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April 9, 2013

HBOS built on flawed business model

Looking to the past to learn lessons for the present can be a dismal, if ultimately constructive, exercise. But if unpicking the litany of failures that led to the ruin of HBOS at the height of the financial crisis is to serve any purpose, it must highlight the dangers of ill-judged lending, poor risk control and slack regulatory scrutiny.

That is the conclusion of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards in its damning report on the bank that is now owned by Lloyds Banking Group and its former management released Friday.

“This is a case study of how not to run a bank and how not to regulate one,” said Andrew Tyrie, chairman of the commission. “This is one big failure that we need to draw lessons from.”

For Mr Tyrie and his fellow MPs and peers on the commission, those lessons are clear.

The first could be summed up as the importance of culture and strategy in preventing reckless lending policies and weak risk management, two of the main factors the commission cited as leading to one of the biggest disaster stories from the financial crisis.”


Read full Financial Times article here

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