Hornby and Stevenson: now time for rigorous cross-examining

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.

Hornby and Stevenson were ritually humiliated by the Commons Treasury Select Committee, but never subjected to any real questioning about what went so disastrously wrong at the collapsed bank. Crosby has never been called to account.

Let’s hope Commission chair Lord Turnbull and barrister David Quest subject them to more rigorous cross examination. They owe it to the 40,000 who lost their jobs and the millions of taxpayers still paying for their failure.

PS maybe there is hope. A sign that the Commission means business: the legal team is being beefed up by the addition of Rory Phillips QC, the first time a Parliamentary inquiry has had a QC doing the questioning. Quest has been pretty good at persistence, but he lacks the bite of a genuine legal rottweiler, like say the Leveson inquiry’s Robert Jay.