Interest rate swap mis selling staggered me

an interest rate swap product I was mis sold has me fuming

A recent meeting with my account left me speechless when he explained about a product that was embedded into a loan I took out this interest rate swap mis selling had me irritated instantly.
I went to the bank for help when I needed to buy a lot of stock for my shop and didn’t have the funds to do so. After a lot of hassle and going back and forth they eventually gave me the loan and I believed they have my little businesses best interests at heart.

My interest rate swap mis selling story

The reality was that the bank had only their own self interest at the heart of the advise they gave me and that this was a widespread philosophy which is only now coming to the forefront of the media and small business owners attention.
What I find amazing about the whole sordid affair is the fact that no one noticed earlier and given this was being abused for some considerable time you would shave thought that it would have been picked up much quicker by someone and not allowed to continue.
I met up with my accountant about a new project and from this meeting this whole thing has got the ball rolling for me. He mentioned my old shop and that he thought that one of the mortgage loans I took out had one of these swap products embedded into it and that at the time it was a condition of the loan being put forward. At the time I didn’t really pay too much attention as I needed the additional funds for the business and when they said they would look favourably on the loan if I agreed to these terms i obviously did what they advised and said yes. The accountant then went on to explain that this product far from helping my business did it damage as the rates of interest I was paying were vastly more than was reasonable given the bank of England interest rates over this period.

The interest rate swap mis selling saga begins

I was furious about this and asked what could be done about it and luckily he knew a company that was specialised in this arena and that he knew them and could make an introduction for me. About three days later they called and I had to go through a fairly comprehensive set of questions that the young lady said she would pass onto their legal experts. A few days later they got in touch to say if I wanted to they would take on my case and try to get back the money I paid out on this ridiculous product. As the deal they put in place also damaged my little business they are also escalating it to a forensic accountants to look at the damage with a view to litigation on the matter.
It will be interesting to see what happens with my interest rate swap mis selling case but one thing is for sure if it is successful I will be toasting a great start to my year.

By | March 11, 2015 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Thoughts from Jodi

I read some of the stories too, and just wanted to share my own experience with you. While we were living in Hawai’i, my husband and I both worked our okoles off and didn’t have time for much else. I am sure the story is all to familiar to you. We were slaves to the economy and then with the birth of our second daughter in 2001, I took a 4-month maternity leave which was awesome. After that it was back to reality. We carpooled since he worked by the airport, and we had a babysitter in Kalihi. We were getting home at 6:30-7:00 nightly. Then there’s the public schools in Kailua that suck big time. In fact, my daughter recently had a substitute teacher here who was from Hawai’i and taught at Kalaheo. We struggled, but was able to keep her in private school all the years we lived there. The teacher told my daughter how lucky she was NOT to have gone to Kalaheo. The school she goes to now is awesome. It has everything – every sport and sports facility imaginable, every extracurricular program imaginable. And it’s a public school. She’ll be writing in the school newspaper starting next semester. And of course, my hubby’s job has MUCH more room for advancement away from Hawaii, although we’re hoping it will come full circle some day and bring us back as well. As for me, moving to Texas has been the best thing to happen to me. Believe it or not, but I have the time to learn more about the Hawaiian culture here. I don’t have to work. I’m a stay-home mom here, which is a job in and of itself. BUT, after hooking up with the right people, I have learned more Hawaiiana here in one year than I have living in Hawai’i. And that was mostly because I didn’t have the time. Now, I have the time and have taught myself how to cook a lot more local and Hawaiian dishes, Hawaiian arts and crafts, ‘olelo…….it’s awesome and so IRONIC, but I am grateful to be fortunate enough to have time here, so I have devoted it to immersing myself in it. My fear was that my little one wouldn’t know Hawai’i. She’s four now, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am succeeding :) She had show and tell last week and had to bring something with the letter “H”. She brought her stuffed animal Honu.

