A number of banks face direct action protests in the UK starting on Monday, including hunger strikes outside Clydesdale Bank’s Glasgow headquarters, Danske Bank’s branch in Belfast and Lloyds’ offices in Bristol.
In Glasgow, the Scottish businessman John Guidi, a former property developer, will pitch his tent outside the bank claiming that he is being made homeless after his £16m property business collapsed. He alleges he was mis-sold controversial tailored business loans in the early 2000s.
He says Clydesdale then abruptly withdrew funding in 2012 and transferred the loans to its former owner National Australia Bank, which in turn sold the portfolio to the private equity firm Cerberus in 2015.
It is Guidi’s second hunger strike. He suspended his first in March when the CEO of Clydesdale’s parent company, David Duffy, agreed to look into his case.
But Guidi said: “Duffy made a lot of promises to me about the justice of my case. After four months of negotiations he tells me he can do nothing for me. What a disgraceful betrayal.”
CYBG said in statement: “Following Mr Guidi’s protests in March, we have taken a further detailed look at his case and it’s clear the bank is not responsible for the situation he is in and it would be completely wrong for us to pay out money where there is no substance to his claims against the bank.”
Other protesters will also start hunger strikes during the week, including the 74-year-old former ballet teacher Marjorie Armstrong. She is will set up her tent outside Danske Bank’s branch in Belfast on Tuesday, refusing to eat between 7am and 7pm each day. She reportedly blames the bank and its surveyor for a failed deal that sent the property business owned by Armstrong and her husband, Hubert, into bankruptcy.
Danske Bank rejects the allegations but said it was in discussions with the couple and were keen to find a resolution to the complaint.
Trevor Mealham, a former Lloyds customer, intends to launch a hunger strike outside the group’s business support unit in Bristol, saying his tech business failed after the bank withdrew a £200,000 loan offer.
Lloyds declined to comment.