TONY HETHERINGTON: The Post Office needs delivery of common sense 

Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday’s ace investigator, fighting readers corners, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out-of-pocket. Find out how to contact him below.

A.B. writes: I have over the past few years operated online savings accounts with the Post Office on behalf of my mother under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Once the letters ‘LPA’ arise, it seems all common sense is lost and a total lack of understanding exists, none more so than with the Post Office’s processing centre in Armagh.

Your mother has vascular dementia and lives in a nursing home. The whole point of the Lasting Power of Attorney is to allow you to administer her savings of over £500,000 so that her life – and yours – can run as smoothly as possible.

Sentenced: Ex-Portsmouth FC owner Vladimir Antonov

The former owner of Portsmouth Football Club, banker Vladimir Antonov, has been sentenced to two and half years in a Russian labour camp after pleading guilty to involvement in a £1.8million fraud.

Antonov appeared in court in St Petersburg last Monday after admitting that he and accomplices inside Russia’s Bank Sovetsky arranged for a dummy company to borrow 150million roubles which they spent but never intended to repay.

The Russian banker became well known to the then British watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, when it clashed with him a decade ago. I revealed in 2010 that Antonov controlled Bank Snoras, which was licensed in Lithuania but was secretly connected to the Russian Mafia. 

Antonov had given false information to the FSA when he used his bank to take over a firm in Leicester which already held a valid licence from the British regulator.

The FSA tried to keep Bank Snoras out of the UK, but was eventually defeated. Under EU rules, if a bank is licensed in another EU state, then all EU countries must accept it, no matter how suspect it might be. Bank Snoras did open an office in the City and in 2011 Antonov took over Portsmouth FC. He soon ran into financial difficulties and walked away, leaving the club to collapse into administration.

Lithuanian prosecutors began proceedings against Antonov over allegations that Bank Snoras had been looted of around £440million. He was arrested in Britain but then fled to Russia, which refused to hand him over.