#business Six-year probe into near-collapse of HBOS lets bankers off scot-free 

#business Six-year probe into near-collapse of HBOS lets bankers off scot-free 

#enterprise Six-year probe into near-collapse of HBOS lets bankers off scot-free 

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The nice escape: City regulators hit by livid backlash after a six-year probe into the near-collapse of HBOS lets bankers off scot-free

It was a catastrophic banking collapse that resulted in a £20billion taxpayer bailout.

Now, 14 years later, there’s rising anger that extra of these accountable usually are not being punished.

When the City’s watchdogs lastly determined to get the underside of who was chargeable for the demise of HBOS it took them six years, sifting 2m paperwork. It all ended final Friday with a three-page press launch asserting that no additional motion was wanted.

The Financial Conduct Authority's decision not to investigate ten senior managers, including chief exec Andy Hornby (pictured), was found to be 'materially flawed'

The Financial Conduct Authority’s determination to not examine ten senior managers, together with chief exec Andy Hornby (pictured), was discovered to be ‘materially flawed’

The Mail has realized that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) don’t have any plans to publish extra detailed findings. 

That leaves questions unanswered concerning the rationale for the choice – and does nothing to assuage the anger of these outraged by it.

‘I can see why it was a good opportunity to draw a line,’ mentioned Philip Hammond, one of six chancellors who’ve inhabited 11 Downing Street for the reason that failure of HBOS in 2008. 

Yet the announcement has completed something however that, and politicians and City figures have lined as much as criticise the transfer.

The FCA and PRA say their investigations had been ‘rigorous and forensic’.

But Prem Sikka, the Labour peer and accounting professor, mentioned: ‘They have basically said to bankers: “You carry on with whatever you were doing before”, because there are no personal consequences. That is no way to respond.

‘These people collect all kinds of performance-related bonuses, but many are the result of malpractice and reckless practices but there are no personal penalties. 

These people must have had an idea what was going on, or they would not be fit to be directors. And they are not even being charged with that. I think they need to be liable for criminal prosecutions.’

Halifax Bank of Scotland collapsed in 2008 after racking up £45billion in dangerous money owed. 

That resulted in a Government-engineered takeover by rival Lloyds, which in flip then wanted to be bailed out by the Treasury to the tune of £20billion, swelling the Government’s debt pile.

At the guts of the most recent probe was the query of whether or not former senior managers needs to be banned from the monetary sector. 

It was prompted by a report by Andrew Green QC in 2015 into the dealing with of the case by the Financial Services Authority, the earlier City watchdog, which was outmoded by the FCA.

In charge: Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey ran the FCA Financial Conduct Authority

In cost: Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey ran the FCA Financial Conduct Authority

Green concluded that the FSA’s determination to not examine ten senior managers, together with chief govt Andy Hornby and chairman Lord Stevenson, was ‘materially flawed’.

Also in 2015 a preliminary report from the FCA and PRA discovered HBOS’s board pursued a ‘flawed and unbalanced strategy’ concentrate on lending extra money in pursuit of short-term profitability.

It was Andrew Bailey, as deputy governor of the Bank of England, who introduced the investigation – and mentioned it might be carried out ‘as soon as possible’. Bailey, now the Bank Governor, was later in cost on the FCA for a lot of the interval throughout which the probe dragged on.

Only one former govt, Peter Cummings – then head of Bank of Scotland’s company lending – has been punished. 

He was fined £500,000 and banned from the City in 2012. Hornby runs the Restaurant Group, proprietor of Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s. 

Gina Miller, the businesswoman and campaigner, mentioned: ‘Those responsible should have been reprimanded. 

Nobody was found guilty, there was no new regulation. And the regulators had so much information. Hornby etc have been rewarded for failure.’

Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative MP and member of the Treasury choose committee, mentioned: ‘They were running what is a systemically important financial organisation, which crashed the economy. This will keep happening time and again if the FCA don’t maintain folks to account.

‘HBOS was borrowing short and lending long because it thought good times would last forever, but they were absolutely caught out because Hornby was not qualified to run a bank.’

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