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HBOS – the British bank that had to be bailed out with over thirty billion euros worth of taxpayers money – was so badly run it would have failed even without the 2008 financial crisis .. according to the UK’s Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
The Commission says its former bosses should be banned from the industry for their “colossal failure”.
They are former chief executive Sir James Crosby, who fired a whistleblower who warned of risky business practices; Chairman Lord Stevenson, who said reckless lending at HBOS was not his fault as he was “only there part time”; and Crosby’s successor Andy Hornby, who is the current head of one of Britain’s biggest gambling firms.
Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, called the lender an “accident waiting to happen”.
Tyrie said the bank’s problems were “as a direct consequence of very poor quality management, right from the top. The key decisions being made at board level were driving the bank in a direction that was likely to put it on the rocks, and so it proved.”
Lloyds Banking Group took over HBOS – in a rescue deal brokered by the government – as it struggled under a mountain of bad loans.
Lloyds distanced itself from the damning findings of the Commission which had been tasked with finding ways to reform the UK’s disgraced banking system and which also blamed the industry’s regulator as “thoroughly inadequate”.