Sanctuary Group’s new chairman, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and corporate Britain

Jonathan Lander and David Bennett of Sanctuary Group

New Chair Jonathan Lander (ex-PwC) and David Bennett, Chief Executive of Sanctuary

As the Sanctuary Housing Facebook page continues to regularly delete large numbers of complaints (many of them serious and long-standing, others complaining of Sanctuary Housing Association’s general incompetence and/or fascist tendencies in one way or another) all appears to be well at the top of the corporate world of Sanctuary Group.

Last month it was announced that Jonathan Lander, a former senior partner with internationally huge accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), is the new group Chair. Smiles from Mr. Lander and Chief Executive David Bennett in the press release, it’s all jolly good news. Bennett said: “Sanctuary is known for its exemplary governance (many tenants will be asking what planet he’s on – the organization on the front line is often a total shambles at best) and these new appointments ensure the group board continues to have the skills and experience required to oversee our complex organisation.”

PoundSignUKLander said he was “enthusiastic” about working with Bennett and the board “to deliver customer-focused services that represent real value for money”. There’s a good few thousand elderly, disabled and vulnerable people who are being badly ripped-off (or who have been abused in other ways) by Sanctuary who might have something to say about that last comment. Please see other blogs here for many personal accounts, details and newspaper reports of overcharging, nationwide abuse and neglect, cheating, bullying, lies, bad services, incompetent contractors and substandard properties left to rot for years.

On 2nd October, there was further shuffling at Sanctuary with the appointment of Elwyn Roberts (also ex-PwC) as the new Chair of the Sanctuary Audit Committee. Steve Wood, head of Sanctuary Care resigned the following day, Sanctuary now has him listed as Director of Property.

pwclogoPwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), “independent” auditors to Sanctuary Housing Association and just about every other big company in the UK and America

As can be seen in Sanctuary Group’s financial statement for 2013-2014, PwC are Sanctuary’s independent auditors. Hang on a bit… two ex-PwC men are now at the very top of Sanctuary, Lander having been a senior partner until 2008. Exactly how independent is that?

Elwyn Roberts, also ex-PwC, new Chair of Audit Committee

Elwyn Roberts, also ex-PwC, new Chair of Sanctuary’s Audit Committee

PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) is one of the Big Four accountancy firms who between them carry out around 90% of all audits for FTSE 350 companies. They are absolutely massive in the UK (see pwc.co.uk), America and internationally. “In the 2014 financial year, PwC firms provided services to 417 companies in the Fortune Global 500 and 462 in the FT Global 500… For the year ending 30 June 2014, PwC’s gross revenues were US$34 billion, up 6%.” (see pwc.com). However, in 2011 they were heavily criticized by the House of Lords for not drawing attention to the risks that led up to the banking meltdown in 2008:- “It may be that the Big Four carried out their duties properly in the strictly legal sense, but we have to conclude that, in the wider sense, they did not do so.” PwC were particularly singled out for not drawing attention to the risks of the Northern Rock business model.

In 2012, the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (AADB) of the UK fined PwC a record £1.4m for “very serious” misconduct  over its audit of JP Morgan Securities. At the time it was the heaviest fine ever given to a professional accountancy firm in the UK. Some comments on the above article:- “Auditors are so conflicted in their relationship with clients it is a joke.”, “Add at least one zero to the fine and it might start to be meaningful.”, “The elites are just letting themselves off… Theft!!”.

Corrupt and wrong, too big, too greedy. And, as revealed in The Great Tax Robbery: How Britain Became a Tax Haven For Fat Cats and Big Business by former tax-inspector Richard Brooks, unlikely to change. When the government (and opposition) considers any change in financial law, it consults PwC as part of the process.

Current questioning of PwC integrity in recent over-estimation of Tesco profits by £250 million 

Or rather a lot in PwC's case

Or rather a lot in PwC’s case

Right now, the integrity of PwC is once again being questioned in an ongoing investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority. “PwC has been Tesco’s auditor for over 30 years. For that service, Tesco paid PwC £10.4m in the last financial year – plus another £3.6m for other consultancy work. Of the 10 directors on the supermarket’s board… two are ex-PwC… Mark Armour, a non-executive director, and Ken Hanna, chair of the company’s own audit committee.”

