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BFCSA: HBOS Bosses may be investigated by Regulators in UK - Catastrophic failures of management

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HBOS bosses may be investigated by regulators

Regulators' review into collapse of bank will include independent assessment of whether management should face penalties


Former bosses at HBOS could be investigated by the City regulators as part of a wider investigation into the collapse of the bank.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) on Friday disclosed that a review into the bank, which was rescued by Lloyds during the financial crisis, would be finalised by the end of the year.

The FSA opened an investigation into HBOS’s collapse in 2012, but the process has taken far longer than expected to be completed.

In the meantime, a separate report from the parliamentary commission on banking standards called for former management to be held to account, and slammed the FSA for failing to impose “fitting sanctions” on them.

Chief executives James Crosby and Andy Hornby, and chairman Lord Stevenson, were not punished by the FSA following HBOS’s collapse, with one executive, Peter Cummings, penalised.

Yesterday, the FCA and PRA - the successors to the FSA - said an independent QC, Andrew Green, would assess whether the regulators “should consider afresh whether any former members of HBOS’s senior management should be subject to an investigation with a view to prohibition proceedings”.

Andrew Tyrie, who chaired the banking standards commission, said: “If parliament had not pursued vigorously for these reports to be done, we could have been in whitewash territory”.

He said it was essential that the “this review is completed with enough independence to reassure the public that the regulators conducting it do not pull their punches on the failures of their predecessor institution, the FSA”.

The MPs’ report into HBOS, published last year, explicitly blamed Crosby, Hornby and Lord Stevenson for the collapse of the bank, which forced Lloyds into a bailout in 2008. The combined bank is now 24.9pc owned by the taxpayer.

“The HBOS story is one of catastrophic failures of management, governance and regulatory oversight,” the report said, expressing surprise that the trio had not been targeted by regulators.

The FCA and PRA finalised the terms of its review on Friday, saying that maxwellisation – giving the firm and individuals subject to potential criticism the opportunity to respond – was ready to begin.

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Guest Friday, 04 December 2020