top directors at HSBC are concerned that non-executives are being given too much work under new regulations, and face greater punishments – including the threat of jail – if anything goes wrong, a letter from the bank’s chairman showed yesterday.
Alan Thomson left the board at the end of October. According to chairman Douglas Flint, Thomson “had some incremental concerns surrounding the application of the new senior managers regime.”
And in his letter to the Treasury Select Committee (TSC), Flint added that fellow director John Trueman is also worried about “the possibility of significantly increased liabilities” under the rules.
Trueman has not left the board. There was speculation this autumn that he would quit over the rules.
“Banks should certainly speak up when they think regulators are getting it wrong. But they should do so clearly and openly, and on the basis of the facts,” said the TSC’s chairman Andrew Tyrie MP. “To do otherwise gives the impression of bankers attempting to put pressure on regulators by the back door.”