In the mid-November issue I wrote that it was time for some collective action over Bank of Scotland's leasing arrangements for shop equipment. I urged people to contact Pam Hoffman's small claims advisory service for a template letter to send to the Financial Ombudsman and the Finance and Leasing Association.

Pam tells me that after giving it weeks of thought, she came to the conclusion that it was almost impossible to write a template letter for everyone to use. She adds: "So I have taken the bull by the horns and written directly to the Financial Ombudsman and Compliance Manager, enclosing a list of all my clients."

If anyone wants a copy send a stamped address envelope to: J&P Hoffman, 14 West Heath Road, West Heath, London SE2 ORX.

In that same week Pam had done more than 20 court summonses and had yet more to go. Meanwhile, I would like to remind everyone that our government is pumping billions of pounds of taxpayers' money into three UK banks, one of which is HBOS.

In return for OUR investment, the government is supposed to get a say in how the banks are run.

Then, in December, the Bank of Scotland more or less ceased to

exist when shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of a takeover by Lloyds TSB. Now we all know what mergers and takeovers do to companies. With reorganisation comes chaos.

Your problems with having to pay Bank of Scotland for a piece of equipment that wasn't supposed to cost you anything should at the very least be communicated to your MP. Or write to Gordon Brown. Like I always say, if you have a problem with a company, go for the top man.