Sanctuary Group – an exempt registered charity rip-off and everything that is wrong with greedy and hypocritical corporate Britain today

Sanctuary finance director, Craig Moule

Sanctuary finance director, Craig Moule

Sanctuary Group is very fond of telling the world how successful it is, particularly financially. “The 95,000-home landlord has reported one of the highest levels of gearing – borrowing in relation to assets held – in the sector…  ‘in line’ with the landlord’s business plan and treasury policy. The landlord reported a surplus of £42.6m, down from £54.5m, from a turnover of £592.3m and built 1,481 new homes during the year.” (Inside Housing 1.10.14) There had been earlier reports of a £72 million surplus last year but this apparently included assets from the takeover of Cosmopolitan, which I believe have since been discounted. No doubt PwC are doing their job, legitimately or otherwise.

SanctuaryGroupThe privitization of housing stock has happened quietly over the last thirty years and more. Large housing associations have become greedy money-making machines. All Sanctuary care about is money and building their property empire, make no mistake. They are right in there at the heart of the government, the financial establishment and even the Church of England. Local councils also seem to be quick to support Sanctuary, rather than those suffering as a result of their countless bad practices – in fact Sanctuary seem to be good at buying off all sorts of people. The publicity machine is often grotesquely dishonest. Sanctuary are a classic example of the amoral screw-you capitalism that has gradually taken hold over the last 10-15 years. They do some good, offer some good services and help some people and communities – one would hope so with the millions of pounds they have and 11,000 staff. However, if more Sanctuary tenants were middle-class – with money to defend themselves (few Sanctuary tenants now qualify for legal aid) and/or with better education and/or more self-respect – Sanctuary would not last 5 minutes. There would be an outrage, as there should be right now.

PoundSignUKTo anyone out there who has been genuinely helped by Sanctuary – great stuff, you might be wondering what the fuss is about. All things considered though, this shambolic, scandalous, useless, uncaring, arrogant, rip-off corporate monstrosity of a company should be shut down immediately.

Fully supported by the government, Sanctuary’s tax-free, registered charity, “business model” stinks. Sanctuary are the lowest of the very low for making massive profits while continuing to abuse and exploit many poor and vulnerable people in our society. 

(Chief Executive David Bennett was made a CBE for services to social housing in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list – an absolute disgrace.)

6 Responses to Sanctuary Group’s new chairman, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and corporate Britain

  1. Tim says:

    For anyone who doubts just how bad Sanctuary are, here is a post from Chris Mack on the Sanctuary Facebook page yesterday, deleted a few hours later:-

    dear sanctuary.
    can you tell me why the builder next door to my home has moved the property boundary 3 metersish?

    and why when you have what is it 78000 houses there is not one person on a Saturday to be able to deal effectively with the problem?

    also as the issues was taken up with your staff last week when there was unauthorized access to part of my property, which cumulatively ended up with me being threatened in front of your staff, by the builder.

    i emailed your staff asking what was going on with teh boundary, but they never replied? convenient no?

    why is it your housing officer is ignoring emails, and ignoring requests for information.

    now as your staff actually attended my property and measured my property.
    but didnt knock on my door and tell me they were present.

    it raises a few questions…

    i take it first thing monday morning your housing officer will be attending and getting the site fence erected by the builder moved promptly and removed
    back to where it is supposed to be?

    now as you keep saying it is not part of my property, can you tell me in public, why the maps from teh council transfer to housing association show it as my property and tell me why you would land register it to another property 12 months after i moved in?

    as it was explained to a member of your staff last thursday afternoon, i am the only one who has access to it until teh builder damaged teh fence line and the only other person but me who has had access/had been on the part of my gardener was a district councillor.

    is there something dodgy going on?

    i fidn it even stranger that your legal team ahve not requested teh land transfer maps and checked what is who’s, before you made that fatal error of land registering part of my garden to someone else.

    i have video evidence of the boundary being moved.

    can you tell me why i should have to sit in my home trying to protect it because your staff do not?

    why should i be made to feel threatened in my own property?

    why should i be made paranoid of the builder because your staff do not protect the tenant and the tenants rights to use what they pay for?

    i have for the last 5 years plus been treated like a piece of poo by sanctuary.
    been treated like a liar, until you tested teh house and it was proven you were at fault.

    if it wasnt for one fo your customer service reps, i probably wouldnt be here today. your ignorance of my situation pushed me towards suicide.

    but hey you lot dont give a poop do you.

    i had your staff forcing appointments on me, without understanding that a doctors appointment comes before a housing officer one.

    forced into the position of killing my pet chickens, yet my next door neighbours were never ever confronted about theirs.

