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Damning report on banking collapse stalled until after UK election

Damning report on banking collapse stalled until after UK election

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has come under fire for delaying the release of a report into the crisis rescue of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) until after the general election in May.

Senior Labour politicians, bankers and financial regulators are expected to receive damning criticism for their role in the bank’s near-crash in 2008.

Originally scheduled for publication in April 2013, the deadline was pushed back to the end of 2013 last summer and is now unlikely to be published until September at the earliest.

Business Secretary Vince Cable attacked the delay, saying the employees who lost their jobs as a result of irresponsible management at HBOS deserve better.

This latest delay is believed to be caused by a procedure called “Maxwellisation,” named for 20th century British media mogul Robert Maxwell, whereby individuals facing criticism in an official report are allowed to respond before its publication.

Disgraced former HBOS executives Andy Hornby, James Crosby and Lord Stevenson are expected to come under fire for their role in the bank’s downfall.

Hornby, who is currently CEO of bookmakers Coral, replaced Crosby as CEO of HBOS in July 2006, leading the bank during the height of the financial crisis.

A 2013 report by the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards described Crosby – who was knighted shortly before stepping down as CEO – as the “architect of the strategy that set the course for disaster.”

Stevenson acted as chairman of HBOS from 2001 until his resignation following the bank’s emergency rescue-merger with Lloyds TSB in 2008.

A separate report carried out by Andrew Green QC will investigate whether the FCA should take further action against Hornby, Crosby and Stevenson.

All three were let off the hook by the FCA’s predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

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