NatWest fraud boss leaves after moonlighting for regulation agency

  • Jason Costain left his  fraud prevention job at excessive avenue financial institution NatWest in June 
  • Costain was allegedly concerned with regulation agency CEL, finishing up a spread of duties
  • CEL boss requested workers to put aside £20,000 in money for Costain, courtroom papers present

Jason Costain headed the fraud analytics and threat management team at NatWest

Jason Costain headed the fraud analytics and risk administration group at NatWest

NatWest’s fraud prevention boss left his job after moonlighting at a regulation agency bringing rip-off sufferer claims in opposition to banks like NatWest, This is Money can reveal. 

Jason Costain was head of fraud prevention at excessive avenue financial institution NatWest, and as a high-profile worker was usually quoted within the press. 

But he quietly left his function in 2023 after the financial institution took ‘acceptable inside motion’ after discovering he had been serving to out the fraud division of Liverpool-based regulation agency CEL Solicitors.

The NatWest fraud boss was allegedly on account of get a £20,000 money cost from CEL whereas nonetheless employed by NatWest as head of fraud technique and relationship administration, based on a High Court judgment in June 2023. 

High Court choose Bever dominated that ‘on the steadiness of possibilities’ CEL chief government Paul Hampson did ask an worker to put aside £20,000 in money for Costain, although there isn’t any agency proof of it ever being made.

Hampson maintains that Costain was by no means paid by CEL, that he by no means gave the regulation agency any NatWest info and that the whole lot was above board.

CEL specialises in bringing claims on behalf of individuals which were scammed, amongst different areas. 

The actual nature of what Costain did for CEL between November 2020 and mid-2021 is unclear, with High Court choose Adrian Bever saying the regulation agency had not ‘supplied me with an entire image of its dealings with Mr Costain’. 

However, Costain was concerned with coaching CEL workers, creating fraud info content material and answering workers queries, based on High Court paperwork. 

All the whereas he was successfully moonlighting as he was nonetheless employed by NatWest.

Costain additionally informed This is Money he by no means took any cash from CEL and by no means mentioned any NatWest information with the regulation agency. 

But the courtroom heard that Hampson emailed Costain in November 2020 asking him to present the regulation agency ‘an enormous record of breaches and failures by the financial institution’. 

Costain despatched messages to a WhatsApp group of CEL workers known as ‘Golden Ticket’ saying: ‘If banks are compelled to refund in full, principally we’re in a repeat of PPI. We can deal with everybody’s declare! There is £0.5bn of loss in search of somebody to manage their declare.’ 

These courtroom filings add that Costain was at one level provided the place of CEL’s head of fraud by Hampson, who claims to have met him at a social occasion. 

Costain was ‘usually in CEL’s workplace’, and was concerned with coaching workers, creating fraud content material for CEL’s web site and answering worker’s questions, former CEL finance director Thomas Blanchfield mentioned in courtroom filings. 

Blanchfield added that Costain had entry to a whole lot of CEL information, lots of which had been profitable claims in opposition to NatWest. 

Another former CEL worker, head of litigation Mark Montaldo, says Costain acted as a marketing consultant for CEL and attended the workplace in 2021, based on courtroom paperwork.

Blanchfield complained about Costain to NatWest and to the Solicitors Regulation Authority in January 2023.

In the High Court judgment, Blanchfield claims that Hampson had requested him to rearrange a cost to Costain of £20,000 in money. 

Hampson mentioned Costain solely supplied CEL info on the banking sector typically, and by no means on NatWest, and denies ever making the £20,000 cost.

The proceedings between CEL and ex-staff were heard in the Manchester Civil Justice Centre

The proceedings between CEL and ex-staff had been heard within the Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Judge Bever added that the connection between Costain and CEL was ‘unorthodox’ and that ‘it’s obscure why Mr Costain would dedicate time and vitality to CEL when he was apparently receiving no remuneration for doing so’. 

Costain was provided a cost package deal of 20 per cent of the earnings of the CEL fraud division, later raised to 35 per cent, however by no means took up the supply and continued to work at NatWest. 

Judge Bever mentioned in his June judgment that ‘shortly earlier than handing down this judgment, I used to be knowledgeable that Mr Costain is now not employed by NatWest’. 

A NatWest spokesman mentioned: ‘We are conscious of authorized proceedings between third events and that the conduct of a then-bank worker was related to these proceedings.

‘We take such issues very severely and acceptable inside motion was taken as soon as the financial institution grew to become conscious of them.

‘The judgment within the proceedings didn’t make any discovering that financial institution buyer confidential info had been shared by our former worker with CEL.’

Costain’s LinkedIn profile says he left NatWest in June 2023 after 5 years and 4 months with the corporate.

Hampson says Costain earned ‘£250,000 per yr’ at NatWest, based on courtroom paperwork, although the previous financial institution worker denies this.

In January 2023, Blanchfield and Montaldo resigned from CEL, partly on account of considerations about Costain and in addition the monetary place of CEL. 

The duo then arrange their very own regulation agency, MTCC Solutions. However, CEL took Blanchfield, Montaldo and MTCC to courtroom, claiming the duo had breached their contractual and statutory duties by setting MTCC up. 

The declare failed, and MTCC has now been dissolved, however the High Court judgment of 29 June 2023 did reveal all the above claims about Costain. 

A spokesman for CEL mentioned: ‘CEL had exploratory discussions with Mr Costain as a senior rent to its group serving to victims of on-line and banking fraud. All discussions had been topic to stringent confidentiality. 

‘As a part of these talks, Mr Hampson requested, and Mr Costain shared, details about banking fraud and regulation – all of which was within the public area. 

‘The defendants’ proof confirmed Mr Costain by no means shared any confidential info with CEL. The choose accepted Mr Costain was by no means paid for these discussions.’ 

Costain mentioned: ‘The courtroom case passed off with out my involvement. I used to be not requested to be a witness within the authorized case, and I used to be not a celebration within the proceedings both. 

‘The choose discovered that there was no proof that I obtained any cash from CEL Solicitors in any way, and I’m completely happy to verify that I didn’t. I used to be job looking in 2020 and mentioned a possible function with CEL Solicitors. 

‘As the defendants within the 2023 authorized case confirmed, I didn’t focus on any confidential info regarding NatWest with CEL Solicitors. We mentioned info which was publicly obtainable.’

Judge Bever mentioned within the 29 June judgment that he had ‘been left with the impression that I’ve solely been made conscious of the tip of a giant iceberg by way of Mr Costain’s relationship with CEL and Mr Hampson’ and that ‘I don’t settle for that Mr Hampson has been open and frank with me in relation to CEL’s relationship with Mr Costain’.

The choose added that Costain had been ‘centre stage’ to the litigation, however that ‘he has not been known as upon by CEL to offer a witness assertion or to present proof’ and ‘has very a lot been left within the background’.

Blanchfield mentioned: ‘The contents of the judgment communicate for themselves, the judgment of HHJ Beaver was confirmed in our favour.’

A spokesman for the regulation agency Knights, representing Montaldo, mentioned: ‘Mr Montaldo has nothing so as to add to the judgment which in his view speaks for itself. He is wanting ahead to placing the matter behind him and persevering with together with his profitable authorized profession.’