    i would really like to know what your staffs problem is with me?

    i paid for a dsar 2 months ago it in all fairness arrived on the last day.
    at least you did deliver one.

    but there is stuff missing.

    including basic information like 2 tenancy agreements.

    what are your staff hiding?

    i have repeatedly asked for a rent rebate/review to be either ignored, or fobbed of with various excuses.

    i even hand delivered a request for a rent review to a stage three hearing with 3 members of a tenants panel there,

    guess what? ignored.

    i made a complaint that it was ignored, and guess what that was ignored as well…

    from the event of the last week.

    your housing officer turns up and gives permission for the builder to enter part of my property without any consultation with me….

    and now strangely enough the builder has moved the boundary to encompass the area he was given permission to enter into his own garden.

    is there something dodgy going on?

    now i was passed on some really interesting information from a scrutiny panel member.

    who stated that they are not allowed to scrutinize anything anymore?
    it just gets hidden away like a dirty little secret

    can you also tell me why your staff would cause someone with mental health issues more stress that your staff have already caused.

    especially after the way you have treated me in the past?

    you know like sticky dog poo your trying to shake of your shoes?

    ps, yes i know is there loads more of your indiscretions.

    sorry to any innocent people reading this, but the truth deserves to be broadcast.

  2. Tim says:

    Sanctuary have been a bit slack deleting their Facebook complaints recently. Here’s the latest.

    Jade Waites to ‎Sanctuary Housing
    October 15 at 4:41pm ·

    I pay my large part of rent in full every week without fail… So if your ‘customer service’ team could refrain from barking down the phone at me because housing benefit are still processing my change of income from last month that would be great? I rang, as for the second time in 1 week you’ve asked me to let you know what’s happening.. Didn’t expect to have a woman shouting at me because Im doing as you’ve asked Also.. Working 37.5 hours a week and being a mum to a 2 year old does mean I can’t just ‘pop in’ to the housing benefit office to rush them along.. They do have other claims to process many thanks for ruining my day

    Laura Mason‎ to Sanctuary Housing
    October 16 at 9:57am ·

    Here we are again thanks going to rip my condemned fire out and brick the wall out was told by the engineer they would be fitting a new electric 1 but now thats not happening just bricking up the wall so now i will have to redecorate the wall at my own expense and purchase a new fire to go where you are removing the faulty 1 thanks a lot just what i always wanted coming up to xmas !!!!!!! Outstanding service !!!!

    Karen Bennette to ‎Sanctuary Housing
    October 19 at 10:20pm ·

    I would like to say that me and my husband r disgraced by the way we have been treated by SANTUARY as we was told that we was in 3rd place for a brand new bungalow in saguall Chester as ther r 6 bungalow now we have been told no even though they have all his medical record as he cannot get up the stairs as he is in a wheelchair and r now stuck in a 3bed house in warrington well thanks a bunch SANTUARY for letting us down

    Michael Ready to ‎Sanctuary Housing
    October 21 at 7:46pm ·

    Re Annual Gas Safety Check and Service. I had an appointment for 26/09/14 with Liberty Gas for which I used my final day of holiday from work for 2014. I was here all day but no one called. I recieved a No access warning notice on 17/10/14 with an appointment for 21/10/14. Having no other option I left a note with a key for access. On reaching home I found a note saying “sorry not allowed in alone”. What am I to do?

    Steven Nelson to ‎Sanctuary Housing
    October 21 at 8:39pm ·

    Just love the response time when you need something fixing. With all this wind it sounds like a tornado in my loft and they have the cheek to say there’s no holes. It’s that bad my 2 year old boy can’t get to sleep in his room because of the constant ratling of pipes etc. I wanting my problem rectifying emmediately

    Sara Ritchie to ‎Sanctuary Housing
    October 22 at 10:54am ·

    I moved to sanctuary 2 years ago, my stopcock kept leaking and the tap started with just dripping turned into running water, this happened a few times each time repairs took weeks, over 6 months of this, repair guys didn’t look like they knew what they were doing! Top it off one broke my outside water had to call out south east water to repair! Since leaving here I suffer major depression, lucky I’m coming 2nd on Homebid. This housing group is the worse iv heard and lived with. And still nothing is getting better. And never heard anything from complaints regarding my water problem so gave me, I just want out of here

    Paul Ingram‎ to Sanctuary Housing
    20 hrs ·

    Hi, so I have a number of windows in my property with either double glazing which has blown, or faulty seals resulting in air flow that shouldn’t really be there. The faulty seals have been rectified as much as possible, at my expense, using the self adhesive draft strips for doors and windows. Which is fine – whatever.

