An report into the collapse of HBOS will delayed until after the general election, due to “wrangling” over the roles of senior staff in the bank’s failure.
The Times reports disputes over whether former HBOS chief executives James Crosby and Andy Hornby should be sanctioned for their part in the failure have delayed the report, until the summer at the earliest. The report, which is being compiled by barrister Andrew Green QC at the Treasury’s request, was originally due in December.
Former HBOS head of corporate banking Peter Cummings has already been fined and banned by the regulator from working in the City.
Under a rule implemented following the Robert Maxwell affair that says official inquiries must show people named in a report any sections that apply to them before publication, the FCA and Prudential Regulation Authority have had to show relevant sections to the relevant HBOS employees.
It is believed a section included by Green on “potential enforcement” is seen as being focused on people’s judgements rather than any clear chain of events, pushing the report’s publication back until after the election.
The inquiry was launched by the FSA in September 2012 after the regulator concluded its sanctions against Cummings. A December deadline was set with FCA senior independent director Sir Brian Pomeroy expressing publicly in July his “firm expectation” that the deadline would be met. However, the deadline passed with no FCA update on the report.
In October, Money Marketing revealed the regulator had set aside £1m to pay for the inquiry.