have given it credit for!

    The key is in the accounts for Tiptree which is in effect just a cash-shell. I dont know if anyone else had a look at them, rather than the Holmesdale accounts, but they are fairly transparent, apart from some lending into the company (or parking money on the balance sheet), which might have just been done to muddy the waters.

    The two main points are

    1) there are no costs of doing business (or very small ones if you are being picky). No staff or subcontractors, or materials, or solicitors, or accountants etc. It is just an entity that bills for work and receives cash. It is therefore just a corporate wrapper for Mr.Thompson.

    2) it had not done anything prior to the Holmesdale work, and seemingly did nothing else during that period, apart from the money earned from Holmesdale. Eventually, it lent all the cash to the Director, so has a balance sheet of 140k of debtors, which will likely remain unpaid.

    The second point is very important, as if there was a "pitch" for the business, it could not have been from the company, as that was a shell, and would have had to have been theoretical - ie this is a planned business that will be set up in the future, and we plan to do this.
    I may be wrong from previous posts, but it came across as if you believed that the director merely pushed business the way of his already existing company, which had other customers and other income sources. If this was the case then this would be a far more benign crime (but a crime nonetheless - abuse of position). As it stands, this is no more than a conduit to funnel money to the chairman of the society. Not only that, but seemingly untaxed as income, as it has been lent to the director. Would not be surprised if it was "bankrupted" in the next year or so.

    I would say this comes firmly in the fraud category, as it is effectively just gross payments being made to directors "under the radar". I note that the society is not particularly fussed with hiding these sorts of things - in the 2016 accounts it notes that it sold a car to a retiring director for ?100 which had a book value of ?15,000, but at no point does it include this as in the remuneration numbers or as a benefit in kind. I wonder if the board as a whole has a very holistic view on rules and regulations, and is quite happy to let these things slide.

    So what to do : Despite risking the closing of my account, I am happy to write the letter with questions, even at this late stage. I may even write it as a precursor to, or with the threat of writing to the SFO. To do so, I may need to compare notes with those who posted a while back, in case there were snippets not included on the public post.

    (The society as a whole looks like a basket case. The 21 employees seem to take home about ?1.1m, which is over 50k each. Given that they detail the two fat cats as ?160k and ?120k, there must be some very well paid counter assistants in there.)
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  10. #30
    Expert planteria will become famous soon enough
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    interesting thoughts fh, and i understand your concerns.


 
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