Ex-HBOS chief James Crosby stripped of knighthood

  • 11 June 2013
  • From the section Business
In the report, Sir James was described as the "architect" of HBOS's downfall.
Image caption James Crosby was criticised by the Banking Standards Commission

Former HBOS chief executive James Crosby has been formally stripped of his knighthood, the UK Cabinet Office has said.

Following a highly critical report by the Banking Standards Commission in April, Sir James asked for his knighthood to be removed.

The report described him as the "architect" of the strategy that led to HBOS' downfall.

Mr Crosby served as chief executive of the bank between 2001 and 2006.

He was given the knighthood in 2006 after he had left HBOS.

The announcement, which came in the London Gazette, said: "Letters Patent dated 11 June 2013 have passed the Great Seal of the Realm cancelling and annulling the Knighthood conferred upon James Robert Crosby on the 6 December 2006 as a Knight Bachelor."

'Deeply sorry'

Mr Crosby said in April that the Banking Standards Commission's report "made for very chastening reading".

"Although I stood down as CEO of HBOS in 2006, some three years before it was taken over by Lloyds, I have never sought to disassociate myself from what has happened," he continued.

"I am deeply sorry for what happened at HBOS."

Mr Crosby also resigned as a non-executive director of Compass Group and gave up 30% of his £580,000-a-year HBOS pension, meaning he will waive around £174,000 this year.

At the height of the financial crisis, Lloyds took over the collapsed HBOS, the group that owned Halifax and Bank of Scotland. But the government ended up with a stake of about 40% in the new Lloyds Banking Group.

The report by the Banking Standards Commission, a government body set up to improve the UK's banking system, estimated that 96% of shareholder value was wiped out when HBOS collapsed, costing taxpayers £20.5bn.

Lloyds Banking Group has since cut tens of thousands of jobs and remains 39% state-owned.

The banking crisis also precipitated the economic slump from which the UK is still struggling to recover.

Mr Crosby's knighthood is the second casualty of the banking crisis. Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, was stripped of his knighthood in 2012 after leading the bank to near-collapse in 2008, and an eventual multi-billion pound government bailout.

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