HBOS bosses ultimately responsible for bank's collapse, delayed report finds


Former bosses at HBOS in the lead up to its collapse were "ultimately responsible" for its failure and could face being struck off from working in financial services following the much-delayed publication of damning reports into the bank's demise.

City watchdogs will now look at taking potential further action against former HBOS senior management after a report by Andrew Green QC blasted past regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for its failure to investigate a raft of top bosses.

Only one former HBOS executive, Peter Cummings, has so far been formally investigated and fined.

In a scathing assessment of the FSA's handling of the original inquiries into HBOS, Mr Green said the regulator should have considered investigating ex-chief executives Andy Hornby and James Crosby, as well as past chairman Lord Stevenson.

Current regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), will now review whether to take any enforcement action against the trio of bankers, as well as other managers holding key positions at the lender before its collapse and subsequent taxpayer bailout.

The report named former senior managers at the bank that the FSA should have looked into investigating as Mike Ellis, former finance director, Colin Matthew, ex-head of the international division and Lindsay Mackay, former boss of the treasury division.

But any decision into whether to take action against managers will not come until next year and it could be another 18 months to two years before regulators can enforce bans.