    What gets on my nerves is your apparent reluctance to fix the double glazing. I first reported blown windows in early 2010 or 2011 (I can’t remember which). I kept getting fobbed off saying how you needed a certain amount of window repair jobs in the area as you batch them. After a year, I gave up.

    I have just heard that you apparently no longer maintain windows in your properties. Can you please provide answers to the following:
    1. Why not?
    2. What am I actually paying rent for, if your maintenance schedule for items YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR, doesn’t get carried out?

    I had a bathroom light switch that had stopped working last year – after waiting 5 days for a repair date, and then being told it was 2 weeks away, I just replaced the thing myself. Having 4 children in the property I cannot afford to be without a light in a room as important as the bathroom.

    My main concern right now, is the windows. I get that you probably don’t give a flying fox about your tenants’ energy bills, but I do, and as the responsible(!) landlords you say you are I would expect you to maintain your properties. So could you please tell me who I need to speak to, to get a sensible answer about fixing the blown glazing problem that is occurring throughout my house?

    Carole Bentall‎ to Sanctuary Housing
    15 hrs ·

    Once again sat waiting for a repair man to come and repair an unrepairable porch door. When will Sanctuary realise i need a new door and doorframe

    Taylor Miller
    Today at 7:24am
    Tenancies are a legally binding contract that work BOTH ways. A lot of us pay on time and in full month after month. Whatever way you are getting it (full rent, benefits or top ups) sanctuary is getting money to provide a service. You seem to treat everyone like we are LUCKY to have you or we would be out on the streets. How wrong and condescending you are. Now your side of the tenancy contract is to honour the repairs for all of the unfortunate people on here that are suffering at your hands, in a reasonably timely manner and to the standards befitting a huge company like yourselves. Take your registered charity (non tax paying) profit of a few million quid and use it to employ some qualified contractors to come and fix your properties.
    Sanctuary Housing
    Hi Taylor, if you have any maintenance issues that need attending to please send us a private message with your address details and further info so that we can look into this for you. Thanks.
    about an hour ago
    Taylor Miller
    What since march! Waiting more time. I deal with Emma Keegan the manager at rochford housing direct thank you. Head office are useless, fob you off and waste my time with pointless promises. In a matter of weeks I will own my home and as the fence in question is not mine I will be taking legal action on all the failed promises of compensation.

  3. Tim says:

    Facebook groups and pages for discussion, information and practical help – run by tenants and others who have suffered appalling treatment from Sanctuary – YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    Sanctuary Housing complaints group countrywide https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409393152675378/

    Sanctuary Housing tenants https://www.facebook.com/groups/178188498885354/

    Sanctuary Housing/shambles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanctuary-housingshambles/358062671036731

    Sanctuary Housing Banbury residents group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812618788754511/

    Justice For Ernest John Coles https://www.facebook.com/pages/Justice-for-Ernest-John-Coles/349249158572459

  4. nigel elson says:

    You have recently asked somebody to remove any England flag from the front of there house,why? this is England and they live in a society that allows this. This to be truthful is discrimination. You should remember your roots and start to show a little more respect and if you don’t like it move on. If it wasn’t for “English” blood being spilt which we honour every year then there is a very good probability you would not have what you have today let alone be breathing. Whether your English, Irish, Scottish etc I really don’t care but as soon as this country starts rising to biggots like you the better. People like you are making us a laughing stock. You message is doing the rounds on social media so I think you could expect more. What flag would you prefer? IS? MUSLIM? It will never happen. I a m ex forces and was prepared like my colleagues to fight for my country etc. I lost friends in conflict and ur actions are totally disrespectful to them and everyone else. tesco also back you.. Did you tell them to remove a poppey from there sign on remembrance? No, because your a bunch of cowards who won’t dare reply to this message and just put a little slip through someone’s door. I personally would put up another 10 flags and have you prosecuted for theft or criminal damage should you try to remove them.

  5. Tim says:

    The following facebook group has been very active over the last 9 months or so, it now has 500 members. Plenty of support available there, endless ideas for how to TAKE ACTION. Run by tenants for tenants who have suffered at the hands of the Sanctuary.

    Sanctuary Housing Complaints Group – Countrywide https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409393152675378/

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