Former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby says he is “very sorry” for his role in the bank’s failure in 2008.
Giving evidence to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards this week, Crosby, who was in charge of HBOS between 2001 and 2006 and a former FSA deputy chair, said he is “horrified and deeply upset” by the “catastrophe”.
He said: “It was hugely distressing to see the impact on shareholders, former colleagues and the consequences for the taxpayers. I am apologising for the fact that I played a major part in building a business that subsequently failed.”
Crosby admitted he has not given up any of his £8m remuneration and £572,000 pension pot from HBOS. He admitted he sold “about two-thirds” of his shares before the collapse to “balance his portfolio of assets”, but refused to give up any of his entitlement saying he has lost money too.
Crosby also refused to give up his knighthood, calling it a “huge honour”, but admitted his reputation will never be the same again.
London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says: “It is good that he has held his hands up and admitted he did not put the brakes on when he should have.”
Former HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby, who was in charge from 2006 to 2008, also re-iterated his “heartfelt apologies” for the collapse.