Panorama: The Billion Pound Savings Scandal, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, Directed by Andrew Thompson and Luke Mendham.

Britain is the money-laundering capital of the world. An estimated billion pounds is lost every year to companies that go bust, create ‘anonymous’ limited accounts, disappear or hide their wealth in tax havens in former British colonies. Panorama follows one company, Blackmore Bonds and other subsidiaries to an address in Gibraltar. Blackmore as a limited company went bust, leaving around 2000 investors in Britain with worthless bits of paper where their savings were.

A £46 million fraud, in which the two directors of Blackmore, Philip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh walk away with millions of pounds, seems an open-and-shut case for a police investigation.

Financial expert, Paul Carlier, reported Blackmore to the proper authorities. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which was set up to regulate firms and financial markets in the United Kingdom had oversight in such cases.

Whistle-blowers in the FCA reported widespread managerial incompetence and graft. Large fees being paid to those at the top for marketing themselves rather than protecting their clients. Andrew Bailey began his term as Governor of the Bank of England on 16th March 2020. Prior to his appointment he was Chief Executive Officer of FCA.

Those left with worthless Blackmore bonds know they have little or no hope of being reimbursed. But they hope for a public enquiry. We get the usual sentiments about making sure these fraudsters are made to pay, and making sure others don’t have to suffer as they did.

Money talks. A public enquiry that uncovered the PPI scandal, one of the many edifices that lead to the banking crash of 2007-8, in which banks sold policies knowing they were worthless to their customers, resulted in no prosecutions. But many customers got their money reimbursed. In the same way, those with Blackmore bonds feel themselves cheated and think they should qualify to be reimbursed—which they will do, if there is a public enquiry—because the FDA failed to act, despite being continually informed what was happening on the ground.   

A letter addressed to Paul Carlier, included much information that the FDA was trying to hide and hoodwink others they were doing a great job of oversight in finance and fraud. The Queen famously asked economists why they hadn’t seen the global financial crass of 2007-8 coming. Here it is in black and white. Andrew Bailey is culpable but gets promoted to one of the most prestigious jobs in Britain. Here he’s lost £50 million. Let’s see how he deals with inflation. I’m no financial expert, but I can tell you how it will go. He will raise interest rates by a quarter-point. Round up the usual suspect. Raise interest rates by another quarter point. When he walks away from the job he’ll be all the richer. We’ll be none the wiser. Stagflation will continue regardless.  

Philip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh are crooks. Andrew Bailey is a different kind of charlatan. His incompetence costs him nothing.  


I watched this last night with morbid fascination. I agree that it's irritating when those simply chasing a return of their money feel the need to wrap the whole thing in sanctimonious sound bites. It also grates on me that people try to make out that they have done "due diligence" when they really, really haven't. I do feel sorry for those who have been duped by financial advisers. It's a shocker that Andrew Bailey is now Governor of the BoE when the FCA has such a bad reputation in the industry. It was worth a watch despite the groundhog day aspect of the subject matter. There will always people chasing unrealistic returns because they believe what they want to believe. 


My sympathy does extend to the victims here. The soldier who lost around £80 000. The care worker who lost around £60 0000. It's a bit like those programmes where they convert an old fam house into sometihng else but the buyer haggles over prices where most of us go-what the fuck?

I didn't mention the Boiler House'. The hard sell based on scripted bullshit. Di Caprio took it t maxiium volume. In truth, it's a numbers game. Hit enuogh numbers and jerk on the line. Just the same as Blackmore was a Ponzi scheme. 

What interested me more was the whistleblowers, played by actors, who told the public the FCA is all about image and enrichnig its directors. Andrew Bailley with the right accent and CV hit the jackpot. That shouldn't surrpise us. It doesn't suprise me. 


wasn't he the one advising workers not to ask for pay rises as it would make inflation go up?

thanks for writing of this, I don't have telly and didn't know


that old adage don't do as I do, but do as I say. Directors' pay never is in line with inflation. Yes, that's your man. 


If we get independent, at least there won't be these striations of corruption. Can build on clean slate


Don't expect too much, but Scottish Indpendence would be a step in the right direction (but what do I know).