Jodi Benevides

By | December 15, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Bob and Anonymous

I am from Pahoa, Big Island originally. Live in LA now but will be moving back to Windward O’ahu in 3 or 4 years. I left Hawai’i many years ago when my mother died and went to North Carolina to live with my father’s folks. I attended Wake Forest University over there in back in the 1960’s then went on to play football in the NFL with the Balitmore Colts and Washington Redskins. I kind of bounced back and forth between Los Angeles and Oahu. I’ve got small businesses in both places.

I am moving back to Hawai’i because “I neva like leave in the first place.” I am older now and not living the “fast life” anymore so I am just about ready to go back to where my heart has always been.


1.) I moved to the mainland for higher education with the intention of returning home, however the job offers were better in the mainland than in Hawai’i.

2.) It was difficult adjusting to the lifestyle, food and the fast paced environment here in the mainland. However, the most trying was being away from ‘Ohana and the culture

3.) If we had our choice we would return to Hawai’i, if we could take our jobs with us. Although my husband is from O’ahu, I am from Maui and would prefer to return to Maui so my children can experience the life I was accustomed to. Most importantly so our children can have daily contact with their extended families. Sadly, the job market is not able to offer us what the job market offers us here and without that we cannot survive as a family in Hawai’i. I would even consider any Hawaiian island just to be close to the culture and family again. Our children are being robbed of the greatest gift that my husband and I was so fortunate to be born into and that is the wisdom, love and spirit of the islands.


By | December 14, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Anonymous in Utah

We have been living in Utah for 32 nearly years. My wife is from Kaneohe and she came to BYU to attend school. I too left Hawaii to attend BYU. We met here, went home to get married and returned to finish school. WE have seven children who were all born here. They all attended high school and graduated from here. Almost all of our children went to BYU Hawaii; one of my children had an opportunity to go to Kamehameha and graduated from there.

We moved to get a better education.

There were more opportunities here, but we did encounter some prejudices. My wife on several occasions stood in line at the movie theatre to buy popcorn and in the grocery stores and was not waited on. The clerk helped the person on the right, then on the left and then her. I had some similar experiences, but not many. Our children seemed to have encountered a little of that in high school.

If I had the choice to live here or in Hawaii, I would choose here because all my children live close by, we have seven grandchildren and we get together every Sunday for Family Home Evening and to have family dinner. I would love to move back to Hawaii but the cost of living is so high, we would have to work twice as hard to keep with the cost of living

Anonymous in Utah

By | December 12, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Mika’ele Story

Aloha e, I received an e-mail from a good friend of mine in Hilo a couple of weeks ago. He had forwarded your request for information regarding Kanaka Maoli living abroad. I think he sent it to me because he probably thought that you would find my story interesting.
My name is Mika’ele and was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1961. My parents moved to Canada in 1958 from England, where they were both born. My parents, my siblings and my daughter all hold Canadian/British citizenship yet my mom is Hawaiian. We are direct descendants of a servant to Kamehameha II Liholiho and Queen Kamamalu. When the King and Queen travelled to Britain on a state visit in 1823-1824 they took with them a good size entourage. When the King and Queen died, a good number of the entourage opted to stay in England and live out their lives. They married English people and had families. This is where my Kanaka Maoli roots come in. Although my blood quantum is not high through 175 years of ancestry, I feel more Hawaiian than Canadian or British. I travelled to Hawai’i for the first time in 1976 and knew immediately that I was home. For 150 years no member of my family had set foot on Hawaiian soil until I got off that airplane. Since U.S. immigration will not allow me to live in Hawai’i because of my citizenship, and they will not grant me citizenship based on my blood quantum (only US citizens may live and work in Hawai’i) I am happy to travel to my homeland whenever I can afford it.
Unfortunately, it has been 13 years since I have been able to afford it. I will continue to work hard toward the regaining of our sovereign status so that I may return my ohana to our homeland. I am also currently doing research into the name of my forefather that travelled to England so long ago. I need to do this for myself. I have not had much luck so far but I will continue to check archives at the Bishop Museum and also with the English Government. There has to be some record somewhere. I hope I have been of some help to you incompleting your project. I do not understand why any Kanaka Maoli would want to live anywhere but at home in Hawai’i. Sincerely,

