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Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Russel Griggs to independently review business customers who were victims of fraud perpetrated by former HBOS employees.

The bank, which is 3 per cent backed by the government, said Professor Griggs was selected for his experience and “clear understanding of SME business”.

Professor Griggs, a Scottish businessman, has overseen a number of reviews recently, including an assessment of the impact of bank branch closures in the UK.

In his role as independent reviewer, Professor Griggs will set out the scope and process of the review of HBOS victims to determine whether they are eligible for compensation.

The review, agreed with the financial watchdogs, will assess the complaints of small businesses affected by the fraudulent actions of two former HBOS employees and four financiers who were jailed earlier in the year.

The debacle involved former HBOS manager Lynden Scourfield, who conspired with debt consultancy Quayside Corporate Services and other financiers, to load unmanageable amounts of debt and high fees on to small businesses, a court heard in January.

Although the fraud took place before Lloyds acquired HBOS, Lloyds has come under mounting pressure from politicians for reacting slowly to customer complaints that surfaced at the time.

Lloyds has now written to the majority of customers affected by the criminal acts perpetrated by the two former HBOS employees and Quayside, informing them of their inclusion in the review.

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