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Banking issues tackled by damning report author

L-R Conor Devine, GDP Partnership, James Gibbons, GDP Partnership, Lawrence Tomlinson, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and former rogue trader turned business advisor Nick Leeson kick-start a series of events.
Rebecca Kincade on January 23, 2014 - 11:49 am in News

Hundreds of guests packed out The Mac, Belfast, on Wednesday evening to hear from Yorkshire businessman, Lawrence Tomlinson, who highlighted evidence suggesting that Royal Bank of Scotland (parent company of Ulster Bank) was damaging viable businesses for profit.

Tomlinson, entrepreneur-in-residence at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills was guest speaker at the Big Bang to Tomlinson, Ethical or Criminal event, sponsored by Belfast-based GDP Partnership. He was joined by former rogue trader turned business advisor Nick Leeson to kick-start a series of events designed to open up discussions around banking policy and debt and help empower individuals and business owners to take control of their financial situation.

Tomlinson said, “I’m delighted that Belfast is leading the way by talking openly about debt and how in some cases banks are mismanaging it. Post-crash and bailout banks needed to address their debt position, but killing off viable business was never part of the agreed plan when the UK government bailed the banks out.

“The Tomlinson Report has highlighted that some of the banks’ strategies for improving their financial performances are impacting on good and viable businesses and that they are manipulating the businesses’ financial positions for their own gain.”

Nick Leeson, whose risk-taking caused the collapse of Barings bank in 1995, has joined the firm, which specialises in bringing solutions to banks on behalf of borrowers in distress. He holds the role of Principal in the Dublin office of GDP, which is made up of a team of property, accountancy and banking professionals led by Belfast-based business partners, Conor Devine and James Gibbons.

Leeson said, “I hope that this evening has encouraged people to take another and detailed look at their finances and consider the options. One of the biggest issues facing us all today is debt – whether that’s the banks, our companies or indeed our own as individuals.

“Unfortunately too many people don’t realise that bankruptcy is not the only option available to them and at GDP we are working with a vast range of people to mediate on their behalf and reach an agreement that works for both the institutions and the borrowers.”

GDP Partnership offers bank mediation, restructuring, asset management, corporate finance and real estate advice.

Conor Devine, GDP Partnership said, “This is about starting a conversation across Northern Ireland about debt and around banks and banking policy. We need to educate people about the steps, which can be taken to tackle their debt in an active and positive manner.

“We firmly believe that we can help and will be hosting two further free Big Bank to Tomlinson, Ethical or Criminal events in St Columbs Hall in Derry/Londonderry on Thursday 30th January at 7:30pm and on Tuesday 4th February at the Burnavon Conference Centre, Cookstown. Booking is essential so please get in touch to secure your place and start taking control of your financial future.”

It is essential that places are booked. If you wish to attend please contact Katie at GDP Partnership to secure a seat by emailing: .


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