By | December 11, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

My Story

My sister forwarded your e-mail to me. She is living in Washington State and I reside in Kaliponi. Here are my answers. I moved from Hawai’i back in 1984. I was very young and hadn’t quite finished college but understood that I could get a lot more money working in California than I could in Hawai’i. Basically, I could support myself as I left home and family at a young age. The cost of living was too high and the pay scale was too low with little or no opportunity for a young woman to make her mark in any industry back home.

Cultural shock was the first thing that I encountered. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not a traditional looking Hawaiian. I’m tall, fair to olive complexion skin color (mother British from New Zealand) with slightly slanted eyes (father Hawaiian-Chinese). I don’t look like the typical “Californian” which at times worked to my advantage. My mother refused to allow us to speak “pidgin” in the house so we learned at a very early age to switch back and forth. This ability also assisted me in “blending-in” with the haole. It took me over 5 years to acclimate to the weather patterns of Northern California. You dress differently, for the seasons, and I had to expand my wardrobe to “fit-in.” This is very expensive so be prepared. The people here aren’t related to you in any fashion so greeting them with a kiss is out of the question. Not the same kind of aloha we have at home.

The food was very different and this too was very difficult. Now it is easier that more of us are here. More stores are carrying Aloha Shoyu and Hinode Rice. I can find some stores that carry laulau and there are a few “Hawaiian Style” restaurants – some not all that good but it is an improvement. Luckily there are quite a few Chinese and Japanese stores around.

My choice would be to move back home but I’ve been here so long that the weather back home bothers me a lot. The working wage is not comparable to what I’m making now and I have many relatives that don’t have steady work and not too much opportunity even if they are college educated. Too bad that home is no longer what I remember. Too many buildings, too many tourists and too many cars. The part that bothers me the most about moving back home is the various groups that want to label me and my siblings. We are Hawaiians born and raised but because we’re not half-Hawaiian we aren’t considered to be good enough. What a dilemma for us, not quite fitting in anywhere especially the place we call home.

Hope this finds you well and perhaps one day you will share your story with me.

Aloha no.

By | December 8, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Our Story

Our mo’olelo

I was seeking a better economic situation. I am from Hilo-side of the Big Island and when the sure mills closed and the jobs that were available were even harder to find, that was my signal to look elsewhere. I was a vocational counselor in Hilo and saw first hand the economic outlook as far as job availability.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia and the main difficulties as I see it is the total lack of anything culturally Hawaiian. No music, no get-togethers, no halau of any quality. The closest thing we have is Asian markets where we can get ingredients to make local style food. The culture here was a little difficult to understand as the racial polarity seems much stronger here.

I would prefer to live in Hawai’i, due to family, friends, the Hawaiian culture and understanding of the people around me.

Financially mainly… unable to see us affording to live there at the level we can easily live here on the mainland.


By | December 6, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Our mo’olelo

This story was shared by Natasha Achong

I was forwarded your e-mail by Kim Birnie and am responding on behalf of my Grandmother, Catherine Leina’ala Wilson Gagnon, because she does not have e-mail and is currently in the hospital. She first moved to Puerto Rico in 1975 because my Step grandfather (her 2nd marriage) was transferred there by the Navy. Then, in 1977 they were transferred to San Diego and she’s been there ever since.

Nothing was very difficult for her financially speaking. But, of course, being away from your family and Hawaii is very hard even if she was on the West Coast and not that far away. The most difficult situations for her were deaths in the family. First, her mother died… then her 2nd oldest sister, then her brother, then her oldest sister…slowly they all died and now there is only 2 of them left (out of 10)-herself and her sister right above her. They always gave her a hard time because she was the only one that married a “haole” and always accused her of being “haole” in her ways… so it was hard for her when they all passed without having a chance to ho’oponopono in regards to all that bad blood from the past (there was a WHOLE lot more- different subject though.)

