Sir Hector Sants to give secret evidence in Lloyds-HBOS court case

Rebecca Smith
Sants will give evidence in December
Sants will give evidence in December (Source: Getty)

Sir Hector Sants, the former head of the financial regulator, will give secret evidence in a High Court trial brought by shareholders against Lloyds over its acquisition of HBOS back in 2008.

Lloyds Banking Group and five former directors are being sued by 6,000 investors over the decision to acquire HBOS at the height of the financial crisis. Lloyds and its ex-directors deny any wrongdoing, with the bank saying previously it will "robustly contest this legal action".

Sants is due to give evidence for one day during mid-December. He had previously applied to the court during the summer to appear in private, which the judge agreed to.

Read more: City watchdog Bailey put "significant pressure" on Lloyds to give HBOS loan

However, this was challenged by a number of media outlets, with a new judge saying today that the court order from July should be made public. It says that cross-examination of Sants can go-ahead, but that it would take place in private, without giving reasons as to why such an order was made.

Sants headed up the Financial Services Authority from July 2007 until June 2012, playing a key role in the regulator’s response to the banking crisis. He then worked at Barclays, before joining management consultancy Oliver Wyman in 2015.

Complainants in the Lloyds-HBOS case say directors did not disclose to the shareholders the full state HBOS was in when they decided to buy it.

HBOS collapsed in 2008, and was rescued by Lloyds with the backing of the government.

Read more: Lloyds shareholders "mugged" by decision to take over ailing HBOS

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