FCA report into HBOS collapse: Former HBOS senior staff to be investigated over collapse

Billy Bambrough
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British bank HBOS corporate headquarters
HBOS was bailed-out by Lloyds and the government in 2008 (Source: Getty)

Former senior managers of banking group HBOS are set to be investigated following a report from banking regulators into the failed bank published yesterday.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) three year report into failures at the bank found that senior managers and the board of the bank were ultimately responsible for its downfall.

The report says the bank undertook increasingly "risky propositions" to drive profits.

Former chief executives of the bank, Andy Hornby and James Crosby, and HBOS’s former chairman, Lord Stevenson, have not had any action taken against them for their roles in the banks collapse.

A separate assessment of the previous regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), produced by Andrew Green QC found that the actions of the FSA at the time were "inadequate".

A review into whether further enforcement action should be taken is expected "as early as possible" next year.

Read more: HBOS report: Crisis probe is the Never-Ending Story

The FSA was divided into the PRA and the FCA in 2013.

The report - running to 500 pages - found that Hornby and Lord Stevenson, now a non-executive director at the bookshop Waterstones, should have been investigated more broadly by the FSA, as well as others at the bank.

Hornby is now working as the chief operating officer at betting firm Gala Coral.

Peter Cummings, the head of corporate at the bank, was the only person sanctioned by the regulator in 2012.

He was fined £500,000 and banned from working the industry.

However, due to the expiration of a statute of limitations on when the regulator can act on information received, the regulator can now only ban those who worked at HBOS.

Others that could have further probing by the regulator are the bank's finance director Mike Ellis, now the chairman of the Skipton Building Society; Colin Matthew, head of strategy and international, and head of treasury Lindsay Mackay, now a director at Alpha Bank.

The failure of banking group HBOS and its subsequent rescue by Lloyds TSB happened at the beginning of the financial crisis in 2008.

Publication of the report was set back by a year due to legal wrangling, known as Maxwellisation, giving those named in the report an opportunity to dispute claims.

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