She’s always said that she never wanted to move back home to Hawaii and preferred to live in the Mainland because that way she would “…hear about all the family problems but didn’t have to see and/or face them in person”…she would tell me this over and over when I used to live with her. On the other hand, the rest of the family feels that the REAL reason she doesn’t wanna move back home is because she’s an avid Bingo and Keno player and although there is Bingo here in Hawaii (on base), the jackpots here don’t compare to the ones that can be won up there. So… You decide what story you wanna go with.

One story that I’ll share with you is one from when my Grandma was married to my Grandpa (her first marriage). He was also in the military but worked in the Naval offices and for some reason was transferred to Vallejo. Well, my Grandma told me that they were going to a baseball game and by then she had met a couple of other local people from Hawaii that were also transferred there. She told me that back then, when people went to baseball games, it was like they were going to a “Ball” or something. The women would be dressed up in long dresses, hats, and gloves-their Sunday best!! The men too!! They wore suits and ties…Anyhow, she told me, “Not me!! I wore my mu’umu’u and that was it!!” Well, of course she got a lot of weird looks when she attended the game because she wasn’t dressed “properly.” But she told me that all the other Hawaiian women were dressed to the nines too!! She told me that she told them off!! These women had approached her about not being dressed properly and she asked them why they had dressed up. They told her that they were in “America” now and people in America dress up. She then told them, “Well, I’M HAWAIIAN!! And THIS is how Hawaiians dress. Just because I’m in the Haole’s world that doesn’t mean that I have to act haole – because I’m not!! And furthermore, you should be ashamed for not taking pride in your culture! These people know NOTHING about our culture and as Hawaiians it is our job to teach them.”

After graduating from High school I moved to San Diego to live with my Grandma and that’s how we became a lot closer. I found out that people always assumed I was some preppy Mexican chicana that never knew how to speak Spanish. They would be yacking away in Spanish to me and I would tell them, “No Habla Espanol,” and then they would give that look like I was some pathetic Mexican chick that had forsaken my culture. Then I would tell them , “Hawaiiana” and they would say “Oooohh, tu es Hawaiian” you should see the BIG smiles!! Anyways, I guess the moral of the story is to never forsake your culture because it’s a gift – -a portable gift, that you can take with you where ever you go in the world. And, yes, it IS our job to share it with people near AND far.

It wasn’t a choice I made, my parents moved when I was young – my mother is kanaka maoli and my father was in the military when he met her – so our family moved as my father moved to better his career and to find work.

The greatest difficulties was in not growing up with other kanaka maoli, especially our ohana on the islands… those of us that have lived away from home have not been considered as “Hawaiian” as those that live at home. Of course, I don’t agree with this perspective…. But it has been said many times. There are many kanaka maoli children that have never even been to the islands… they know of our culture from their families, but have never experienced the island first hand. I was fortunate to have been born on the islands and lived there when I was young…. Then I went to the South Pacific until I was a teenager, so in a way I grew up with other Pacific cultures.

If I had a choice, I would move home to Hawaii because I always consider that my home…. But when families have jobs already away from home and other family members here, it is not an easy thing to do…. If our culture is focused on the family, then I could not easily leave my own extended family here…. We are kanaka maoli, we live the values of being kanaka maoli, but we live on a different land that is all. We have canoe clubs, we have halaus, we have community gatherings…. They are just in another place.

The cost of living is very high, there are no jobs for all my familiy, and housing would be beyond what most could afford in our family…. Most of the family would love to return home if it were possible and there was a place for us.

I have always felt sad that some kanaka maoli almost reject us if we live abroad use terms like, “you chose to leave”…. We share the same sun, we share the same moon, our aumakua do not reject us because we live elsewhere… we are still connected and in some ways have an even greater passion and love of our culture and understand who we are.


