The rise and fall of HBOS

April 10, 2013, 02:18am

HBOS began life as two separate lenders, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland. Halifax began as a building society in 1853, becoming a bank in 1997. The Bank of Scotland was founded in 1695.

The pair were merged 12 years ago, challenging the Big Four with rapid growth in the early 2000s.

But it later transpired that growth was built on risky lending despite warnings from whistleblowers like risk management chief Paul Moore in 2004.

When the financial crisis struck the bank got into serious trouble and needed rescuing. Competition rules were suspended to let Lloyds take over HBOS.

But the losses at the group were so large they dragged down the larger entity too. A £20.5bn bailout left the taxpayer owning just under 40 per cent of the group.

In 2012, former head of corporate lending at HBOS Peter Cummings was fined £500,000 and banned for life by the FSA for his role in the bank’s downfall.

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