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Whistleblower hits back at FSA’s claims

HBOS whistleblower Paul Moore has hit back at FSA claims made to the Treasury select committee.

In further evidence that he intends to submit to the TSC, Moore will contest much of the FSA’s February 11 statement.

The regulator claimed that it conducted a “full risk assessment of HBOS (known as an Arrow assessment) in late 2002”.

However, Moore, who was head of group regulatory risk at HBOS until the end of 2004, says the Arrow review was, in fact, conducted in 2003 and it did not cover the whole of HBOS as it excluded the strategy and international division.

The FSA also said it conducted a further full risk assessment of the bank, “recording its assessment in December 2004”, in which it said the risk profile of the group had improved and good progress had been made in addressing the risks highlighted.

But Moore insists the work carried out was progress with the risk mitigation plan rather than a full assessment.

He says the FSA’s evidence that he approached the regulator after his redundancy to express concerns about HBOS, in particular, about the suitability of his replacement, missed out many of his points.

He says: “I approached the FSA with a long and detailed list of concerns, including the allegation that I was dismissed by James Crosby for raising many issues of actual or potential breach of the FSA requirements. That was the most serious allegation of all.”

An FSA spokeswoman says: “We set out our position in that memo and we have not got anything else to add.”

Moore says it appears significant that despite the FSA and HBOS stressing to MPs they would provide more evidence alongside the KPMG report, nothing has yet been produced.

Moore is calling for a judicial inquiry into the HBOS problems and banking more widely. He says his concerns raise questions over company law fiduciary duties and FSA principles for approved persons.

He says: “As a previous shareholder of HBOS and now Lloyds, I am considering my position as to whether to issue proceedings.”

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