By | December 6, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Who’s name was on the engraved plaques

engraved plaques on the awards night

My job was to organize the engraved plaques

We had our annual awards night last week it was a mix of our Christmas bash and the awards bash, and we all had to contribute to the organizing and dealing with everything that was needed including the trophies and engraved plaques
for the event.
I had to get the venue sorted and the trophies organized which included getting them engraved with the winner’s names. Organising the venue was easy as we stayed in a cracking place last year with superb staff and so that was just a quick phone call but I also had to go around the local town to find someone that did the trophies we would need and who could engrave the plaques.

I found someone to do the engraved plaques and supply the trophies

It took all day to track someone down who could do both and I ordered all the stuff we needed in one big swoop. The guy took all the names of the winners and let me pick out the trophies for all the different sections and awards and it would only take a couple of weeks for them to be done and I could pop back to pick them up.
Everyone was on it me to spill the beans as to who was winning the main prizes for best player biggest influence on the team etc but I was sworn to secrecy from the boss, who said any leaks would result in some hefty training sessions for me for the next year!

I picked up the trophies and the engraved plaques came out well

Two weeks passed and it was time to pick up the trophies. I was really impressed with the work and the guy did a great job of the engraving. Considering how many he had to do they were all perfect and the only problem I then had was to make sure non of the boys saw them at my house.
The night was a great laugh and the biggest surprise was “little ol me” won an award which the gaffer had got done without letting me know. The trophies were all well received and everyone seemed to have a fantastic night although many including myself didn’t have the best morning after!
Now the night is over and the dust has settled we are all focusing on the next part of the season and maintaining the good start we have had. We have to play on Boxing day which given the boys track record should be interested especially as it’s a 11am kick off. I would imagine we will have a few sore heads and no shows but hopefully the other team will suffer the same fate.
We are second in the league at the moment the highest we have ever been so hopefully we can all have a nice but gentle Christmas Day and get that all important result against the forth placed team. Big thanks for the help

By | December 6, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off

Freezing without multi fuel stoves

My eventual multi fuel stoves winner

The weather is cold but multi fuel stoves keep you toastie

The weather leaves a lot to be desired coming from Hawaii but since I went looking for multi fuel stoves to keep warm I have been toastie warm in my flat.
I am always complaining about the cold weather so when I went to a friends house and saw his multi fuel stoves, one in the kitchen and one in the sitting room I was sold on the idea. I thought it was going to cost a fortune to get one for myself but my friend suggesting I went for a package deal and I soon found a shop offering a deal on supply and fit of two multi fuel stoves. The one was a Franco Belge and the other a British make called Trianco. I opted to go for one of the 8kw multi fuel stoves as I have a big open plan living space and eventually went for a modern looking Trianco Newton. For under £2000 I got the stove, fitting and a large log delivery and that was enough to keep me going a couple of months so I think it was great value for money.

Better still multi fuel stoves cost little to run

I live close to a woodland and there always logs lining around but they have to be seasoned for a year or two so I bought a few large delivery cubic metre bags to keep me going until the logs and donated logs I am seasoning are ready to burn I can use this to keep my home lovely and warm.
Lots of friends and family are always saying they have chopped down a tree of got me some logs from downed trees so I would say after this season I will have a seasoned stock ready to burn when it gets cold again.
The showroom salesman guesstimated a 50% reduction in my gas bills but so far I am doing a little better than that so I am over the moon with that and can highly recommend multi fuel stoves as a way of cutting down your energy costs and adding a real feature to any room.

Kicking back in front of multi fuel stoves

Nothing beats kicking back after lighting up multi fuel stoves and relaxing with a glass of wine and the love of my life all we need now is a labrador in front of it to and we are quintessential middle England with a splattering of hawaiian.
It is probably the best thing I have ever done in the home and we are both mad about it. The real fire warmth is nothing like gas or electric and having to chop the logs and prepare the fire never fails to put a huge smile on my face.
If you have ever though about multi fuel stoves before why have you not already installed one, take my advise and get back down to the showroom and get it done I would be amazed if you didn’t love it.

By | April 2, 2014 | Uncategorized | Comments Off