Treasury select committee chair Andrew Tyrie says there is a risk the Bank of England and the FCA could unfairly influence what is supposed to be an independent investigation into the collapse of HBOS.
Independent barrister Andrew Green QC has been charged with reviewing the enforcement decisions of the FSA relating to the bank’s collapse, and why the regulator only decided to go after one banker – ex HBOS corporate head Peter Cummings.
Yesterday the FCA published the terms of the review, which said that the Bank of England and the FCA will be able to see an early version of Green’s report.
The Financial Times reports that Tyrie has written to Prudential Regulation Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey, saying: “There remains a risk of a perception that regulators, by having the right to see an early draft of the entire report, are given special treatment or the opportunity to influence its contents.
“Such a perception could prejudice the value of the independent enforcement review.”
In a joint statement to the newspaper, the Bank of England and the FCA say: “We have no intention of influencing the findings of the report, and this is clear in the protocol that we have published.
“We have put stringent safeguards in place to protect the independence of the HBOS report and we believe these safeguards are more than adequate to prevent any improper influence over the report and any of its findings.”
The report into the failure of HBOS is expected by the end of the year.