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Noel Edmonds to launch lawsuit against Lloyds and enter I'm a Celebrity this week

Edmonds will reportedly brave the Australian jungle as he prepares to go head to head with Lloyds over fraud at the bank's HBOS Reading unit

I'm a celebrity
Noel Edmonds is understood to be a surprise entrant to the reality TV show

TV star Noel Edmonds is expected to launch a £60mln lawsuit against Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) this week, the same time he is rumoured to enter 'I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here'.

Lawyers of the former ‘Deal or No Deal’ presenter are expected to serve the bank with a pre-case letter on Wednesday over claims his firm, Unique Group, failed due to fraud at the Reading branch of HBOS, which Lloyds bought at the height of the financial crisis. However, a formal claim may not be filed until early December.

READ: Lloyds may need to pay more than £1bn for HBOS Reading fraud, says Noel Edmonds

Edmonds is seeking about £60mln in damages in relation to the £245mln loans scam in which HBOS bankers allegedly used cash from struggling firms for prostitutes and holidays.

A Lloyds spokesman said: “We continue to make good progress compensating the approximately 70 customers impacted by the fraud at the HBOS Impaired Assets office based in Reading. We have now provided outcomes to more than 95% of customers in the review and more than 90% of these offers have been accepted.”

Lloyds has set aside £100mln to compensate victims of the scandal and this year said it had sought to reach a resolution with Edmonds through mediation but “this was not possible”.

Edmonds has vowed to use a portion of any gains from the lawsuit to fund a charity for banking victims. He told the Guardian that he has lodged an application with the Charity Commission to register his White Horse Trust – a reference to Lloyds, which is known as the Black Horse bank.

“I think the chances of a negotiated settlement are very, very slim, and I suspect that their very expensive lawyers will try and drag this out now for the next couple of years,” he said.

“But I’m up to it and I know that we are going to win in court. I have the damning evidence.”

Last year six people, including two former HBOS bankers, were jailed in relation to the Reading fraud.

Edmonds is reportedly set to join the jungle camp of 'I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here' in Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast region of Queensland, Australia.

He was not part of the original line-up but is expected to be a surprise entrant of the reality TV show this week.

Quick facts: Lloyds Banking Group

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Market: LSE
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