It is seven years since the collapse of HBOS – the second largest collapse in British banking history (after RBS) and one which cost the UK taxpayer £20 billion, Lloyds and former HBOS shareholders £54 billion and 40,000 bank employees their jobs.
The significance of the HBOS report from the Parliamentary Commission is not in any new evidence it has uncovered – we always knew why the bank went bust – but in the uncompromising way in which it named the men primarily responsible for bringing it down, chairman Lord Stevenson and chief executives Sir James Crosby and Andy Hornby.
Evasive, repetitive, unrealistic. Unless my old newspaper instincts have deserted me that description by Andrew Tyrie of Lord Stevenson’s evidence to the Parliamentary Commission, is what will make the headlines. And the former HBOS-chairman will find it hard to outlive the label.
In case my banging on about Hornby and Stevenson is not setting the heather on fire…remember that they were among top executives who left HBOS with 6 figure redundancy payments and large pension funds while more than 40,000 employees lost their jobs and 2 million small shareholders lost their life savings. To say nothing of the billions HBOS owes taxpayers.
Mark Monday and Tuesday (3 & 4 Dec) in your diaries. The Parliamentary Commission inquiry into the collapse of HBOS has summoned the two ex-CEOs, James Crosby and Andy Hornby and chairman Lord Stevenson to answer for themselves.