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FCA blasted over inability to fine HBOS execs

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The FCA has been slammed after it admitted it was unable to fine any former HBOS executives over the bank’s collapse during the financial crisis.

The regulator’s HBOS report is to be published later this week. It is expected to include a lengthy examination of why only one HBOS director, Peter Cummings, was fined in the aftermath of the bank’s failure.

The FCA says because HBOS fell apart so long ago, it will fall outside of a six-year statute of limitations on fines.

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “It’s incredibly disappointing for the FCA to publish a report in such a timeframe that they’re unable to go after anybody.

“These executives get to keep what they have earned and stroll off into the sunset, but if I go a day over the deadline for a regulatory return, they want to hit me with a £250 fine.”

Libertatem founder Garry Heath also notes the contrast between the FCA’s fine powers and the willingness of the Financial Ombudsman Service to investigate historic cases.

He says: “If the FCA can’t do it for big banks, why can our clients can pursue us to the grave because of the lack of a long-stop?” Informed Choice executive director Nick Bamford adds: “The FCA should not have found itself in this predicament. It’s not good regulatory behaviour, and it should have been sorted out ages ago.”

The regulator remains able to ban ex-HBOS directors from the financial services sector, though none of the former HBOS bosses expected to be named in the report still hold an active registration as an approved person.

The regulator’s investigation into the HBOS collapse was first launched in 2012, and was delayed with the introduction of the FCA and the Prudential Regulation Authority in 2013.

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Comments

There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. As Garry has pointed out, by way of comparison, this provides a stark contrast with the antics of the FOS.

    The FCA/FSA will have been fully aware of the time constraints built into English law and in failing to properly identify the extent that this would constrain their options they are getting of ineptitude or collusion with their ‘friends’ and likely future workmates.

  2. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, it just seems some are more equal than others!

  3. So why does it take that long for the investigation.

  4. Well this is what you get when you have an entity which can do as it please’es
    I’m with Dennis Hall on this, if I’m a minute late with my return I am slapped with a fine and no grounds to argue.

    It seems to me we are more easier to micro manage, fine and bully, than some of the bigger guys this obviously takes more effort ! and then the FCA is safe in the knowledge it can fall back on the FSCS to pay out any money that may be owing from wrong doing.

    Looks like it “IS” more fun, to “shoot the fish in a barrel”, “pick the low hanging fruit” blah blah blah better than having to work and earn your keep !

  5. Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “It’s incredibly disappointing for the FCA to publish a report in such a timeframe that they’re unable to go after anybody.”

    I would prefer to substitute one of the words Dennis hall has used from “disappointing” to ‘convenient’. How many of us actually believe this situation to have been accidental and how many feel it to have been manufactured? There should be a public enquiry into the actions of the FSA/FCA.

  6. Patrick Schan ~ Yes there should be (for gross negligence), though perhaps some justice has been meted out by George Osborne’s decision not to renew Martin Wheatley’s contract. Then again, this has been dragging on for quite some time before MW succeeded Hector Sants and what if anything is likely to happen to him?

  7. 2 advisers having a moan hardly constitutes a ‘blasting’ does it?

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