On 1st February 2019, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, co-chaired by Kevin Hollinrake MP, announced their support for the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign. The APPG receives frequent and consistent representations from constituents with concerns over the forgery of signatures, so this campaign will provide a vital method of gathering evidence of possible signature forgeries by UK banks in court documents.
The campaign is encouraging personal and business customers who have received a bank court document from any UK bank or finance company to send a photo or photocopy of the bank signature, along with the name of the bank, to the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign. They also encourage customers to send in examples of where they feel their signature has been digitally lifted. Please send your evidence to either:
- by Direct Message on the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign’s Twitter page @BankSigForgeCam or Facebook page @BankSignatureForgeryCampaign or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- by post to: Bank Signature Forgery Campaign, c/o Kevin Hollinrake MP, All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.
The Bank Signature Forgery Campaign also encourages the public to raise their evidence with their own Member of Parliament.
Bank court documents include claim forms, particulars of claim, witness statements, checklists, certificates of service etc. These bank court documents all have a signature section at the end which features a statement such as “I believe the facts stated in this document are true”, followed by the signature of the person signing on behalf of the bank, the date of signing and the printed name of the bank person. Please ensure your photo / photocopy of the bank signature section includes these details.
The bank signatures signed in the name of the same bank person will be grouped together and compared for any evidence of possible signature forgery and to determine whether there is any evidence of industrial-scale forgery.
In the USA, all 50 State Attorney Generals have already investigated the industrial-scale forgery of bank signatures on court documents in cases against customers. The investigation resulted in penalty payments by US banks of $25 billion and the review of 4 million court cases by banks against customers. The US Department of Justice described the penalty payments as “the largest consumer financial protection settlement in United States history”.
In Australia, the Royal Commission documented evidence of signature forgery at Commonwealth Financial Planning, ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Bendigo Bank. The interim report also documented practices at the NAB, whereby individuals would sign as a witness to a client’s signature without having actually seen the client sign.
We hope that with the Bank Signature Forgery Campaign, a similar body of evidence can be produced in the UK.
Further details of the campaign can be found here.